Prescription for Disaster

Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Exorcist Thanksgiving

Being Canadians overseas, we often get screwed when it comes to Thanksgiving. See, we celebrate it on a different date than our American friends - our families back home enjoy a homey Thanksgiving of wonderfulness while we Canucks overseas TRY to celebrate, but the stores aren't yet stocking pumpkin puree in preparation for the upcoming American holiday onslaught and to be honest, most people think that we've just made the date up as an excuse to stuff ourselves so full of potato that we end up missing work the next day in an entirely socially acceptable manner.

But to the rest of the world, we are clearly making the date up. There's no American football. There's no Macy's parade through New York. There is no pardon for a turkey by our Prime Minister and our kids aren't in some sort of mildly racist school play.

Regardless, it's still a time to celebrate our Canadian-ness, cook a giant turkey in a tiny British oven and be immensely thankful for what we DO have, despite being thousands of miles away from any sort of family and most of our friends. And a Tim Hortons.

So in preparation for this year's Thanksgiving, we had invited our British friends, Katy and Anna, and their twin kiddos over for a full on feast of pumpkin cheesecake (that I dropped on the way to the oven - salvaged like a ninja and it STILL tasted awesome), turkey, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, fresh baked buns, gravy and stuffing.
So basically we spent a small fortune and six hours cooking a super-special meal that our British friends typically refer to as a 'Sunday roast'. Who cares, it was special to us. We only do this twice a year!!!

Well, Anna cancelled, her and Kit had food poisoning, so weren't coming. Just Katy and her three year old daughter - who hopefully had the appetite of a small anaconda, given the amount of food we had prepared. Our own Kaitie had complained earlier of a stomachache, but the triumphant smile of relief on her face when she emerged from the loo earlier in the day claiming that her problem was solved had lulled us into a false sense of security.

Plus, she seemed fine.

The day went on and we took the kids out for a fall walk in the park, coming home to sit back and relax with cheese and crackers while Paul finished up what was looking to be a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. We were eager to impress, as Anna is an infuriatingly good cook with mad presentation skills to boot - the woman didn't even come but still managed to show us up by sending along a lovely tin of homemade pumpkin muffins.

So there we were, sitting and chatting like a perfectly normal family hosting a guest in our kitchen when Kaitie walked in and in a complete dead-pan voice looked at her father and said the one word in our house that will send us screaming and running around like wild howler monkeys.


Wait, what?! Huh? She was fine? I looked at Paul but he was already scrambling around the kitchen, flinging open cupboards in wild search of the gigantic 10 L plastic bowl (it catches the most shrapnel and spray) reserved for toddler puke and washing the car.

"Wait! No! Kaitie! We need more time! Hold it in! HOLD IT IN!" ... but it was too late. I heard a splash and turned back toward Kaitlynn, who was standing right in front of my chair. My bare arm was dripping with cheese-flavoured sick, my shirt and pants covered in white chunks and bile in an arc of violence and regurgitated dairy.

Paul found the bowl and thrust it at Kaitlynn, who was now able to again move - but it was too late.

See, my children have inherited from me a number of charming qualities, one being my Puke Paralysis.

When it comes up we cannot move. We don't dart for the toilet, we don't lunge for the sink. We don't even move. We just open our mouths and let it happen.

Less like this:

More like this:

family guy animated GIF

It seems to be a family thing.

Regardless, we apologized to our friend Katy (profusely), I took Kaitlynn, the bucket and myself upstairs to have a quick wet-wipe bath and we came back down for dinner - all was well.

We didn't want to push Kaitie to eat that much, given that she was clearly not feeling terribly well and we didn't want another incident, given that Katy had essentially escaped a food poisoning pukarama at home earlier in the day to come to our 'relatively sane' home.

She should have known, however, that we never put on dinner at our house without a show to go with it.

The kids had finished and had gone to play in the living room, leaving us adults free to leisurely finish our dinner and chat. Katy helped herself to a fresh plate of turkey, potatoes and stuffing and sat down to enjoy it when Kaitlynn again burst into the kitchen, ran toward me and shouted that single, horrifying word yet again.


Having drilled this before, Paul and I dropped what we were doing and scrambled around the kitchen for the 10 L bucket, having misplaced it from the last incident only a short time ago. Our eyes were wide with panic - the bucket was found under the table and thrust under Kaitlynn's chin, within which she let loose a torrent of sick while standing directly beside our friend sat down to enjoy our Thanksgiving dinner. I had to get Kaitie out of there - stat.

I got up and guided Kaitlynn to turn around, me now holding the huge, clear plastic bowl full of liquid sloshing back and forth beside my friend and her dinner. We made it one step and then a second torrent of sick was unleashed. Two more steps and we were nearly behind Katy's chair and a third round began, this one far more vocal and dramatic than the last. Kaitie wasn't even crying - we are puke-pros in this house.

I think our friend Katy may have been crying, though.

I certainly was. I was laughing so hard at the awkward absurdity of it all that I nearly peed myself in the kitchen doorway. I was stood there, doubled over in pain from laughing, crossing my legs as hard as I could and yet trying to comfort Kaitlynn while holding her puke-bucket all at once. I had to get her out of the kitchen at the very least - this was just too extreme! We made it another few steps when yet another round came flying out into the now very full clear bowl. I was laughing so hard that I had to grip the kitchen door frame with one hand for support.

I deal with awkward situations REALLY well.

Paul finally burst and told me to at least get her out of the kitchen - but I couldn't! I had been trying - but every time she moved the poor kid puked! I could see Paul reaching to top up our friend's cider as I prodded Kaitlynn around the corner and up the stairs, cackling like a hyena and tears streaming down my face. Off to get everyone cleaned up.. again.

I just feel slightly bad - as we are certain that when our friend is asked about her first ever Canadian Thanksgiving she will respond that her first was also probably her last.

And that Canadians are probably just making up a random date, anyway.

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