Cleaning Puke from a Car Seat: A Metaphor for Life?

Today I cleaned the car seat after my son had thrown up his breakfast. This is not the first time that I have cleaned the car seat and it will not be the last I am sure, but while sitting in the basement scrubbing, my thoughts turned to how this unavoidable chore is really a very parallel to life itself.

Think of it, all the of life’s roller-coaster ride encapsulated in a simple chore. About puke. Don’t stop reading, that’s not the intended metaphor.

As I recounted the day, as I was still scrubbing, enlightenment came to me, as it would to anyone scrubbing a car seat in a basement (I digress)

  1. The journey. Maybe it was my rush to get where I was going and not thinking of my little passengers as we raced over rolling hills or maybe there wasn’t enough cooling air, but my son became car sick and threw up.
    LIFE METAPHOR: Slow down and stay cool.
  2. The act. As I pulled over and started to access the situation, I saw that the poor little guy had thrown up all over himself, the seat, his toys and his shoes. We were on our way to the doctor’s office for a last-minute sick appointment for my daughter and we couldn’t miss it. I cleaned him up, rinsed off the puke the best we could and kept our appointment.
    LIFE METAPHOR: Most of life’s problems, especially when they involve children, can be solved with paper towels, water and a clean pair of pants.
  3. The cleanup. After the appointment and after both kids were tucked in for the night, I carried the puke-moistened seat to the basement. There I began what I can only describe as an engineering feat of strength to get to all the parts of the chair that needed to be cleaned. An hour and two wash cycles later, the chair was clean.
    LIFE METAPHOR: Sometimes to get at the root of things you have to strip it to its barest element.
  4. The reassemble. With all the clean parts in hand, a soccer game in the background, I managed to get the chair back to its original state with every velcro velcroed, tie tied, eleastic elasticed and of course working properly as well.
    LIFE METAPHOR: Getting things to function together again is often harder than taking it apart.
  5. The saving grace. When I removed the car seat, I found a small amount of puke lying gently on the seat cover that I had installed below the seat. The last time we had a puke incident, there was rather a large amount caught by the seat cover. Without the cover, I would be steaming and cleaning the seats of the car, a much more intensive task.
    LIFE METAPHOR: $14 spent on a whim at Target does save you down the road.

In the end, the kids were fine, the car was fine, the car seat reinstalled and ready for its next adventure, and I felt a bit wiser and slightly more at peace. Thank goodness for puke.


Filed under OpEd, Parenting, Stay at Home Dad

6 responses to “Cleaning Puke from a Car Seat: A Metaphor for Life?

  1. I love this one. I’ve spent many, many hours on car seat related tasks. It’s funny how all that time is good for deep thought.

  2. Pingback: 19-12-11 The Fatherload | Love Dad Blogs

  3. We had an accident on the way up north this Christmas. Twice! We still need to wash the seat very well!
    Love your post!

  4. Pingback: 19-12-11 The Fatherload : Love All Blogs

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