I just realized that the vomiting part of this story actually predates Story #1, and I was trying to do them chronologically...
Not-so-little-R. was 17 months old and a friend called me:
"They're having a polka party at St. Charles Borromeo parish! We're all going! You have to get a babysitter!"
A babysitter. I had never had one. I drove four hours to my parents or my parents came to me when we had somewhere to go (rare).
Perhaps my oldest friend, S., and her boyfriend M., who had recently moved to DC, would like to do it?
Sure, why not?
So that evening I fed R. many pancakes and pears for dinner, because my big fear was that he would wake up because he was hungry and be upset to find me gone. I had found that when he ate a particularly good dinner he slept particularly well. I let him have as many pancakes as he wanted, which was many, many pancakes.
We had a wonderful time at the polka party. When we got home M. and S. were kind of smirking.
Did everything go well?
Fine, fine. Yeah. All except for the part when R. woke up and threw up all over the place. M. had cleaned it up while S. consoled him. He went back to sleep, bunch of foul stuff in the laundry room. Good night.
As their car drove off, I said to not-so-big R. "Now he will never marry her. He'll be afraid this is what family life is like all the time."
Six months later S. showed me her engagement ring.
After you babysat, I was afraid M. would never propose, I said.
Actually, she said, I think that night helped.