Something happened last week and I am finally able to talk about it.
We had just arrived at a friend’s house, ready for an afternoon of play. As we stood in her foyer, I did my make-sure-you-say-hello-and-take-off-your-shoes thing. Suddenly, my youngest turned to me and said:
“Mum, I feel like I’m gonna –“
I didn’t need him to finish the sentence; his pallor said it all. In one fell swoop, I opened her front door and launched him outside where he proceeded to lose his lunch… on her front step.
“Oh my God, I am SO SORRY! Kids! Come on! Put those shoes back on. NOW!”
My friend and I exchanged a knowing look and promised to reschedule once everyone was healthy. There was an awkward moment where I wondered aloud what to do about the front stoop. Should I hose it off? What is the etiquette here, exactly?
“Don’t worry about it! Just go, and feel better!”
Quickly, I rifled through my trunk and located the emergency chuck-it bucket. (Yes, I’ve been here before, my friends.) I handed it to my son, loaded everyone in the car, sanitized hands, and drove like the wind.
This is where I should tell you about how horrible I felt for him…
… and I did feel horrible for him; it’s heartbreaking when your child is ill. But I also felt horrible for myself. If we are being completely honest, when I first saw his sweet, green little face my first thought was “sh*t!” and not “poor guy.”
Because puke is my parenting kryptonite. It makes me feel powerless.
What’s Your Parenting Kryptonite?
I’ve tackled fevers and random viruses, rashes and diarrhea, black eyes and bloody lips, ER trips and hospital stays, stitches and broken bones. We’ve had to Heimlich the same child on three separate occasions.
I can handle all of that stuff like a trooper. My mama bear comes out in full force and gets the job done.
Puke makes me want to pack my bags and head to a hotel for two weeks… by myself.
I wish I was that kind of mom that lovingly holds hair back and wipes brows, all the while snuggling the sick one.
But I’m just not.
I don’t want to hug. I want to run and hide. I want to quarantine myself. I want to switch places with my husband, who is able to leave during working hours.
When the stomach virus rears its ugly head in our house, I loathe the mom I morph into. I spend my days sanitizing and doing laundry and waiting for the next one to bite the dust. I feel on edge, watching my children as if they were ticking time bombs… and making sure they tick as far away from carpets and upholstery as possible….
…and I beat myself up about what a crappy puke mom I am.
I feel trapped–suffocated–until it is over.
I am knocking on wood right now and crossing all my digits and even my eyes, but I think we’re on the other side. Everyone is smiling again, and I’m back to feeling like I’m pretty good at this whole motherhood thing.
In no particular order, I’d like to publicly declare my undying gratitude for the following:
- ALL the chemicals
So much for all those natural cleaners I’ve been making. As soon as we got home from the front step incident, I cast those aside in favor of all the chemicals. I bleed Clorox. I sweat Purell.
- The Olympic Games
We are not a huge TV family, but I love the Olympics. And I’ve never loved the Olympics more than I loved them last week. When you are stuck in the house on a beautiful day and subjected to live TV, the Olympics is nothing short of a godsend.
- Board games
I always love a good board game, but they are a great way to survive a sick day. We have spent the last ten days enjoying card games we had forgotten about and some fantastic retro games, too. Here we are, playing Rack-O. (Please note all the chemicals.)
- Fantastic tub toys
Do you know how sometimes your kid is feeling better but he is still sporadically pukey? And he’s super bored and crabby? The best place for a kid like that is in the tub. Add bubbles and some STEM bath toys and it’s the happiest, most puke-friendly place to be!
Yup. I’m going there. I’m told that red wine is good for your ticker and that it’s loaded with powerful antioxidants. All I know is it that, after a day of puke-duty, a glass of wine tasted pretty damn good. (Please note that I took the photo below for this post and was not drinking wine at 3:32 pm… although some days last week I might have wished I that I was!)
Here’s the thing…
Motherhood is a wild ride. Some days are fantastic and others just plain suck. Some days we feel like we are rocking the motherhood gig, while other days we feel we are failing miserably.
No one can rock it all the time. We all have our kryptonite moments. This is mine.