It’s the middle of the night, we hear rustling around in the bathroom and then in the hallway, and then a kind of cough that has this gagging sound to it.
“Buddy! Are you ok?”
“I don’t feel so good.”
I immediately jump out of bed and run to him. Instinctually my hand goes straight toward his mouth like a makeshift cup. I guide him swiftly to the toilet as the chunky puke starts filling my hand. Right away I’m reminded of what I made for dinner. It’s weird how I can gag at the mere thought of vomit in my hand, but when it actually happens, like every mom, I go into survival and nurture mode and it just doesn’t phase me. Russ comes in for the assist. It’s this flawless team-work thing we have, when we don’t need to say anything to each other, we just do this parental dance in the moon light, with vomit, or a peed in bed, or a fever, or a nightmare. We see what the other one is doing and think ahead to the next step needed and act. Now, as with most things in this parenting/relationship gig, this is a learned skill. If I were to take a trip down memory lane to when Charlie was a baby and got sick in the middle of the night, our dance looked a little more like a mosh pit than a well choreographed flash mob, more yelling confusion and flailing about than quiet understanding and rhythmic movement. I’d like to think we’ve gone from looking like a Nirvana music video
to more like a Kid n’ Play dance off…maybe not as enthusiastically but you know what I mean (p.s. you’re welcome for this little flash back gem)
No one likes it when their munchkin gets sick, the poor little look on their face, scared and confused about how and why they feel so yucky. We do all we can to make them comfortable; toast, soup, juice, a bath, diffuse and apply essential oils and homeopathic concoctions, and when it calls for it… that good old fashioned goopy grape flavored medicine. Sick kiddos force us to stop, and let go of all of those time consuming to-do’s, in order to turn our full attention to the little being that needs us. So, when we’ve cleaned the throw up, finished the bath, and cozy them in with fresh jammies and some honey tea, there’s nothing left to do but snuggle. Oh, that’s just the silver lining with a sick kid isn’t it? The snuggles. There are no incessant wiggles, tantrums, sass, fart jokes, accidental karate kicks to a brothers head, and more fart jokes. It’s the sedation of sickness, and it’s kind of beautiful!
I love to snuggle them up in the bed and wrap my arms around them with all my mommy love, and they don’t care if we’re watching Disney Channel or Downton Abbey. I have a legit excuse that for the better part of just one day I can say F the laundry, fugetabout the grocery store..“babe, please stop and pick up some overpriced and delicious soup from Whole Foods for dinner.” Getting in a workout can kiss my 36 year old ass, and screw the emails and lists and just about everything else, cause my little babe needs me for an all day snuggle.
And there is no denying that when they are feeling under the weather, they are just so damn cute. Their sad little eyes and rosy cheeks, and how they sound when they talk with their noses stuffed with snot. I mean, I’m not saying I’m one of those looney toon parents with Munchausen syndrome that makes their kid sick on purpose, and this obviously excludes serious illness involving multiple Dr. and hospital visits, bad coughs…I HATE the worrying sound of a bad cough, and anything that keeps them (and us) up all night. But that little face that just says “I need a snuggle”, ugh, it’s adorable.
I’m just saying that as sad as it is when they are feeling ill, I kinda feel like I get a little hall pass from adulting for part of a day… without any of the guilt. You know, like that guilt you feel after one of those random rainy Sundays when you’re on your third bloody mary by noon, everyone’s binge watching Netflix in different rooms, and popcorn counts as a meal. This is different, because the irony is that while I’m neglecting all the things that keep the house running, I’m undeniably being the most attentive and nurturing mom…whiiiiiilssst catching up on Downton Abbey, and it seems those English accents are like a lullaby to a sick child…Win Win! Because god knows, a week later when everyone is healthy, and I’m the one who’s sick, there will be a million things that I won’t be able to put off.