Friday, March 28, 2014

The Paralyzing Fear Of Puke

My son threw up yesterday.....several times.

Anyone who really knows me well, will understand that I have a very weak stomach and therefore my husband usually cleans up messes that result from tummy viruses or allergy repercussions.

Unfortunately my husband wasn't home yesterday when my daughter donned the cap of the Town Crier and blasted the news from the other end of the house, that her little brother had indeed, thrown up....and he had missed the toilet. Of course.

Fear held me in it's cold embrace and I was unable to move from my position at the computer. I felt my stomach revolting against the mere thought of the smell of puke. I visualized the very worst possible barf scenario imaginable and I literally sat locked in position, unable to move or think or even answer my panic stricken daughter.

puke mom fear

Suddenly, she became the mother and in a very commanding voice she attempted to get my attention: "Mom, you need to get up and go take care of your son!" I turned to her and stared at her through hollow eyes. I tried to move, but somehow my body wouldn't obey. As I stared at her, every muscle involuntarily lurched along with my stomach. I tried to answer her, but my lips wouldn't move.

With hands firmly planted on her hips and her feet in a wide, powerful stance, she mustered up all of her strength and her voice became deeper.....with full volume. She managed to shake me out of my fear filled trance and provoke an answer from my dry, parched lips.

"I can't do it."

puke mom

Apparently she was not impressed with my reply because her response was to inform me that not only was I capable of doing it, but that I had to do it.  I just stared at her and blinked slowly. She was not impressed and there was a definite compassion deficit in her mannerisms toward me.  (Okay, I embellished on this just a little....she is actually very compassionate, normally).

I am ashamed to admit this, but I actually turned to my little barfing boy and told him he would need to clean up his own mess. His response provoked immediate guilt and shame from me, as he burst into tears and melted on the floor. At that point, I emerged from my state of comatose fear, uttered a prayer, asked his forgiveness and somehow managed to gather the necessary equipment to clean up the mess.

I don't know if God put a guard over my nose or what happened, but it literally didn't have any odor at all and it was not difficult to clean up. The entire process took me under ten minutes....including bleaching the area and starting a load of towels in the washing machine. Boy did I feel like a heel. I gathered my son in my arms and snuggled him, asking him to forgive me for being such a loser in the vomit detail department.

My daughter felt terrible for freaking out and talking to me in such a commanding manner and eventually we all had a good laugh....which healed the whole situation.

My son lost the contents of his stomach a few more times yesterday, but he did manage to make it to the toilet each time after that. I guess he didn't want to witness another traumatizing reaction from the females in the family. Where's Dad when we need him, anyway? He never freaks out. He just quietly and graciously rolls up his sleeves and does the dirty work. How have I managed to get out of vomit detail all these years, I wondered?  As we all know, kids tend to puke during the night time hours when Dad is home. I have been rather spoiled, but then I think he didn't like the results he witnessed early on when he left the job to me. He has never asked me to do vomit duty since that time. Not once.... ever. He's a good man.

My color is back to normal. My son's color is back to normal. My daughter's voice is back to normal. Nobody has barfed today. Thankfully. Hopefully I will be able to escape the clutches of fear and actually embrace the dirty detail with courage if it happens again.

puke car

I often wonder if there are any other mothers who aren't perfect, compassionate saints when it comes to bodily fluids. It seems like all the other moms I know, gently wipe their child's brow and hold their hair back as they embrace the porcelain throne. They help them into the bath tub and clean up any surrounding areas that might have been showered with puke shrapnel without batting an eye. I can't tell you how much I envy them. I have often wondered if their sense of smell just wasn't connected or if their stomach really is made of caste iron.

puke mom kid

Maybe God just puts a guard over their noses and gives them the grace to do the job, like He did for me yesterday. I know I couldn't have done that without supernatural strength. :)

At any rate, by the grace of God, fear was conquered yesterday and the job was accomplished. Today is a new day and a much better one. My son is back to normal, eating everything in sight and my daughter and I have enjoyed a good laugh at ourselves in possibly some of our ugliest moments ever.

Somebody told me they visualize our home as being perfect and peaceful. I hope this post serves to dispel any rumors, thoughts or imaginations on that level.

puke dad




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