Last Monday I left work early to take care of my sick kid. Earth-shattering news, I know. But typically my husband, who works from home most days, is there to manage such unpleasant occurrences. Hence, mercifully, my bailing from work early is a rarity. In fact, it has happened only one other time. That day I recall receiving frantic text messages all morning about Exorcist-like regurgitation and roaring spillways of mucous. I sped home in complete terror of the germ-orgy that awaited me. When I arrived, I began to wonder whether accounts had been slightly dramatized. Aside from seeming a bit sluggish (which really just meant he was willing to sit still for more than ten minutes at a time, rather than terrorizing our cat or attempting to rip out the drywall) he seemed to be in good shape. Nary a sniffle. The remainder of the evening proceeded without incident and I began to think that I had somehow won the vomit lottery.
This week’s incident began in much the same way; frantic texts and a race home, only to find a happy, active, normal seeming child. The hubs and I chalked it up to excitement at my rare mid-day appearance; he left for work and I put the little sick one down for his afternoon nap. While he snoozed, I puttered around the house, gave myself a pedicure and caught up on DVR’d reality television. What the hell was he complaining about? This was cake.
The evening progressed without event; oyster crackers and orange Pedialyte over cartoons, a dinner of lightly buttered elbow macaroni, even a couple minutes of light play in the backyard. I was starting to feel pretty darn satisfied with myself. And why not? I was supermom, and all it took to cure my child’s illness was my mere presence. I had actual magical healing powers! Bring me your ailing, your injured, your infirm, and I shall lay my healing hands upon them! Someone point me toward the nearest leper colony!
I was deep in thought, devising ways my superior motherly instinct could be harnessed for the benefit of all mankind (Seriously, Science, go ahead and start making vacation plans because someone just swooped in and cured all the diseases. You’re welcome.), when my son approached me and wailed, “Mooooooommy! My tummy hurts!” Clearly he’d forgotten that I had already healed him. My infinite maternal compassion took hold, and I scooped him into my arms for a gentle reminder. Then… it happened. The barf dam burst and the boy and I were suddenly awash in a sea of half-digested orange liquid and simple carbohydrates. The universe had sensed my hubris, and its justice was swift and terrible. I can’t be 100% certain, but I think I may have seen his head spin – if not a complete 360, it had to be close. It was a humbling moment indeed. I think the lesson could have been learned without having to clean neon orange vomit out of my bra, but point well taken.