“Mom, I was so tired and cold all day.”
Those were the first words that came out of her mouth when I picked them up from school.
I didn’t think too much about it. Sometimes she has TINY inclination toward the dramatic.
Then at home, she opted out of snack. Only eating a couple of strawberries. She is my daughter and we DO like to eat. But still. Maybe she ate a big lunch. I was sure that was all.
She did her homework without much complaining.
Looking back THAT should have been a huge clue.
But she didn’t have a fever. Or any other symptoms. Other than cold and tired.
That’s me every day.
Soon it was time for supper.
Which she picked at. Again opting only for a couple of strawberries.
I told her to take a shower, put on some warm jammies and get into bed. I would check on her after I cleared away the supper mess.
In a bit, I made my way into her room only to find her lying there, playing with dolls.
She didn’t seem sick to me. She wasn’t pale. No headache. No body aches or pains.
Maybe she had just had a bad day.
I kissed her goodnight and turned off the light.
Soon she drifted off to sleep.
I can only blame myself for waking her. I thought I could sneak into her room and put away her laundry, as I had so many times before.
But this time she opened her eyes and looked at me. Oops.
I asked her if she felt okay. She said that she did. I straightened her covers and felt her forehead. No fever. Once again she closed her eyes.
I watched a little tv. Staying up a little later than I should, considering tomorrow was an early morning work out day. But I get so little time for mindless entertainment. There is much to be done in a family of six. (At least that is what I tell my husband.)
I was completely exhausted. I turned off the tv all of the light.
Bedtime routine completed and the warm covers were calling my name. Or maybe it was the hubby asking me if I was ever going to turn off the bathroom light.
I hopped into bed, wrapped up and closed my eyes.
At that EXACT moment I heard : Mom, I feel like I need something to eat or I am going to be sick.
It was my daughter. The very daughter who had not been herself all day. SO why would I expect the night to be any different?
Dad volunteered to get her a couple of crackers. That was all that I needed to hear. He was handling it. I was going to sleep.
I was out cold when Dad crawled back into bed. I still had enough time for four good hours of sleep. I could be a functioning adult tomorrow. Possibly.
Then what only seemed like seconds later I again heard a voice in the dark. It whispered in my ear ever so gently:
I puked in the bathroom.
I lay there motionless. Hoping Dad would again rise to the occasion. Vomit was his job after all. We have had these discussions. Why was he not speaking up? For all he knew I was still asleep. Maybe I was still asleep. Maybe this was all a horrible dream.
I peaked out of the corner of my eye.
There she stood. It was no dream.
Suddenly I was irritated by Dad’s impressive ability to fall into a coma within seconds of getting into bed. And based on the sound of his snoring, it was apparent that he was already out cold. Either that or was a big, fat faker.
Well played Dad. Well played.
I knew I should have jumped up for those crackers earlier. Tag. I’m it.
I am her mother and I wanted to help my sweetie. Well that and I knew with certainty that she was going to stand there staring at me until I did something. And everyone knows that a kid staring at you in the dark is just plain creepy.
I got up and we walked to the bathroom. Except when we rounded the corner, instead of following me she darted for her bed.
Curses. It was just me and the situation.
Vomit is no friend of mine. It has the power to reduced me to tears.
I considered sleeping right there in the hall. If I didn’t actually go in and see the problem, was there really a problem?
It was in the bathroom though and with four little kids, someone would have to go potty in the middle of the night.
It had to be done.
I womaned up. And walked in.
And THEN I ran out.
Nobody was going to make me go back in there. I stomped my foot.
Since stomping your foot is absolutely worthless when there is NO ONE there to witness it, I again peaked around the corner.
The scene was something of a horror movie. I was pretty sure that not a single drop of vomit had actually made it INTO the toilet.
Instead it was all over the toilet. ALL OVER IT. And it was crystal clear that she had eaten strawberries. The room closely resembled a homicide scene. Minus the body.
If you have a job to do then the only way to get it done, is to just….do it. So I attacked. I grabbed rubber gloves, a bottle of cleaner, a pony tail holder and an entire roll of paper towels.
I attacked that toilet like it was me or him. I came out the victor. Because I didn’t cry.
I crawled back into bed thinking about the oftentimes thankless job of a parent. I mean, sure I get paid back with hugs and kisses and Mother’s Day drawings. And true they make my heart swell with love and pride.
But nobody gives a rip about that stuff at one o’clock in the morning.
She owes me.
One day she is totally going to change my diapers.