April 12 13

“But why are you crying Ali?” She said, concerned with my puffy eyes and red splotched face.

“Because I’m angry at her. And I’m angry at myself, for being angry at her.”

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Yesterday I was on a skype call, discussing important things like allergy and food bloggers (we are hiring some new ones—get excited!). I was lounging around with a towel on my head and a towel on my person, post-shower. I was getting some last-minute work done before a big work strategy meeting. I had been looking forward to this meeting with some amazing people for a while—as yummymummyclub grows, we have to streamline workflow—make things better, fix what’s broken.

And then the phone rang. The children’s school. Who puked, I muttered under my breath.


Needing to be picked up, looking rather green, feeling rather pukey and not healthy, not even a little bit. So, off to school I went, in the nearest sweats I could grab, no makeup, wet hair.

And then the tears just wouldn’t stop. Mine, not hers.

How is it possible that someone is sick every time I’m single parenting? How am I going to get to this meeting? How is this happening? How could she do this?

Notice I didn’t stop to wonder how she was feeling.

I was having a hard time believing that she was actually sick, you know, after this week’s wolf-crying day-off incident. With stomachs it’s hard. With a fever, you can feel it. With a cough and cold, you can hear it. With broken limbs, you can see it. With a stomachache, you just have to trust the claimer.

It hurts, she says. Full stop. With nothing actually coming out of either end, though, it’s her word against my gut (NO PUN INTENDED HERE PEOPLE). It hurts is not a very good indicator. It’s just not. My stomach hurts all the damn time. I live on Tic Tacs, TUMS, and Zantac because of a stupid hiatal hernia, and an addiction to coffee.

I called in a mother-in-law favor. Can you watch Isabella while I go to this meeting? Sure, she says. We pack up some things—her Irish bear Snuggles, her Thea Stilton book, a Target bag for possible car pukage. I’m like a boy scout, really. Also, trying to avoid car-barf clean-ups. (Read: WORST)

I cried all the way to my meeting.

Maybe there something else going on, something emotional at school that she didn’t want to talk about, that was upsetting her. She said there wasn’t when I asked, but just maybe. Maybe she was actually, really, legitimately sick. Maybe she and I have a matching hiatal hernias. She had sushi this week—maybe my hypothesis is right, maybe she actually is allergic to fish.

Maybe I was the worst mother in the world.

Because I was actually angry at her.

And then I was angry at myself, for being angry at her.

For not canceling on my meeting—MY BABY COMES FIRST—and getting into jammies and cuddling on the couch while we watch iCarly. For not getting a hot water bottle and some ice packs and making her broth or toast or tea.

A good mother does these things, right?

A good mother is on hand with towels and buckets and pedialyte.

A good mother doesn’t immediately get annoyed.

A good mother doesn’t doubt her kid.

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We made homemade strawberry ice cream and she ran some errands with me and she is just finishing up some hot chocolate, she says, after my meeting, at pick-up time.

Oh really. 

“I’m fine, Mama! My stomach is A-OK. False alarm, really. Let’s go home and have Chinese food for dinner!”


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And then I cried again.

  1. Get the kid an agent.


    Comment by Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] on April 12, 2013
  2. Go with the flow, there is no point in second guessing yourself, because then the guilt sets in.


    Comment by AlwaysARedhead on April 12, 2013
  3. You ARE a good mother. If you weren’t you wouldn’t have cried because you were mad and for being mad. Not that that helps you in any way, but you are a very good mother.


    Comment by Sharon on April 12, 2013
  4. I’m going to say this as nicely and as maturely as I can: THIS SHIT IS NORMAL. Your feelings are normal. Your thoughts are normal. Your kid played you. Welcome to the club of kids honing the skill to get their way. It doesn’t end here. Bueller? And really, you’d have questioned yourself even if she’d puked on your shoes when you picked her up: did I notice she was a little pale, did she complain and I didn’t listen, should I have sensed it? Cut yourself some slack, wipe your eyes, and know that “good mother” still resides in you. Normal.


    Comment by Arnebya on April 12, 2013
  5. You are a GREAT mom. And Bella knows how to work the system.


    ali replied on

    I know I’m not really a bad mother…it’s just…I don’t know. This whole thing made me feel crappy. and makes me worry that something else is going on with her…yanno?


    Kristabella replied on

    I completely understand. I would think the same thing, since it seems to be happening more frequently. You said she doesn’t really like school, so maybe this is her way of getting out of it?


    ali replied on

    No..she loves school normally!

    Corey Feldman replied on

    I know exactly what you mean. Josh complains of headaches all the time. It’s probably allergies, but allergy meds haven’t helped. Sometimes its hard to know if it is a stall tactic about going to sleep or something else that he can’t really express. Of course I have a history of migraines, so I try not to forget that. Then I feel guilty for not being sure I believe him, or if I am missing something else going on, or like my eardrums for which he gets from me and is having surgery again this week, do I suffer another passed on guilty gene attack. UGH!


    Comment by Kristabella on April 12, 2013
  6. My 8-year-old has done this too. I feel like Mother of the Year when I tell the school nurse to call me back when she has a fever or has barfed. I have a class full of kids to teach and it makes me feel really crappy to put them first, but if I pick her up when she’s maybe a little nervous, anxious, or missing mommy, it will never end. Also, my husband works 45 minutes away so of course they always call me.


    Comment by Alison on April 12, 2013
  7. Oh, I am soooooo with you. I’ve been mad at my kids for being sick and I’ve been mad at my kids for being “sick”. It happens. The wolf-crying makes it worse. Your feelings mean that you are HUMAN. And single-parenting is HARD, yo! I’d have cried, too.


    Comment by Jen Wilson on April 12, 2013
  8. So sorry. Hang in there. ♥


    Comment by aly on April 12, 2013
  9. My seven year old complains of his stomach hurting all the time and will even throw up but then be fine. Any litte thing wrong will give him an upset stomach. The doctor has diagnosed him with the child equivalent of IBS. The school as a note and they know not to call me unless he has a fever. Even if he throws up, which he does quite frequently, he stays. It sounds cruel, but he is going to have to learn to deal with life with an upset stomach. Like you, my stomach hurts all the time too, but I can’t let that stop me. He will need to do the same. If he came home every time, he would miss way too much school.


    Comment by Sandy W on April 13, 2013

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