Somebody needs to take away my parenting license, I think.
At work yesterday, my ears started burning. I ask Carol what this means and she’s all, “yeah, it probably means you are getting sick,” which I sort of scoffed at because I figured she just wanted to share the wealth since her two girls are just getting over the flu. Like, the real flu…the kind that knocks you for a total loop for an entire week. Yeah, so, she went through that twice. So, I laughed at was all…”but we have all been so healthy!”
And I knew.
I knew right then and there, as the word healthy fell from my mouth. I tried desperately to shove it back in, but, alas, there it was. What was I thinking?
As I was getting dinner ready last night – which, incidentally, was supposed to be taco night, but instead turned into a total free-for-all because something about the ground meat I bought looked notright and I turn into an absolute lunatic when it comes to meat (and chicken and milk products too) so make-your-pizza! on leftover pitas! and frozen tater tots! it was. And then, right before we were about to eat, Josh says…”My tummy feels kind of funny.”
And I knew.
I knew right then and there, as the words tumbled out of his mouth.
But I still allowed him to eat his dinner and chocolate milk (OMG. Chocolate milk.)
And then I heard the giant burp and the “OH MY GOD, MOMMY!”
And I knew.
3,000 square feet of HARDWOOD FLOORING.
One white family room rug.
That, as you can probably figure out, is no longer white.
And then I started hyperventilating. The panic attack, unsurprisingly, came on very suddenly. When you suffer from emetophobia, this is pretty typical. Because all I can think is that *I* am going to get it. Did I share any utensils with Josh today? Did he kiss me? Did he breathe near me? Does he have food poisoning? Does he have something gastro-related? My saint of a husband took control and quarantined me to my room. He cleaned. He cleaned some more. And then he cleaned even more. He took care of Josh. Took him to the basement where they watched movies and cuddled surrounded by buckets and blankets.
Because I couldn’t. Because I can’t.
I cannot cuddle and coddle a barfy child. I never could. I never will. I cannot even breathe. I can’t stop shaking. I can’t stop crying. And my kids, they know. They know that I am crippled by a phobia that makes no sense to them. I mean, it makes no sense to me. They know that I have to see a therapist to help me deal with this. They know that they come to Mommy with asthma attacks and headaches and all things that require band-aids.
And they know that they go to Daddy with the pukes.
I got into bed.
And Emily swooped in and brought me three blankets. She covered me. She brought me my flannel pants and warmer socks. She brought me my phone. She brought me a cup of water and some tums. She crawled into bed with me and stroked my face and told me that she loved me.
MY TEN YEAR OLD.
She held my hand all night and stayed up to make sure I fell asleep. I couldn’t have made it through the night without her.
She took care of me. Because I couldn’t take care of me.
I am way too lucky.