15 Apr
2014
Posted in: parenting
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Being Sick in Public

Nothing ruins a perfectly good day quite like vomit.

I arrived at school yesterday to pickup my boys and attend a PTO meeting. I asked the simple question, “How was your day?” and was met with a torrent of tears from my 3rd grader. I sent the other kids to the meeting room and tracked down one of the 3rd grade teachers to get help in deciphering J’s blubbering. It wasn’t the end of the world as the tears alluded to, and there was no crisis to manage. Little did I know that tears were the least of my problems, and my healthy home was about to completely unravel.

Downtime after being sick in public

I turned the corner to head to my meeting only to be met by my vomiting first grader. He had been sick in the art room and two hallways before someone rescued the poor child with a garbage can. He was crying, sick, embarrassed and sure he was in trouble. I was mortified I hadn’t been there when it happened. I was off putting out one fire only to have another brewing just ahead, literally. On a side note, I apologize profusely to the little boy who had to take his jacket home in a garbage bag because it was hit with splatter. To that mama, I’m so sorry, but know my sick son was mortified by the whole incident along with his mama. I’m sorry my bad day caused a ripple effect onto other people.

I watched as the school janitor cleaned up the mess created by my sick son. My many offerings to help were turned down. There’s a rule apparently. Relying on someone else to cleanup while I just stood there was the worst part of the afternoon for me. I would have signed a waiver just to do it myself. I was mortified and my ability to see any humor in the situation was non-existent. This mama was cracking under the pressure of the surreal situation. I just wanted to sit in a corner and throw a tantrum to rival my 4-year-old. Seriously, Monday why must you live up to your stereotype?

By 2 a.m., half my family had jumped on the vomit bandwagon. Two boys and one dad are at home sick today. At one point, I contemplated just moving instead of cleaning up. It was a seemingly never-ending cycle of cleanup and laundry. I’m spending time in the trenches of parenting today doing the unglamorous job of caretaker.

People tend to paint their lives as perfect as possible. We primarily use social media outlets to show our fabulous vacations, cute things our kids said or things we’re proud of. We feel as if we’re the only ones struggling when life doesn’t run perfectly. I don’t like the time spent in the valleys and trenches, but I’m not alone. Somewhere out there another mother can relate to the mortification of public vomiting and some sick child is dreading wading through the embarrassment to face that public place again. We’re climbing out of the sick valley today and will appreciate the mountain of health tomorrow.

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