I stood in the shower for a long time tonight before actually undertaking the task of bathing. It’s been one heck of a weekend at our house; a blur of a weekend. Standing under the hot water, imagining how delicious the cookies I was going to eat in just a short while would be…this was a moment that deserved some appreciation.
Then, I washed my hair, scrubbed my body, and picked up my razor to shave my armpits.
Upon surveying the cacti in my armpit, it suddenly dawned on me just how wild the weekend truly was. Although today is Monday, this officially marks the end of my weekend – not because I took the day off intentionally, but because we’ve spent the better part of 72 hours in various stages of vomit. Time flies when you’re covered in banana yogurt, am I right?!
It started Friday evening: Miles was picky with dinner, not really hungry. Saturday morning, he finished only half his breakfast. After his afternoon nap, he did eat some strawberries, and that’s when the laser light show of vomit began.
When you’re a toddler, you don’t understand quite a few things, like why mom won’t let you stick your head in the oven, or why you can’t drink her coffee, or how the cat’s tail is attached to his body. You also don’t understand puke. And so, when puke makes an appearance, as a toddler you are terrified.
Puke all over mom, the living room, the dining room and hallway, as we rush to the bathroom and get in the tub. As I’m consoling Miles, explaining to him that mommy has puked many times before (please, make better decisions as a young adult, sweet boy…) I can hear our dog in the dining room, practically doing the Charleston in the puke. Oh, good. If you could dance on the tablecloth while you’re at it, that would be helpful.
Miles settles. We put on PJs, head to the living room, and he lays on the couch to watch Elmo Almighty, Distracter of All Toddlers Everywhere. Mom commences puke clean-up, and kicks the dog out.
This happens several more times over the next couple days.
Today, we visited the pediatrician after my exhausting conversation with both WebMD and Dr. Google led me to believe this could be more than a virus. After four vials of blood, we will know more in 24-48 hours.
No alarm…Miles is happy, cheerful, spunky and his generally rambunctious self, just toned down a notch since he’s living on yogurt, bananas, crackers and green beans.
Seeing my armpit hair was the jarring vision of how quickly these three days passed, and also an amazing realization in parenting: we, without hesitation, spend every ounce of ourselves caring, loving, nurturing, healing, worrying, pacing, watching, and waiting. There was no single moment over these days where we even considered trivial things like showering, feeding ourselves or putting away laundry. We only wanted Miles to feel better.
I counted backwards in my mind, finding that before tonight, my last shower was Thursday night. My armpit hair confirmed it had indeed been four days (not counting the mom-son vomit rinsing baths in between – that was just special bonding time). I briefly wondered what I’d worn to the pediatrician’s office today, trying to decide if anyone had caught a glimpse of the Amazon rain forest hiding beneath my arm…yoga pants, yes. But I always wear yoga pants. What else? Oh, that Grateful Dead t-shirt I’m constantly wearing. It’s perfect, because it’s tie-dyed and shows no stains like yogurt, spaghetti, or speckles of puke.
As much as I think I am, I have realized that at the ripe old age of 30, I am not the hip J. Crew mom. I am the yoga pants mom, unwashed, chasing a toddler. Apologies, Pinterest.
If you see me tomorrow, you may remark that I look tired. I do. I have dark circles, chipped nail polish, unshaven legs (but shaved pits!) But I don’t feel tired; I feel worried and preoccupied, I feel overwhelming and fierce love, and a desire to protect and heal my sweet boy. Please be kind; you may look wrinkled and grouchy, and you probably wouldn’t want me to point that out, right?
I might cut you with my leg hair. Those boys are fierce.
Tired but still going,