I cannot quite believe I have decided to write a blog post about vomit. Previously, back when I was someone else (i.e. before I was a mother), I had a phobia of sick. On the occasion when a child I was teaching was sick in one of my lessons, I reacted no better than the rest of the hysterical room full of twelve year olds. Even in the early days of motherhood, I coped with the poo and wee but the idea that one day I would have to clear up sick, or even worse, be sicked on, made me go cold with horror. I didn’t think I would be able to do it. But when the day did eventually dawn earlier this year, I coped. Of course I did. We never know what we are capable of until we have children.
So here it is: a few hundred words on the subject of sick…
On Tuesday night, I was dramatically woken from my slumber by the terrifying noise of my Noah making choking, gagging sounds in his sleep. We are in England this week so are sleeping in the same room. Yes, he was being sick. I lifted him from the bed and took him to the bathroom. Once he was confident he was not going to be sick again, we had to go on a hunt for clean sheets for his bed. We went into my sister’s room and started hunting through clear plastic boxes of sheets but couldn’t find any to fit the toddler bed. (Don’t worry, my sister wasn’t in there: she has her own house now but the room still belongs to her just like my room still belongs to me).
I then attempted to wake my mother in order to ascertain where the elusive sheets are currently kept. But despite her claims of being a very light sleeper, she could not be roused. I must admit, I only stood by the side of her bed whispering her name. I was fearful that if I woke her too forcefully, the shock of opening her eyes to see me and my Noah standing at the edge of the bed, bathed in moonlight, would be enough to give her a heart attack.
So I put him in my bed. He was sick again. We went back into my sister’s room and found some old sheets for my bed. Whilst I was changing the bed, bedroom lights blazing, my Mum finally appeared. Noah gleefully danced around the room telling her he’d been sick as if he’d just won a medal. Once we were settled, sheets changed, mother soundo once again, he was sick a third time. Luckily, I’d put a towel under us and it only went on that.
Noah went back to sleep and didn’t wake up until seven (a small miracle). But I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t sleep at all. Here are ten things that were going through my mind on a loop:
- Is he okay? It is just a tummy bug, isn’t it? Or is it something he has eaten? Is it something I gave him? Could it be something more serious? What did Dr. Google tell me last time he was sick? Could it be meningitis? Is he breathing? Is he asleep or unconscious and how is it possible to tell?
- Is he going to be sick again? What if I fall asleep and he is sick and he chokes and I don’t wake up?
- If he is sick again (i.e. for the forth time), how am I going to change the sheets when the spare set have already been used tonight for both his bed and my bed? Does he have a third pair of clean pyjamas?
- I feel guilty. I lost patience with him earlier when he wouldn’t brush his teeth and shouted at him. I asked him, for the love of God, when was he ever going to do what he was told? I should be more patient. But how? I don’t mean to snap. What was it Supernanny said in her book (in the half I read)? Stand back and observe the situation before reacting. Should I give Supernanny another chance and read the other half? Do I need her to come round and sort me out? Or the Three Day Nanny? Should I get in touch with Channel 4 and offer myself up for the next series? Why does he never do what he is told?
- Why can I still smell sick when we are both wearing clean pyjamas and the sheets are all clean and all the sicky stuff is in the bathroom, not the bedroom?
- Should I have stopped him drinking lots of water after he was sick for the third time and it was all just water that came up? I gave him one sip and that’s it. Is he going to be dehydrated? What are the symptoms of dehydration? What did Dr. Google tell me last time he was sick?
- Will he be well enough to go and see The Gruffalo show in London on Friday?
- Should I move him over and risk waking him up? It’s difficult to get to sleep hovering on the edge of the bed with a small child glued to your side as if you have an extra hip and leg.
- Am I going to get sick? When am I going to get sick. Am I going to be able to go and see The Gruffalo?
- How long will it take us as a family to recover from letting him sleep with me tonight? How many night-time hours will he spend attempting to get in our bed for the rest of the week? Or will it take longer than a week? Will he ever sleep through the night again?
Do you know what I wasn’t worried about? Noah being sick on me. It never entered my head to be worried about that. Until earlier this year when I caught Noah’s tummy bug, I hadn’t been sick for twenty-three years. I lasted three years at university without having been sick through alcohol*. Motherhood has changed me. It has made me braver.
*However, I have sat down on the toilet in a club and not been able to get up. I have fallen over a few times. I have been escorted out of a night club. I have suffered alcohol induced memory loss. I have accosted DJs who weren’t playing enough cheesey music. I have been put to bed at six p.m….I could go on. My point is, I’m just not a sick drunk: I’m an annoying one. This doesn’t really have anything to do with the topic of this post, but I thought I should elaborate to avoid confusion and give people the wrong idea about me.
Get well soon, my Noah.
P.S. Sorry for the gross topic of this post.