Tonight on Woulda Coulda Shoulda: Let’s talk about puking! Cuz that’s always a crowd-pleaser!
I have a confession to make. I’m an emetaphobic.
Well, I don’t know if I truly qualify as phobic in the clinical sense. On the other hand, “I hate to vomit” really doesn’t cover it, either. I hate to vomit AND I hate to deal with vomit AND I have a highly developed gag reflex. When my children get sick in that way, I cope with it, because I have to. I also have panic attacks and gag repeatedly while dealing with it.
I live for the day when my children will be able to consistently aim when they have to toss their cookies. Also I have a friend with prescribing privileges who can tell you that I have offered all manner of bribes in return for phenergan whenever the pukes hit this household.
Maybe emetophobic is accurate.
Anyway, my phone rang this morning and my ex informed me that he’d been up… sick… all night. He was ostensibly calling to ask if I would pick up the kids later, rather than having to drop them off himself. And I was, I think, appropriately solicitous of his plight.
But really, my mind was racing. GO GET THE KIDS RIGHT NOW! was the first thought. Save them from exposure! This was immediately followed by my second thought: DELAY GETTING THE KIDS FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE! They’ve already been exposed! Keep them away! No… better yet–MOVE. I can be out of here before the ex figures out that I’m not coming for them!
Ever so casually, I asked him if he thought it was food poisoning or a virus. He said he had no fever or chills, so maybe it was something he’d eaten. I relaxed slightly. However, he couldn’t think of anything out of the ordinary that he’d had… and they hadn’t eaten out the previous day. I was again suspicious.
My day was spent alternately resting up and planning my immediate relocation if either child looked even slightly pale when I arrived to fetch them. I called a couple of hours before pick-up and quizzed Monkey. Hi there, honey! Taking good care of Daddy? Good! Feeling okay? Alrighty then!
The time came and I headed out to the store. I picked up Sprite and medicine for my ex, then took a deep breath and headed in. I sent the kids to wash their hands while I gathered up their things and tried not to actually touch anything. The ex looked wan; I tried to avoid looking directly at him, because maybe that would keep the germs away better. While the children put their shoes on, I informed them that there was to be ABSOLUTELY NO PUKING at my house or I would be returning them to Daddy.
They thought I was kidding.
Meanwhile my ex was muttering things like, “Don’t remind me. Have you ever thrown up with such force that it came out your nose?” I gagged a little. I tried to go to my happy place in my mind. It’s a beautiful place, shiny and happy and completely free of regurgitation!
So we came home, and had dinner (something bland, in case it reappears later), and showers, and reading, and I tucked the kids into bed. I whispered bids for sweet dreams in their ears and reminded them that if they get sick I won’t love them anymore.
Kidding. I will still love them. Even if I wouldn’t, I would never say that. But I may have reminded them that it’s just as easy to run and throw up in the toilet as it is to puke all over the bed.
I’m hoping for a quiet and uneventful night. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. Cuz the thing is, you know, it’s not like I have enough time to order these before I’d have to field this bug, if indeed it is a bug. (Furthermore, I don’t believe that a tape of someone telling me I’m “courageous, unconcerned, brave, dauntless and self reassured” as regards hurling would actually work unless it came with a guarantee that I would never again witness or experience reverse peristalsis.)
We’ll step down to yellow if the night passes without incident.