I aspire to be the sort of mom who doesn’t talk about vomit

My sons are generally healthy, fit, bonny little boys. I’m very, very blessed by their general health and fitness. But Grey has …. a quirk. When he was about seven months old (wee little Grey!) he got a cold. And with the mucous, he started throwing up. I was concerned, but figured it would pass.

It didn’t.

For about 6 weeks, Grey threw up several times a day. The worst day he threw up nine times. We took him to his doctor. We took him to a gastroenterologist at Children’s Hospital, who looked wistfully at him and commented on how healthy he was. The constant vomit never seemed to, you know, BOTHER him. We have reports that he smiled while throwing up. Because he was thriving despite it all, the doctors just sort of shrugged and said that anything further they did to figure it out had possible bad side effects, so it wasn’t worth doing. It was a grim period. You would not BELIEVE the laundry. Finally, we discovered that Prevacid stopped him from throwing up. He stayed on Prevacid until he was about 13 months old. The barfing did not resume the same way.

Grey threw up all over London!
Grey threw up all over London!

But… Grey has always thrown up at the drop of a hat. Potty training is an accomplishment. But I have my son VOMIT trained. He seems to have quite a bit of warning — usually — that he’s going to throw up and makes sure he has a bowl or a bag or a toilet or something. He actually does a great job of it.

But right now Grey is in the throes of an incredibly mucousy cold. And once he starts coughing, it seems to end up in vomit pretty often, and too quickly for him to take appropriate measures.

Yesterday coming home was AWFUL. He pitched a fit coming out of daycare (despite my best, best efforts to wheedle and amuse instead of order). It was a full-on tantrum of a type that’s become blessedly rare. Then he spit at me for two blocks (his aim has much improved — he hit me, which he wasn’t able to do previously). I informed him he would be going directly to his room when we got home. Then, as I was driving, he took off his shoe, threw it at me, and hit me in the head with it.

Images of Bush in Iraq flashed through my head. I pulled the car over and gave him about the third spanking of his life. I reserve corporal punishment for times he’s put his safety or the safety of others at risk. Throwing shoes at a driver counts for that. But when I say spanking, I do mean a few light swats on the butt, nothing more.

This did have the outcome of having him cry. And the crying led to coughing. Which lead to him throwing up all over the back seat of the car. Again.

I have had better commutes home.

The evening got a bit better with him. He did spend his timeout in his room and nicely apologized. He had some dinner. He went to bed.

This morning, he didn’t want to leave Spongebob and cried bitter tears. I got him into the car by reminding him just how unhappy the “sad” way had been yesterday.

We weren’t two blocks out of the house when he coughed and threw up AGAIN in the car. I turned around and drove back. My husband is home sick today. It seems unfair to put childcare duties on the sick, but welcome to 21st century parenting.

All this is to say: my car is at the detailers. It’s pricey, but there are some things you just have to ante up for. My husband is home sick with a sick kid. Thane is at daycare with an unexpected provider (Abuela has been in the Dominican Republic since August) and when I left he was pitching a fit.

I feel really, really tired but otherwise fine. There’s this sense of impending doom about that. There is no way I can be surrounded by this many sick, snotty people and not succumb. Even for a fantastic immune system (which I have) the onslaught is just too overwhelming. I can only pray that the boys are better by then.

Ah, parenting. Is it the glamour? The riches? The appreciation of our hard work? What keeps us coming back for more? Humanity is a wondrous thing, to choose to do this.

Which brings me to a thought I had last night. I was looking at the curly head of my baby boy, nursing in our remnant night nursing in the soft light from the hallway. And I realized WHY it is that parents hope their children also have children. Sure, there’s the vengeful belief that they should suffer as they have caused us to suffer. But mostly, we hope our children have children because there is no other way they will ever understand how much they are loved. It’s an impossible amount of love and invisible, I fear, to the recipient. Feeling that themselves, looking down at their own curly-haired snot-monsters, is the only way they’ll ever understand.

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

4 thoughts on “I aspire to be the sort of mom who doesn’t talk about vomit”

  1. Heh. So sorry about the snot and the vomit. I don’t know how you deal so well with the vomit. I do not deal well with vomit. I deal better with Boo’s than I do any other vomit, but I still do not deal well. Boo got the carseat and the car once. Jon cleaned it up. 🙂 This is why parenting with a partner rocks.


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