Monday, January 27, 2014

Weak stomachs make for poor nurses

Dear Em,
I don't have much to report from last week- except that we spent most of it sick. Last weekend I started to feel signs of a head cold. I wasn't all that surprised about it. You had had a head cold the week before, & since we pretty much share everything, it seemed only fitting that we would share this cold as well.

Unfortunately, the head cold seemed to hit me a little harder than it hit you. Maybe it was the lack of sleep from the few nights prior. Maybe it's because you have been faithfully taking your vitamins & I have not. Everything in my body hurt, & I couldn't wait for your quiet time on that Sunday so that I could nap too. I napped through most of the AFC Championship Game (which it's probably better that I did...poor Patriots). For the rest of the day I filled myself up with cough drops & cold remedies, and when you went to bed at 8pm, I went to bed too.

I woke up on Monday (which was luckily a holiday for me), & everything hurt. I asked Daddy if it would be OK if I just stayed in bed, & I wished my Mommy was there to take care of me. Your Daddy does his best, but there really is nothing like my Mommy when I'm sick.

But then you came to the rescue. You checked on me throughout the day & rubbed Vicks on my chest, opened my mouth to stick in cough drops, gave me tissues, & made sure I was all tucked in. It was crazy cute- even when you woke me up from napping. You are not a quiet caretaker. You announce your visits starting from the bottom of the stairs.

"MOOOOO-OOOOOM! I'M COMING TO CHECK ON YOU! I"M GOING TO SEE IF YOU NEED ANYTHING! <Walks up to the side of the bed.> Oh, hey, Mommy. Were you sleeping? Did I wake you up? Oh no! I just had to check on you & see if you needed some Vicks or some cough drops or a tissue. No? Ok, well, I love you Mommy (giving me hugs). I'll come to check on you again later. If you need Vicks or a cough drop or a tissue, you can just call me. <Goes down the hall & down the stairs.> DAD! SHE WAS SLEEPING! AUGH! YOU LET ME WAKE HER UP!"

You are such a sweet little bug. It's amazing to me, at such a young age, the kindness & compassion you show. Unfortunately, I had the chance to repay the favor a few days later. "Mom!" You called out to me just as I was starting to fall asleep for the night. I walked into your bedroom to find you covered in vomit, & it became one of those up all night sick nights.

For the next two days I tried to be just like my Mommy was for me- caring & strong & always knowing exactly what to do in times of sickness. Unfortunately, unlike my Mommy, there were times that I could barely hold back my own tears & my own vomit while holding a bowl that you were throwing up into. I was trying to rub your back & ask you if you were OK, like I remember my Mommy doing, but I just couldn't get the words out without throwing up myself. Weak stomachs make for poor nurses.

I didn't feel like my Mommy at all. I felt like a Mommy failure. It seemed like all I could do was fight not to throw up myself, find the strength to do seven loads of laundry (it's incredible how much laundry there is after a stomach bug comes into your house), withhold food from you (when your stomach is upset, you assume it is because you're hungry & not because you are sick, & there is no rationalizing with you that you need to reintroduce food & drink slowly), & demanding that you rest (how do you still have so much energy for bouncing & twirling even when you're sick?). Kids are supposed to want their moms when their sick, but what if their mom is terrible at taking care of sick kids?

But then we also watched a lot movies, did a lot of snuggling, & kicked Daddy into the guest room- which means you had a rare night of getting to sleep in Mommy & Daddy's bed (you never want to sleep in your own bed again). After two days of quarantining ourselves into my room, you looked at me with the kindest eyes. "Thanks for taking such good care of me, Mom. I love you."

Well, I guess maybe I'm not a total Mommy failure after least not in your eyes.

I love you so,

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