Ahh, the Fourth of July. A time for fireworks, flags, barbecue, and, oh, yes vomit! That’s right, Sunday morning my wife woke up with a queasy feeling in her stomach. After taking the initial steps to get ready for worship we jointly decided it would be best for her to stay home and rest. Unfortunately, she wasn’t the only one feeling queasy. About 10 minutes later, we went to check on our 19-month-old daughter. We stopped at the door. The foul smell of regurgitated spinach wafted through the air. We were two for two, both my girls–my wife and daughter–were sick.
Malia, my daughter, lay nearly motionless in a bed of spinach remixed. It was in her hair, she had rubbed in in her eyes–which showed the effects in their degree of swolleness–and her pajamas and mattress looked like a salad exploded. You might be picking up on this by now; it was gross.
Well, my wife, Rochelle cleaned up the baby while I cleaned up everything else and we were off to the races. At one point all four of us were sick–and by “four” I’m also counting Malia’s stuffed dog, Puppers, whom she held onto nearly all day Sunday.
Monday, the 4th of July was only worse. Rochelle and I were felling better, but Malia still couldn’t eat. We tried to give her some Emetrol, which is supposed to settle nausea. It did. As a matter of fact, it settled–actually it stained–on my gray T-shirt after Malia couldn’t hold it down. But Malia’s day was harder than mine.
Malia wouldn’t eat or drink anything. Better put, she wouldn’t and couldn’t eat or drink anything: What went down must come up! We tried it all; Pedialyte, water, diluted Gatorade. Nothing worked! The problem wasn’t only that she couldn’t hold anything down anymore, it was that she refused to drink anything, which is odd for her because she usually can’t drink enough. It really got worrisome when our pediatrician–himself out of home-remedies to give us–suggested that if she wouldn’t drink anything we would have to bring her in to hydrate her with an IV. Malia doesn’t like being stuck with needles and her dad doesn’t like watching her being stuck with needles. Fortunately, she was finally willing to drink and hold down some milk. Milk isn’t the best for hydration, but it’s better than nothing.
Thank God it’s Tuesday, Malia is off to the doctor’s office this morning to make sure everything is okay.
There was an upside to the sickness, though. 19-month-olds are usually pretty busy creatures; running, walking, playing. Malia doesn’t sit still anymore or allow you to hold her for very long, but when she’s sick she does. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t like her being sick and not feeling well, but I do like being able to rock her in my big, leather chair, and having her lay between her mother and me on the floor as I explain how the ceiling fan works. And I love to see the way her eyes begin to light up when she starts to feel better.
When Malia was an infant I tried to burn into my chest and arms the feeling of holding her as she rocked to sleep. I couldn’t. Some things can’t be captured. It was nice, though a little messy, to have a cuddly baby again yesterday. I can’t tell myself enough, and I can’t tell others enough either, how desperately important it is to treasure every moment–both good and bad–with your children. So I guess I say all that to say this: I don’t think it’s so bad to a have your child throw up on you as long as you get to hold them when they’re done.