I spent last night attending to a vomiting child, then awake off and on for hours, ever-alert for the sounds that would require me to assist with bucket-holding and brow-stroking. It was not much fun for either of us.
For those who don't already know - I am completely intolerant of nausea. In the face of nausea, I am a snivelling, moaning, wailing, groaning wretch. It's truly pathetic. One of the main reasons we only have 2 children is because, as wonderful as babies are, you have to spend the best part of nine months feeling queasy in order to get one of these amazing creatures (or at least that was my experience of pregnancy). Being pregnant twice, and enduring the vomitousness (a very new word - you may not have heard it yet) - that was enough for me. Labour - well that was tough, but I got through it, and I'd do that again more readily than deal with the churning stomach. Crazy? Not really, just weirdly phobic about nausea and vomiting.
Hence when my children are queasy or vomiting, I am just so anxious for them. I know that awful tumbling tummy feeling, I dread on their behalf the moment when they bend over the toilet in tears. I wish I could wave a magic Anti-Vomit Wand. Now there's something that would sell.
Last night Ben woke with a bad dream, then couldn't stop crying, and eventually was copiously sick. I held him, I rubbed his back, I mopped his face. He sat on the bathroom floor afterwards, with tear-matted eyelashes, and asked me quietly,
"Mummy, when you were a little girl, and you vomited, did you cry, too?"
"I sure did," I replied seriously, "and sometimes I've even cried when I've been grown up and vomited."
"Oh". He seemed oddly comforted by that.
As kids often do, Ben has bounced back quickly. He's racing around the house as I'm typing. And so we come to the end of another day in my family life!