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It can all turn in a flash

2 April 2010 No Comment

This past Thursday was a solid example of one of those days when events take a very sudden turn for the worse at the most inopportune time, causing major parent panic. It was not an overly serious circumstance, relative to genuine emergency. But just as I was experiencing a fatherly zenith while enjoying a gorgeous evening at the park, my little girl starting throwing up all over the park playground. Not good times.

I certainly realize now that each day as a parent of a baby or toddler brings with it the complete spectrum of emotions, experiences, interactions and results. However, it is so natural to really bask in that nice groove you find after battling so hard to get there. I mean, sometimes just getting us out of the house takes an hour of non-stop activity … Now that it is spring, the prime time for me on those days when I am home with my daughter is post-nap. Our mornings are kind of busy with chores, routines and preparing for a brief noon-hour outing, which leads into nap time. But once she wakes up in the afternoon, we get geared up for our BIG outing of the day in the late afternoon/early evening. On Thursday, it was a typical wagon ride to Tilles Park to enjoy their fantastic playground. What a great place to live near!

We had been there playing and frolicking for maybe 10 minutes, and just as I was kind of flaunting my daddy skills to all of the moms, I looked and saw this ill-timed, multi-phased heave. I immediately rushed to pick her up and comfort her and then came … rounds two and three. Oh, boy! So in about seven seconds I went from a real nice euphoria to being drenched in vomit, panicked about what the heck to do. How do I clean the play area? How do I react to these moms waiting to see how this dude reacts? How do I clean us off? What should I do?! I mean, I was not going to put her back in the wagon for a ride home at this point, but I cannot carry her and push the wagon (loaded with stuff) back home at the same time. Besides logistics, I was in fear of her being really ill. It was kind of overwhelming.

We needed mommy. I am not ashamed to say that I felt helpless, other than cleaning us up the best I could in the family restroom. My girl was actually not shaken up by this; yet I had to steer her away from the action in fear of a repeat episode, and with respect to others. Luckily, my wife was already headed home from her dinner and it was only a 15-minute wait. She helped finishing the clean up, then we realized if this was to occur again, it cannot happen in the car. That would be bad. So we decided on a slow, mellow wagon ride home for them while I drove quickly home, then ran back to meet them. I was glad to be able to run; I have lost 42 pounds in the past 11 months and can run again. So that’s cool …

And, yes, there was more sickness. By the end of the night, she was fine, her wagon and (the salvageable) toys were hosed off and everything was all tidy once again. We were prepared for one of those parenting all-nighters, but I guess she just ate something disagreeable because she slept through the night and woke up all revved up.

Today featured none of that drama. It may be midnight, but I am looking forward to beer and some TV – and not being on puke watch.

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