Monthly Archives: July 2009

No OK, Just Y


I’ve decided there are two letters in the alphabet that kids detest and getting them to say them is as difficult as applying sunscreen to a child’s eyelids. These letters are “O” and “K”. Why oh why is it so difficult to get a little bit of agreement or even acknowledgement of my request going on in my house using these two letters? No matter the situation, “OK” is never the response. Never, ever, ever… I’m convinced there is some “little kid night school” that happens while I’m sleeping that teaches kids how to torture their parents. It teaches 4 year olds how to twist words around and ask so many questions that the parents don’t even remember what the request was in the first place! The following non-ok conversations were just from TODAY.

Me: “Hannah, I’m taking Luke upstairs to give him a bath.”
H: “Why? Is he dirty? Did he get something sticky in his hair? Will I be having a bath too? What am I supposed to do while you’re bathing him?”
Me: “Hannah please walk quietly by Luke’s room since he’s sleeping – NO RUNNING!”
H: no response
Me (after Hannah rushes loudly by his room): “Hannah WHY did you just run by his room when I asked you not to?”
H: “I didn’t run, I galloped.”
Me: “It’s time for bed Hannah.”
Hannah: “Can you explain to me on the clock where the big hand is and where the little hand is and why where the hands are means it’s my bedtime?” And then, “Has (my cousin) Julia/Eli/Eliza/Parker/Sadie gone to bed? When will (my friend) Carmie/Sadie/Emma/Charlie/Eric go to bed? And then, “How late do I have to sleep in the morning so that I can stay up later?”
Me: “Hannah, can you please not drag Luke by his arm? He doesn’t look like he’s enjoying that very much.”
H: “I am playing lifeguard.”
Me (after Hannah switches to bopping him on the head with stuffed frog): “Hannah, honestly, please stop smacking him in the head with the frog.”
H: “I’m playing trampoline and Luke is the trampoline – the frog is jumping.”
Me (after Hannah starts squeezing the life out of him): “Hannah when he looks like he’s turning blue from you strangling him, it means you should stop.”
H: “I’m just hugging him, how will he know I love him if I don’t hug him?”
Me: “Hannah, eat your lasagna”.
H: “I don’t like lasagna”.
Me: “It’s what you requested to eat for dinner.”
H: “No, (my stuffed animal) ELLIE requested it, but since she can’t speak HUMAN, I had to say it for her so you just THOUGHT I requested it.”
Me: “Well then tell Ellie to eat the lasagna.”
H: with an eye roll and teenage “look”…”Mommy, ellie is just a stuffed animal, she can’t REALLY eat.”
So there are just a few out takes from my world without the letters O and K. I guess Hannah uses the letter “Y” (why, why, why, why??) so often she just doesn’t have time for other two…
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The second time around


I thought briefly about writing another “woe is me” post about my precious daughter who makes me wonder how I’m going to make it another day with her hurl-me-out-the-window tantrums (yes, we had another of those days yesterday), but then I stopped in my tracks. I’ve been hearing about and reading some blogs lately about moms who probably would give their left arm for a child who at their worst throws a 30 minute tantrum. I’ve been reading about moms who are grieving over children that they sadly lost or moms who are fighting alongside their terminally ill babies. Babies who are the same age as mine. Babies who so unfairly aren’t given the chance that they should be given to live a full life. And it makes me realize that I really have no right to complain about what’s “normal”. She might throw abnormally, outrageously LONG tantrums over things as silly as the blanket on the couch not being placed correctly on top of her or her Cinderella “wedgie-free” undies giving her a wedgie, but it’s what every mom of a 4.5 year old goes through (right? right?) so I really shouldn’t complain. So I won’t. At least not today. Because today, my heart is aching for MckMama who you can read about here and Heather Sphor who you can read about here.

Today I will write another silly, not-so-dramatic, not-so-important list:

The things I will do differently this time around

1. I will not be introducing Luke to The Wiggles. He does not need to EVER get to know these strange Australian, colorful men and their Big Red Car. We will all be better off without them. Same goes for Max and Ruby. Luke does not need to learn from two rabbits with MIA parents.
2. I will not lay in bed with Luke his first night in his big boy bed until he falls asleep. There is no turning back after that. I still have to lay in bed with Hannah until her little eyes flutter shut. Sometimes 10 minutes sometimes 60… Luke will get the 1 book, 1 song, blow-me-a-kiss, night night!
3. I will not start the tradition of making up a new story for Luke every single night. I will READ him a book. Hannah requires a new made up from scratch story each and every night. Often she’ll tell me the name of the lead character, their age, and what they are wearing and when I ask if SHE’D like to tell the story she declines but still wants it by her guidelines. It’s torturous some nights to come up with what 7 year old Harry wearing a purple and orange striped shirt will do that is entertaining and exciting enough for her.
4. I will not let Luke have his “blankie” outside of his bed. Except sometimes in the car. Oh, and except if he’s a little cranky. Oh, right, and when he’s in his stroller… ok, maybe this one is going to be hard. But I’m going to try!
5. If he doesn’t like the dinner I’ve served, he will not get dinner. Harsh? I’m tired of being a short-order cook. And I’m a good cook dammit! He can love, or learn to love, what is served to him. Hannah has WAY too much say in what gets served to her for each meal.
6. I will not tell Luke that babies come from Storks. It was such an easy answer when Hannah was 2 and asked for the first time! But when I overheard her telling other kids that the stork delivers a teeny tiny baby and uses its beak to place it inside the mommy’s belly through the belly button, I realized I had to change my story on her. So I told her that the mommy just all of a sudden starts growing a baby inside of her belly when she’s ready and I had to explain why I “lied” to her. And then I had to deal with the wrath of Hannah telling me that “lying is really a terrible thing to do”. Plus she really liked the stork story and was sad to hear it was not true. I could have told her that a doctor places makes the baby in a dish and then places it inside of the mommy since it’s the truth in my case but I thought that might sound strange to her too. SO, maybe I’ll just say, “I don’t know” when Luke asks me and leave it as a mystery to us all.
7. I will not listen to Sesame Street songs in the car. Luke pretty much likes to jam to anything so I’ll stick to what I like and if I hear some sort of revolt from the backseat… I’ll reconsider my options. I just recall getting far too many Ernie and Bert songs stuck in my head (and I actually recall ENJOYING them at the time!) the first time around and would prefer that not happening again.

I guess there are a few things I’d say I did well with Hannah and won’t change this time around but I have to say, it’s a miracle first born kids turn out as well as they usually do with all of the “mistakes” we make. My third (if I ever decided to cook another up in a dish – which I won’t) would probably be PERFECT! Although I’d probably never notice because I’d be too busy cleaning up the mistakes from my first two!

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Blogher Envy -or not

I did not go to Blogher. I FELT like I was at Blogher because I stayed tuned to all of the goings-on through Twitter and felt involved in all of the drama that occured but I. Was. Not. There. And I was bummed. Bummed that I didn’t get to meet all of the blogelebrities (the name I’ve given to the “Her” bloggers who EVERYONE knows and wants to meet) that I dedicate my time to reading. Bummed that I didn’t get the excuse to go shopping for some hip new clothes for going out to all the cool parties that were thrown. Bummed that I didn’t get to learn ways to drive more readers and commenters to my blog and ask some of the well renowned bloggers how they’ve become so successful. Bummed that I didn’t get to make some new friends who have a new found passion for writing like I do and who are going through much of what I am.

But then I realized something… although I felt like that kid who couldn’t go to the huge frat party that was THE PLACE to be… I really don’t care. I don’t care if my blog has nine or thousands of readers (I’d feel pressure to write something so much better then!) because I love what I write about and love the two or three comments I get a week. I don’t care if I meet the bloggers that I read daily because if I didn’t like them then I’d have to stop reading them and that would be unfortunate. (I mean I’m sure if I met most of the actors that I THINK I adore I’d be sorely disappointed after meeting them and have a harder time enjoying them in the movies, right?). Plus, since I’m not in that inner circle of bloggers, I’m sure I wouldn’t have met them anyway. (cue Debbie Downer wa wa). I don’t care about buying new hip clothes to wear for women that I don’t even know. Especially since I’m not a blogelebrity and no one would have even noticed what I was wearing. And I don’t care if I didn’t get to meet other bloggers like me because I AM meeting them… just not in person. And that’s fine.
I’m really loving the new friendships that I’ve started forming through this crazy little thing I call my blog. It started as a way to just jot down the funny things my kids say and my funny ways of dealing with those funny things they say and now, it’s my creative outlet, my hour of peace, my “smoking break” from the daily craziness. I love that it’s mine. I love having it to look forward to. I love having it as a way to make and connect with new friends and as a way to let my current friends and family have a window to inside my head. It’s like when you first start playing golf. It’s just fun and relaxing when you first start because there’s no pressure to score well. And then the better you get, the more pressure you put on yourself and the less fun you have. A bad day on the golf course is just not fun. (Mind you this golf example is purely hearsay… enough of my family are golfers and I feel I have witnessed enough for me to infer what I’m writing about. Me, not a golfer.) I want my blog to stay enjoyable FOR ME. I don’t want the pressure of having thousands of people tuning in to read about my life and then really having nothing interesting to say. If I disappoint my handful of readers as it stands today… so. be. it.
Would I have had fun at Blogher? Hard to say. I may have felt like I was on the outside looking in. Wanting to be one of the cool kids but not quite getting there. Or I may have found my place and made some great friends. Who knows, but for now, I’ll stick to what I know and hopefully this time next year, when Blogher 201o roles around in my ‘hood, I’ll still be blogging away and maybe by then… you’ll be looking for me!

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Nature vs. Nurture


I am fascinated. Truly. Fascinated. I watch Hannah and Luke and laugh that ANYONE can debate “nature vs nurture”. I cannot believe how amazing it is to see how all boy Luke is and how all girl Hannah is. I did not force it. I did not even suggest it. It. Just. Happened. Here is my LIST of examples:

– From only a few months old Luke has been obsessed with balls. Not as much his OWN balls although I do bring this up later in my list) but other, round, spherical shaped things of all sizes. Most minutes of the day he is carrying AT LEAST two around with him. The only time you’ll see him with one is if it’s a beach ball or other larger ball that needs both hands to carry. I am convinced this is why Luke “scooted” instead of crawled normally. Crawling would not have allowed for the carrying of his balls. And now that he’s walking he is able to carry two balls as well as kick a ball all at once. Now, I’m not saying that girls don’t like balls and are less apt to end up playing with balls (please keep your mind out of the gutter… you know what kind of balls I’m referring to here). But, for the most part, boys like balls and my son is no exception.
– From a very young age Hannah has taken care of “things”. I say “things” because her range of what she cared for was far and wide. She did (does) have her dozen or so baby dolls that she dotes on, but she has been known to care for other inanimate objects as well. For example, I recall the day we bought her her first soccer ball and soccer goal. I was so excited to get her into this sport that I think is so fantastic to start as a young age. We brought her outside with her new (pink) ball and she kicked it maybe twice, no, make that once and then I watched her place the ball in the goal, run inside to get a blanket, a book and a bottle and then so sweetly put the ball to bed. She even sang it a lullaby. Tim put his arm around me while watching this unfold, shook his head and said, “There’s our daughter. The athlete.”. She is THE most caring wannabe doctor 4 year old you’ll ever meet. And she did not get this from me. I mean I am a caring mother, don’t get me wrong, but I have been pushing sports on her pretty much from the start. And I was NOT a baby loving little girl. I used to drag my baby dolls around by their hair and leave them disheveled, unfed and uncared for much to MY mom’s dismay.
– I DID NOT teach Luke to push trucks around making the brrrrmmmmmm sound. He just did it one day. I walked into the family room and there he was, scooting along, pushing the one truck that we happened to have in the house around making this motor sound. I just watched. Amazed.
– Luke has discovered his penis. And now it seem to have a magnet in it that draws his hand to it every time his diaper is removed. And so it begins…
– I think Luke might be part owl considering how far he is able to twist his head around when he sees a fire truck or other large truck drive by. This is not something Hannah found remotely interesting when she was tiny or even now. It’s a boy thing. Big. Noisy. Truck= entertainment for a small boy. He makes a truck sound and claps his hands when one is in sight and doesn’t like when he still hears it but can’t see it which is when the owl thing comes into play.
– I did try to steer Hannah clear of Princess Overload but seeing as she’s All Girl, it was an impossible attempt. I did enjoy the story of Cinderella when I was little (and I do recall having my parents read me the book at least 7 times a night) but never did I dress up like her, tell people I was her, fight with my friends over who could pretend to be her or have a birthday party in honor of her. I did not teach Hannah to love princesses. I actually wanted to stay far away from buying all of the princess decor, but I, as Mother of the All Girl, folded and now share my home with Belle, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Ariel in too many rooms. I may be reinforcing it, but I did not teach it.
– Anything that Luke can hold and smash on something while shouting “Bap Bap Bap” makes him happy. I don’t recall Hannah taking such joy out of smashing one thing into another. She was happier sitting quietly with a book and a baby or removing “guck” from wherever she was sitting. I didn’t preach demolition to Luke, nor did I try to get Hannah to be such a neat freak… again, it just happened.
All of this makes me wish I could go back to school and study early childhood development. Because, as I said, I. Am. Fascinated. I could watch the two of them all day, in awe of their differences. It will be interesting as Luke grows up to see how he reacts to Hannah forcing her baby dolls on him, dressing him up in princess get-ups, and accessorizing him with jewelry. He does love pushing around a stroller, brushing his own hair, smooching and hugging her babies and dancing to Fergie, but I think the time for all that will end when he sees he has a CHOICE to NOT do these things. And that day will make me a little sad.

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I am NOT stressed! Why on earth would you say I’m stressed??


Tim thinks I worry to much. I just say I wonder a lot. Tim thinks I get stressed too easily. I think he might be right. I wish I wasn’t one of those people who gets worked up over little things. I try to relax and just go with the flow but I guess it’s just not in my genes. For someone with such a disorganized house (MY fault, not Tim’s) you’d think I wouldn’t care so much about “order”. But even if you can’t see “order” when you walk into my house, the behind the scenes operations run like a very well greased machine. Don’t mess with my machine… it’s held together nicely with duct tape and string but could fall apart pretty easily if pushed or pulled the wrong way. And then we’d all be in trouble. Ok – where am I going with this… my list of today has to do with what’s behind Me “the stress-ball”

Things that get me all worked up
– Tardiness. (Don’t you just love the word tardy – I don’t think I’d used it, or even heard it, since grade-school until recently and I just feel so PROPER using it.) There is NOTHING about lateness that I can stand. I despise being late, feeling like I’m going to be late and other people being late. Therefore, I am most often the first person to arrive places, am always early and tapping my fingers by the time others arrive and usually leave my starting point way earlier than necessary. I don’t know what it is, but I just like to be on time. I’d prefer perusing the duty free airport shops than be sprinting through the terminal yelling “HOLD THE PLANE!” And I KNOW I am turning little Hannah into an early bird too since she’s always asking me, “we aren’t going to be late are we mommy?”.
– People not being quiet when my kids are sleeping. I recall reading when my kids were first born to make lots of noise so that they’d get used to the noise and therefore become very sound sleepers. Tim and I did just that. We stomped around, shouted boisterously, didn’t quiet the dog down when she barked at the air, held raging parties, played our tubas in the house, sang gaily along with American Idol, etc. It. Didn’t. Work. Both of my kids wake up to the sound of a sniffle on the other side of the house. It’s painful. I am the quietest walker on earth and I can’t expect others to tread so lightly, but for-god-sakes, can’t they try? Between my last cleaning lady who dropped her mop at least 7 times a visit (she’s since been fired), the mailman who I think rings our doorbell just for kicks, any service person who comes to our house and doesn’t have a volume dial on their voice, the lawnmower men who have such NOISY lawn mowers and leaf blowers, and our neighbors who actually think it’s OK for their kids to play outside during NAP TIME, I become a complete nut case. I need, no make that CHERISH, my kids’ nap times. Anything to disturb it is inexcusable.
– I am a hypochondriac. I know it’s terrible, but I am one of those people who diagnoses herself by Google. I search all of my symptoms and by end of day, I know what is wrong with me and how long I have to live. I become a complete luny when it comes to my ailments. I never used to be like this, but ever since Hannah was born I have lost all sense of reality when it comes to why I have certain symptoms. I guess I feel my kids need me around… Brain Tumor is my most common diagnosis for myself. I tend to get a lot of headaches (wonder why?) and at the top of list of reasons why you may have a headache (ok, maybe it’s reason 7 or 8 but STILL) is brain tumor. Just an FYI, if you want to steer clear of totally freaking yourself out, don’t type into Google, “headache for 8 days”… it will send you straight to the grave.
– My untrainable dog. She poops in the house when she’s nervous. She has the SMALLEST bladder on the face of the earth and pees when she gets excited. She barks at the wind. She growls at me in bed if I’m taking up too much space. She bares her teeth at anyone walking down the street. She eats the kids toys (to the point that you can’t even recognize what toy it used to be). She whines at me while I eat. She makes Hannah’s eyes all red, puffy and itchy. Oh, but I DO love her. She just makes me totally and completely nuts and I have a hard time bitching about her because I’M the one who convinced Tim to get her.
– A slow computer. To think I went through highschool and college without the internet (no all you YOUNG folk, it’s not that I didn’t HAVE the internet, it just WASN’T INVENTED yet!). Because now, if I have to wait longer than like, a second for a page to load up or to open an attachment, I start to yell. Yell at the computer and anyone else who happens to be around to hear. I find technological problems a complete waste of time and totally infuriating. Must go along with the tardiness thing. And calling the “help desk”, wherever in the world that might be, makes me even more infuriated because a) they speak to me like I have no idea how to even turn the computer on or off b) I ALWAYS manage to disconnect myself from them and then have to start the entire bitch session from the start and c) my house security alarm is connected to the phone line which is connected to the modem so when I am told to “turn off the modem” my house alarm starts SCREAMING causing either Luke to wake up (see my second point above) from a nap (because it’s the only time I can make these calls) or Bella to run around in crazy circles peeing all over herself (see my last point above). Ah the joys of modern day technology.
– Hannah’s life-stage. Anyone who knows me knows how I feel about Hannah. I don’t need to preface this point with how much I adore her (ok, I just did). I mean really, truly ADORE her. So, since you know that, I can go on to say that this stage she’s going through is VERY tough on me. All 4.5 year olds might go through it but they don’t all have me as a mom and I’m not dealing well. Maybe it’s MY life-stage, not hers. Who knows. She is so amazing some days especially with Luke. The days that I watch her playing with him and can’t believe how grown up she seems, how helpful and caring she is and I think, “ah, the raging tantrum stage must be over” and then it all comes to a screeching halt and that hysterical girl is back. And I’m left wondering what happened. What caused it? What can I do differently. And then I remember… she’s 4. She’s testing me. Feeling out those boundaries that I’m still figuring out how to set. And it will all end. Soon.
So do I stress too much? There are only six items on my list so that can’t be SO bad…

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Ick

My dog ate three crayons yesterday. It has made for rainbow colored poop today which Hannah thinks is just beautiful but I am quite disturbed by. I’m telling you, that dog will eat ANYTHING. Anything includes tinfoil, the innards of a stuffed animal, lipstick, rubber soles of shoes, chicken bones and plastic spoons. She will NOT however eat grapes. Not sure what THAT is about but she’ll carry it off, and then just rest her chin on it, as if it’s her most prized possession.

Yes, rainbow poop, which blended in quite nicely when it was on our foyer rug. Apparently I was too busy getting the kids dressed and fed to hear her incessant barking asking to be let out. And sadly, I was not the first one to notice the poop on the rug, Luke was. And by the time I got to him he was already holding it, no, SQUEEZING it in his tight fists. Yuck is right.
This brings me to my list of the day:
Things That Totally Skeeve Me Out
– My child playing with dog poop. It might be anticlimactic to start with this one because honestly, it was THE most repulsive thing that I have ever experienced. I don’t even think it would have made my list if it hadn’t happened because WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT it was even possible. I hope I didn’t damage his skin too badly using the SOS pad to clean him. I will have a hard time getting the “P.U.” look off my face today.
– A gloppy kids nose. Mind you, this is just if it’s ANOTHER kid’s nose – not MY kids nose. If it’s my kids nose I really have no problem with picking it or wiping it myself. But when it’s another kid, and the mom doesn’t seem to care and it’s sticky and dripping… totally repulsive and the mom loses big points with me.
– Any bug that comes with friends. What does this mean you ask? It means that if I see ONE bug I’m usually ok. (Except large spiders… they are horrendous alone.) But if there is more than one, I barely can keep it together. I get the willies. And I can’t get the image of THOUSANDS of them out of my head. I fear that if I see two bugs that if I move anything aside in the room that they were hanging out in, that thousands, if not millions will squirm toward me. My hairs on my arms are standing on end just thinking about this. Have you ever seen those food moths? They are tiny little moths that lay eggs in floury food and then multiply, become moths and fly out at you from your cupboards. It happened to me once and I will NEVER recover from it.
– Milk that becomes cottage cheese. It happens pretty quick in the summer – especially with whole milk. It’s usually when the kids are drinking milk from a sippy cup in the car and then we go out for the day, sometimes forget to bring sippy cup into the house and the next day –
TA DA – cottage cheese! I guess it skeeves me out so much because I imagine Hannah not realizing it’s old and trying to take a sip of it. Gag. Doesn’t smell so good either. I don’t want you to think this happens OFTEN… it doesn’t, but it does happen so it made my list.
– Dirt under an adult’s finger nails. It’s just wrong. Take a shower, wash your hands, do SOMETHING. Unless it’s been three minutes since you came in from the garden – there is no excuse.
– Cobwebs. Something about casually walking along and then having sticky, invisible string all over your face. It takes forever to feel like I’ve completely gotten it off of me and I wonder whether there’s a spider caught in my hair somewhere. Sadly, I’ve passed this fear along to Hannah who now screams bloody murder when she even SEES a spider web or a spider knowing it came from a web.
– Ear wax. This never used to bother me until I married Tim who is OBSESSED with clean ears (he keeps Q-tips in business). I see him inspecting the kids ears for wax and picking out anything he might find. It’s the one thing that Tim makes me feel like I’m a bad mom for… not keeping the kids ears clean. And now, if I see another kid or parent with wax in their ears (not that I’m looking at my contemporaries ears or anything) it upsets me and I feel the urge to hand them a cotton swab or want to flick it out myself. Hygiene people, hygiene.
Have I managed to churn any of your stomachs? Sorry… just felt the need to share.

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BarFobia

Reading one of my favorite blogs (Not Drowning, Mothering) yesterday reminded me how much I absolute detest vomiting. And it’s not just ME vomiting (although there is absolutely nothing worse in my mind) it’s anyone or anything vomiting. I truly am paranoid about it and feel there should be a phobia dedicated to it. I’ll call it Barphobia (like Barf-obia). All it takes is to HEAR that someone who I make have been around, spoken to, or read about got sick and I all of a sudden am convinced I will in turn start vomiting. I get the chills, abdominal pains, dizzy, etc. This actually happened yesterday in reading the latest post in Not Drowning. Maybe it was the descriptive words she chose in describing her husband and child getting sick that made me nauseous but none the less, I shut off my computer and went to get some ginger ale. The cure all in my book.

I picked up Hannah on Friday from camp and I saw her from about 100 yards back (before she could see me). She was holding her counselors hand and I immediately knew something had happened. I figured she had some horrendous “boo-boo” which was usually in the form of a miniscule scrape covered by an enormous band aid. But when I drove up and saw that little sad face, I figured it was something worse… but didn’t figure it would be THE worst.
“Hannah is sick” the counselor told me. “She threw up twice”.
My stomach churned once and “oh dear god” was shooting threw my head.
The counselor went on, “she didn’t eat anything bad, was kept well hydrated all day, wasn’t in the sun too much and one of her friends went home with a stomach ache too.”
All hope for another excuse for vomiting went out the window… she had the stomach bug.
I’m not sure what my face exactly looked like but when the counselor looked at Hannah and said, “Your mommy is happy to see you and is glad you’re now feeling better Hannah”, I knew I must not have looked too thrilled or warm or pleasant.
“Oh sweetie, yes, I’m so happy to see you and am glad you’re feeling better” I said while also thinking, “but don’t come too close and I’m sorry I can’t kiss you for a few days”.

It’s not good to have this sort of phobia as a mom of two kids. Barfing is definitely a part of reality in mommy-hood and I have, and will continue to, sit by my kids rubbing their backs and holding their hair back as they throw up into the toilet. I will hold them and rock them as the nausea washes over them and hold cool compresses on their foreheads. I will lay with them on the bathroom floor wrapped in a blanket until they feel better. I will never let them be aware of this fear of mine but I will continue to loathe it and fear it and will continue to pray each winter that they evade this devilish sickness until they no longer live in my house. And I’m sorry Tim, but when you’re sick… you’re on your own.

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