sympathy is near to me, but I think who ever coined the term didn't understand the concept in regards to vomit. If you are a 'sympathetic puker' then you know it is mis-named. I feel no sympathy. I feel things like revolution, gagging, aggravation, and stomach cramps. I do not feel sympathy. This is an especially challenging feeling in regards to parenting. I had NO IDEA that parenting would require such a strong constitution.
It seems that at unpredictable intervals, one or both of my children are sick from one end or another, usually on a trip or in the middle of the night. It was a stretch getting through the diaper phase of parenting, but the messiness sporadically continues. I can walk 20 miles in a day with a huge pack, I can stay up all night, I can fast for a day, I can climb the highest peak in California, I can run for an hour, but I can not clean up after my children when they are sick. This is where that good husband of mine comes into the story.
We are parenting together. Only months after becoming parents, we discovered that I only add to the problem/mess, when trying to clean up a mess. My part of the team, is staying out of the way, or rinsing off a kid in the shower (even that is questionable). Near the beginning of our life as parents, in a moment of feeling bad that I was unhelpful, or even more destructive, I told Silas I would clean the bathrooms in exchange for his super human ability not to vomit while mopping. I feel that this is a reasonable trade, even though I intend to be an octogenarian.
Fast forward ten years, at 2am, after both our children had emptied the contents of their stomachs onto the beds, carpet, and hallway. Silas is quickly taking care of business as I try to help with the relief efforts, though I know I'm not supposed to. I then find myself hunched over, trying to control myself and Silas angrily yelling at me from down the hall, "get away from here, you are just making it worse!!".
Silas is not a yeller, and is very very slow to anger. I think the stress of cleaning up and managing two sick kids is frustrating, at best. It was so uncharacteristic of him, I was momentarily stunned. What was I supposed to do, just go back to the warm bed and leave him alone? That's what I did. I did, however, have clean towels and sheets ready, clean clothes to change the kids into, and things manageable enough before hand, that he was close behind me going back to bed. I understand that he would raise his voice to be perfectly clear, that I need to stick to my end of the arrangement.
Yelling = bad man
|Silas, just before a night of cleaning a sleeper car in Egypt.|