I jammed my finger on some unknown part of our house's architecture last night. I should know what caused the injury but because of the circumstances, I'm clueless, and in minor (irritating) pain which causes me to gripe vociferously. Because it's not just the finger, which would be bad enough -- it's the fingernail.
Anyway, you know how everything in the middle of the night is transformed into a mega-emergency? I went from sleeping to waking in the black space between two half-seconds, and dashed down the hall. (Maybe this was the scene of the fingernail-mangle?) I slapped on a light switch (maybe this?) and yelled to Justin for help. He stumbled along behind me, probably cursing parenthood under his breath; it happens.
A midnight exclamation from the upstairs bedrooms almost always means either the house is engulfed in flames or a child is being stolen by a super-tall child-burglar. So up the stairs we flew. I didn't even know which child's voice had woken me, but I knew I was on the way to rescue them. Without my glasses, because certainly I'd be able to see both the flames and the giant kidnapper without the aid of such commonplace helps.
But it was only a sick little girl. My five-alarm senses calmed a bit (like, to a mere four alarms) and I could see the situation: vomit. Of the four-year-old variety. Well actually I heard the situation, because I could see almost nothing. Have I told you I'm blind-ish? I rely on my senses of smell and hearing, and my mom-radar (which usually only tells me when there's a hungry baby within a dozen foot radius of my breasts) to prepare myself for battle. You know this battle: the wrangling of wet pajamas over feverish heads, the stripping of chunked-up sheets, the scrubbing of carpet, the wild hope that this will be a single, isolated incident of vomit in the night.
I have to tell you, though, when I could finally squint hard enough to dispel the built-up adrenaline, what I saw made me burst into an obscenely huge smile.
Obscene because what good, tender mother smiles at her vomiting child? Huge because, well, Lauren was kneeling at the toilet.
SHE PUKED INTO THE TOILET.
Feel free to reread that last part -- when you do, you'll understand my momentary pause and lapse upon entering the bathroom. In this corner was my poor, sick, darling girl, heaving from the bottom of her toes, coughing and choking and horribly upset about the whole thing. And in this corner was me: almost cheering, kind of bouncing on the balls of my feet, sort of clapping at 3:26AM in the upstairs bathroom.
This moment will live forever in my heart, friends. The moment I didn't have to peel soaked-jammies over her face and hair and mouth. The moment she wiped her own lips with a length of toilet paper. The moment I held her hair back and realized that our days of gagging while cleaning up last night's dinner are so close to being expired.
Well, with that child anyway.
It was all I could do to comfort Lauren while she calmed down, I was so happy. See? Obscene.
Justin had her pillow and an unlucky blankie switched out by the time we got back into her bedroom, but other than those small casualties, our job was done. He had a fresh cup of cold water for her, I tucked her in, and we backed away, slowly. Because surely, that had been a dream.
And then I got a little bit depressed because my newest idea of a dream-come-true has something to do with vomit and nothing to do with beach vacations.
No matter. Shake it off.
Because she puked into the toilet.
If I accidentally slip and call her my favorite child, you'll understand my motivation.