There are those times in life I think we all wish we could take back. Whether it be a few unkind words said to a spouse, the scolding of a child that didn’t quite deserve the punishment given or the unfortunate incident of an action in which we wish could be taken back immediately after engaging in it.
Yesterday I was unfortunately downtrodden with one of these moments.
Sophie was feeling better, her pox were clearing up quickly and the fever that she had been battling finally broke. The sun was out and I had fresh spring-like air flowing freely though the open windows. And every now and again I would glance outside and watch the melting snow glide away towards the massive puddles that now lay upon our street.
I was feeling good, great really…But anything other than -30 weather would have had me feeling illuminated with joy at this point anyways.
I decided this would be a perfect day for spring cleaning, plus I wanted to rid this house of any remnants of my daughter’s virus that may be lingering.
So I began, starting with the living room I removed the futon mattress which had been laid down in the middle of the floor as a temporary bed for the girl and I. As I lugged the thing back to the basement, I thought about how happy I was to have my darling daughter feeling better. I can only deal with so much puke, diarrhea, and fevered bods at one time- and I was glad to be over it…For now.
My duty of vacuuming the infected room was sidetracked by the bathrooms needing cleansing. Then again, when I looked upon our master suite and its unfathomable filth, and once more when I realized the dishwasher needed emptying so I could relieve the sink from its heavy load.
It occurred to me then, that ‘spring cleaning’ is very difficult when one’s house is rather messy in general from everyday activities.
I finally got to the living room. I lugged down our 1000 pound vacuum from the upstairs and began sucking up the disease that had contributed to having our household in shambles.
I moved couches away from walls, removed cushions, and even dusted the lampshades (A task I usually do not pander to) to assure this room that we do most of our living in was at its cleanest.
Then it happened, that moment, that miniscule minute in time that I so fanatically wish I could erase from happening altogether.
As I am vacuuming there is this one fleck of something on the carpet. As much as I try to suck it up, running over it again and again, I have no luck in getting the thing to vanish into the depths of the vacuum. This little orange speckle is beginning to really piss me off, and I stare at it with eyes of infuriated exasperation. ‘Why oh why little fragment won’t you suck up in the vacuum?’ I wonder out loud to myself and again try to run it over.
Of course the intelligent part of me would have just sucked the rueful thing up with the hose but that division of my brain doesn’t come out to play when I am participating in such fun things as cleaning.
So instead I pick up the tiny, itsy bitsy little spot that I soon discover is slimy and wet and rather than chucking it in the garbage I have this overwhelming urge to understand what it was that made me bend over to grasp it.
I swiftly bring the smarmy thing close to my face and take a big ol’ whiff.
Yep, there it is. Puke. A single shaving of last night’s midnight upchuck. In my haste to comfort my baby girl through her upsetting vomiting spell I must have missed the fact that it was more projectile that I caught on to.
Now I can deal with poop, and pee is small potatoes, but puke? It turns my stomach like nothing else. Of course I suck up my heaving innards and get the job done when I must, but involuntarily taking in a huge whiff of that very distinct smell of vomit immediately made my stomach curl, throat tighten and the taste of this morning’s eggs on toast appear in the back of my mouth.
I really wanted to throw the little piece of puke and make a run for it. But somewhere in that reeling mind of mine I was still thinking logically and realized that if I chucked it, this exact same situation would probably happen in a few days from now, so I thought better of it.
One surprise vomit venture is enough for me.
So after disposing of it properly I stepped outside to get some fresh air and ease my churning gut. There I find that Chevy, my Mother-in-laws dog that we are dog sitting at the moment has got into the garbage and puked stinking dog spew all over our deck.
It was at this point that I realize, being Mom, means cleaning up the messy things. It means playing nurse when the household is sick, and janitor in the aftermath. It means sucking up the initial urge to puke right along with that kid, and instead hold them tight and tell them everything is going to be okay. And sometimes, it also means that even when you think your work is done…Little unfortunate messes just keep popping up.
More than likely, to simply keep you on your toes.