Growing up, getting sick was like being upgraded to royalty. I had people waiting on me hand and foot. I got to watch as much tv as I wanted. It was perfectly acceptable to claim that they only thing that sounded good to eat was ice cream and cookies.
And I always just thought it was because my parents wanted me to feel better. Now that I have a child of my own, though, I realize I was sorely mistaken. I now believe that the do-what-you-want-just-don't-complain attitude was a defense mechanism left over from years of having dealt with sick kids.
You know what I'm talking about: the super clingy, super fussy toddler that drains the very life out of your soul each day a cold lingers on. The screaming every time you try to wipe their boogers. The rejection of every. single. food you put in front of them. The sleepless nights that make every minute of the following day feel like hours.
Have you figured out yet that Little Spaghetti's been sick?
I was at the end of my rope trying to diffuse the whining, trying to make him comfortable, trying to distract him from the misery that is his sinus congestion. Then, he started playing with his cup of water and the banana I was trying to feed him. All the sudden, he was content. There was no screaming. There was no sniffling. There was no pleading.
I sat there while he shoved his banana peel into the water glass, and it was like something inside of me broke. I couldn't bring myself to stop him from making the gigantic mess I knew he was about to make because even cleaning up would be easier than fighting with a sick baby.
It dawned on me that after years of dealing with sick kids, of course it was easier for my parents to just let us do whatever would keep us happy. Just to survive until we were well again.
And so I let him make a mess with his water and his banana. I didn't even mind that he splashed the water all over my lap so it *almost* looked (and felt) like I'd peed my pants.
The sight of the gray, gooey water coupled with the smell of the slightly overripe banana was too much. And for the second time in my motherhood, I gagged. I'm not usually a gagger.
And so my training has begun. But I'm a quick study. Next time Little Spaghetti gets that tell-tale cough and his nose starts to drip, ice cream and tv it is!