February 12, 2004

sick kid

There's this splinter, it lodges in the base of your throat, right where a necklace would rest. It's made out of ice, cold and sharp. It forms when your child vomits up his breakfast and continues when he cries, miserable, at the idea of another trip to the bathroom and doesn't melt away until he starts chattering and acting like himself again and eating white rice for a very late supper.

It's not like getting sick yourself, spending the day wondering whether you can stomach another sip of water. That's awful and icky and depressing. But it's happening to you and you know you've been through it before and you can -- or feel you can -- control your own body, you can ride this wave of illness. When it happens to your young, defenseless child, the protective instinct rushes up in your chest but you can't slay this dragon. Only time will do that. And so you hold him close all afternoon and feel helpless and worried because you would rather cut your heart out and feed it to a pack of feral dogs than let anything terrible happen to your child. And even though this isn't terrible, it's a run-of-the-mill stomach bug, you still feel shaky and scared with the echoes of parental vulnerability and you want to cry when he drinks half a small glass of water and keeps it down this time. Overreaction? Welcome to parenthood.

Posted by Tamar at February 12, 2004 11:01 PM

Oh, I know the feeling.

Is he still sick today? Poor guy. Hope he feels better soon!

Posted by: Amanda at February 13, 2004 09:27 AM

Yeah, he was still sick today. Not throwing up as much and eating a little more, but still lethargic. Not quite that splinter-in-the-throat feeling anymore, since he's clearly out of danger. Still not fun, though.

Also, I should add that Dan was home yesterday and spent much of the day with Damian on his lap. So it wasn't just me. Which helped.

Posted by: Tamar at February 13, 2004 11:44 PM