I left work early yesterday and went looking for children's ibuprofen. Note to locals, Ralph's will gouge you to the tune of $10 for a small bottle, while Rite Aid sells the big bottles for $6. Plus, they sell twelve packs of beer at six pack prices- Advantage: Rite Aid.
He was out when I got home, out and hot. He slept until 7-ish then joined me on the couch, leaning against me quietly while we watched stale reality teevee on Netflix. Very uncharacteristic.
After about a half hour of repose, he suddenly sprang up and asked if I wanted to play in the bedroom, seemingly restored to full vigor. He stayed up until 11pm and we had hopes he was fully recovered.
Come this morning and we're doing our thing. I'm boiling water for coffee and making breakfast, he's in the living room watching an episode of Backyardigans, gnawing on a carrot and drinking a cup of fizzy mineral water. A bit later he stopped dead in the middle of asking me to set up his race track, looked confused for a half a second and then puked up a fountain of carrot bits onto the living room carpet.
These types of thing are always happening with kids, and it nearly always catches you out and leaves you gaping like a yokel- because everyone else in your life will give warning of impending disaster. Toddlers are different, with them shit just happens out of nowhere because they often don't understand what those weird feelings are, or understand that you shouldn't grab your poop, or eat soap, or whatever.
I responded way better than usual (a huge upgrade over the de rigueur yanking my hair while exclaiming WHAT ARE YOU DOING!)- I gaped slack-jawed for a few seconds while he heaved, then as he recovered and looked for my reaction exclaimed "Oh no! It's okay, it's okay Fuss- I'll just get a towel, it's okay! Let's go in the kitchen."
I herded him into the kitchen, where he puked less emphatically onto the faux wood flooring and started to cry.
I picked him up and told him everything was fine, then set him on his little footstool by the kitchen sink and showed him how to rinse his mouth out and spit to get rid of the taste.
After calming him and we sat on the couch together and shared a piece of toast & some more fizzy water.
Later, as I was getting ready to leave for work he came up and said
"Dada, I'm sorry I drank too much fizzy and puked on the rug."
So I sat down and explained, as best I could, the concept of sickness and involuntary processes with a side of advice about what to do the next time he started feeling like he might puke. But mostly just reassuring him that everything was cool, stuff happens and I wasn't mad.
This is the subterranean difficulty of parenting a toddler- everything they do is new, and they're always staring at you to gauge your response. What does Dada or Mama think about this? Is it okay? Is it bad?
And your reaction is vastly important- by far the most important thing in their world.
Even with a willful, stubborn child like Fuss, who mostly adopts a my way or the highway approach to life.
But I did okay this morning, and the Wife reports he hasn't thrown up anything else today, so high fives all around.