Let me begin by saying this: partially digested cocoa puffs are, on a scale of 1 to 10 on a "things you would not mind seeing puked up" list, about a negative 20 for me personally, falling maybe right before tuna salad but right behind turkey and stuffing.
Let me also say that I in no way hold resentment against the poor litle girl in my Sunday School class who had the misfortune of having the stomach flu hit her right in the middle of song time (the fact that the song of the day involved jumping up and down repeatedly probably didn't help her out any.) I truly felt very sorry for her, as I held her hair back while she puked all over the bathroom- but I also felt just the teensiest bit sorry for myself as well, especially when the smell began to rise and I had to duck out of the room, ostensibly to get her a glass of water, but also to quell the retching reflex that I could feel beginning in my own throat.
Nor do I have any grudge against Adelay for randomly spewing her entire bottle of freshly drunk milk all over the couch, carpet, and my sweater several times this past week, I truly don't.
It's just that I am so not a vomit person. I realize this sounds a little obvious, in terms of descriptive statements- not many people would probably characterize themselves as being "into" vomit. But I think I am particularly, unusually not into vomit. When I had morning sickness with Adelay, I would literally press my lips together all day to keep from throwing up, even though I knew I would probably feel better if I just went ahead and let it all out, so to speak. But the actual process of letting it out is just so revulting to me that I would do anything to avoid it, short of maybe dying.
Even when I was little, I was not one of those kids who was always randomly barfing on road trips and ferris wheels and then magically back to normal. I would feel it coming on and be stricken with dread and panic and cry and whimper for like an hour before I finally did throw up, and then I would cry some more at the horror of it all. And to this day, on the very isolated incidents in my adult life when I have thrown up, I still feel like crying. I know, I know- grow up already. But I hate it!
I thought that maybe being a parent would help me outgrow this particular fear and loathing a little bit. Because kids throw up, right? This is a universal truth, like e = mc squared, and sooner or later, surely you build up a tolerance. Same principle with dirty diapers. But the truth is, I still haven't arrived at that magic point when I am just blase about vomit and poop and all the various disgusting forms they take. I'm not even close.
I remember once when Addy was about a month old that I think I literally took years off of my husband's life by screaming in panic for him to come quick to the baby's room. He came running, mentally reviewing the infant CPR tecniques and bracing himself for some unthinkable catastrophe, and found instead me, paralyzed with horror, in front of a changing table and wall completely splattered with baby poo.
I guess I have gotten a little braver since then, but just today when I went to get Addy up from her nap and was about knocked over by the scent of the dirty diaper awaiting me...? Well, that feeling of panic and dread still came welling up, same as ever. It's just that now I know I am capable of getting through it, you know- now I know that there is life on the other side of the diaper. And when those babies are all fresh and clean and snuggled up on your chest, well, there's just not many feelings that come close to that one.
But still... I am making a mental note never to feed my kids Cocoa Puffs.