I know two things about myself:
1. I have a high tolerance for pain. I used to doubt this was true, as it is pretty hard to measure how one tolerates pain, but I've been proven time and time again that my threshold for it is a little higher than normal. Getting tattooed never really 'hurt' as some would claim and when I suffered from that horrible epidural headache after giving birth to kiddo, well the doctors in the ER were surprised at how on earth I was able to function with one as the headaches caused by epidurals can bring people to their knees. So yes, I've accepted the fact that I have a high tolerance for pain.
2. I have a weak stomach. Strange combination, isn't it? You could probably sock me in the throat pretty hard and while I'd curse up a storm, I wouldn't really complain how much it hurt, but god forbid you throw up in front of me.
In my twenties, it was easy to avoid situations where I may have to see someone puke their guts out. We were adults after all and while I may have held my friends hair back while she puked, she was lady enough to shove her whole head in the toilet, making sure I didn't have to see the mess that was produced. I could hold my breath and hum loudly and all parts of the process could be closed off to me and I'd be fine. I'd be fine.
Being a mother has changed all that. Babies and Toddlers don't really have that 'puke' etiquette down. For them, the whole process is shocking, new and probably very scary. Hunter was the type of baby that spit up... often. In fact, it was a shocker when after a bottle he didn't proceed to spew it all back out again. For the first eight months of his life, a bib was part of his wardrobe.
The first time, as a toddler, than Hunter was sick was very shocking and scary for me. I knew the day would come where I'd have to deal with a sick child and I dreaded it. Sure, I was used to the spit up, but how would I handle the other? To be truthful, I can't even stand it when I throw up. I get very stressed out over the whole process and hate it more than I can explain. The first time it happened, shortly after his first birthday, is completely etched in my mind. How could one child have that much stuff in their tummy and how could all of that come out of that little tummy so fast? I like to think I kept my cool, and as I was home alone with kiddo, I had no one to really help me out when it happened. The distraction of my son being sick and distressed was enough to help me focus on just helping him and not what was coming out of him.
Yesterday I had to deal with a sick child again, this time I wasn't home alone. We both knew something was up as my pale little boy laid on the sofa. He called me, sat up, called me again and by the time I got there, he had enough time to look at me and then start to throw up a whole days worth of water and juice. The vast force and amount reminded of that scene in the exorcist where the girl spews pea soup all over her bedroom. Just gross.
Of course I had to put my weak stomach aside, which was easy to do as my child was crying, was sick and was sad. Very, very sad.
Amazing what a distraction can do. Amazing what a change in life's path can do. I suspect I'll have to develop a stronger stomach the older kiddo gets. There will be more disgusting incidents, I'm sure. Blood, stitches, broken bones. While I hope none of these things happen, I do have to keep in mind that they may happen and that I'll have to be prepared and be calm, no matter what.