May 2, 2005 by Isaac Hovet
I awoke last night to the cries of my almost 3 year old. As I was getting up to check on her I glanced bleary-eyed at the clock.
3:08 AM. Crud. It is late. Or is it early? Both? Anyway, it isn’t convenient either way.
I stumbled into her room, tripping over the toys we forgot to put away. She is quite upset by now.
I said, “Sweetie, what is wrong?” Through her sobs I could make out, “I think I spilled sumsing!!! [something]” She was confused, but as I ran my hand over her bed something was wet.
Quickly I flipped on the light. Immediately it became apparent what had happened. The poor thing had vomited. She hasn’t thrown up much at all so far in her life and the last time was 6–8 months ago. She didn’t know what was going on.
I took her to the bathroom to clean her up. I suppose most children really want their mommies in situations like this and last night was no exception. I got my wife out of bed and together we cleaned our vomit covered daughter up.
It was a struggle to get her to brush her teeth, but she eventually let us.
Now, we are young parents. We make mistakes. Last night our mistake was to change all sheets and blankets, clean her all up and assume that she was done being sick.
About a hour later I (by myself this time) I was repeating step one. This time, while throwing up, my daughter keep saying “I want to brush my teeth again! I want to brush my teeth!”
I was smart enough not to assume that she was all done. Her and I stayed out in the living room; her on the couch and me on the floor. She wasn’t feeling well, but we still had fun. On her request we traded pillows two or three times. She wanted to trade floor for couch for a while (trading is a fairly new, exciting concept for her), but once she laid on the floor she opted for the comfy couch. She told me that I am a “big daddy” and pointed out a street light outside. She then tried to convince me that it was the sun and, subsequently, time to get up. She did so with a sly smile. She is clever, even when sick.
Eventually we both nodded off. I used a couple sick hours at work so I could stay with her and not disturb mommy and little brother. I am glad that I could be there for her.
Mommies are called upon in every circumstance of life. Mommies grow tired of the constant calling, the balance of discipline and friendship and the never ending clean up. Although we don’t admit it very often, us daddies feel a little left out. We miss a lot. It may be the mundane, but we don’t see it or maybe more appropriately, we don’t experience it.
Last night I was glad for a few moments of being mommy. For once it wasn’t my wife taking care of it all. I was there. I cleaned up (a lot anyway). And it was I who told my wife the rest of the story this morning, instead of me trying to grasp what her day looked like.
Now as my daughter, son and wife all nap, I enjoy some peaceful reflections on Tales of the Night.
PS-Upon reading this my wife reminded me that she scrubbed all the clothes, blankets and sheets after I was at work. You see how much I take for granted? I should play mommy more often.