Meet my 2-year-old. She woke up this Sunday morning making yucks; that’s the word our family uses for hurling our guts out. I had grand plans for today: Laundry, writing, some time out in the first sun we’ve seen all week, laundry, working out, laundry, mopping the muddy floors, and if I’m lucky, some laundry. You get the picture: usual mom stuff.
Well, forget all that. It’s not happenin’. When you have a little one who’s sick, that’s all there is on your plate. Everything else has to wait. The laundry will have to remain piled 5 feet high because the washer and dryer are now on full alert, awaiting yuck-drenched blankets, clothes, sheets, towels, and stuffed animals. That fancy dinner I had planned (as in not from a box) will go on next week’s menu because I am now the official Yuck Bowl Holder and am hereby sentenced to sitting all day on the couch with my sick girl. As for producing relevant iPad/technology-related articles for my employer….well, who can think about work when you’re trying to catch vomit from a moving target???
That being said, I might just have an anecdote to bridge the gap between my writing and yuck-catching responsibilities….
Before I had kids, I sat atop my very own high horse when it came to how I was going to raise my future children. Oh, how easy it was to have opinions on what my imaginary children would eat, when they would sleep, the schedule they would keep, the activities they would enjoy! As a parent now, I can look back on these days and laugh hysterically over how completely clueless I was.
One of my high-horse positions centered around television: I vowed I would not be the type of parent who used television as a babysitter. Instead, I would have the endless energy, patience, and resources required to intellectually stimulate my child au naturale. Well, the children came, and the only au naturale happening at my house was the guilt associated with not being able to ride my old no-television high horse. It turns out the TV, smart phone, Wii, and iPad were the only babysitters we trusted. No background check needed. No hidden cameras to rig. No worst-case-scenario checklists and phone numbers to post on the fridge. While I do my best to pick educational games and shows, I still feel guilty for using screens as babysitters. Except for today. Today, our TV will be on all day. Today, my husband, 5-year-old, and I will hand over the iPad and remote controls to the 2-year-old. Today, I will feel no guilt as I allow my littlest one to cuddle the whole day away with the screen of her choice.
Today, I will only feel worry and fear…worry over my baby’s hydration, temperature, and comfort; fear over my reaction time, catching abilities…and future spot on this couch making yucks of my own. Who will hold the bowl for me?!?