That about sums up my Sunday.
Motherhood, I have learned, is a really good lesson in how to get over your own fears and hangups for the sake of someone else. It doesn’t really matter that I hate killing spiders… I do it anyway. It doesn’t really matter that I didn’t particularly want to get up in the middle of the night several times for several months in a row when I heard that little cry… I did. It doesn’t really matter that sometimes I want to park my butt on the couch and watch “Modern Family” episodes all day… I can’t.
Moms just have to step up to the plate, put their big girl shoes on, and do it.
This weekend I conquered two fears.
Vomit: As a child, I was that kid with the super sensitive gag reflex who would throw up if I saw someone throw up. Or even heard them throw up. Or even heard a sound effect in a movie that possibly sounded like someone throwing up. While my mother held back my sweaty hair and patted my back I remember thinking, “How will I EVER do this for my own child?!”. She always said, “You just will”. And you know what? It’s true. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t struggle not to throw up in this case. I felt that familiar urge, but I had just enough self-control not to blow my “tough mom” cover.
There is only one other time in Owen’s life that I can remember having to deal with vomit. And I mean real, chunky, smelly vomit. That was the time I gave him Poly-vi-sol drops when he was a baby. That was the first day I realized the vast difference between spit up and vomit. It’s never really been an issue, and we’re long past the days of needing a spit up rag, so I left the house on Sunday with a spare diaper, some wipes and a sippy cup of milk. Traveling light, you know? Owen chugged his milk in the car (mistake #1, in hindsight). When we were almost to our friends’ house, I hear him burping in the back seat and he started to fuss. That’s normal — he still HATES his car seat, so there’s always fussing when we’re in the car.
We approached a stop light a little too quickly and Benjamin made an abrupt stop. The motion must have pushed Owen’s little tummy over the edge, because out came all that milk. And the rice chex and peaches he had for a snack. And a lot of other, uhh, chunks I won’t describe. All over his shirt. Right into the crotch of his jeans. Right through the seat cover and into the buckle so that it squished all over the seat.
I climbed into the back seat and started wiping up what I could. But the smell. Oh, the smell! We opened all the windows and I acted like a big girl and wiped it up and kissed his little brow while Benjamin drove on. Yuck. I won’t say it was easy, but I will say that my mom was right. You just do it. It doesn’t really matter how much you hate vomit.
Sardines: On another note, in an effort to get Owen to taste and try tons of different foods, I know it is important to offer him foods that I dislike. You know, not allow myself to put my own food hangups on him. There aren’t very many foods that I dislike; I’m pretty adventurous and I’ll try just about anything. Generally I like it. However, for most of my childhood I HATED fish. The smell, mostly. Fish sticks and tuna fish were just about the most disgusting foods I could think of. Blech. Since then I have grown to LOVE fish (but still not tuna fish!), and often make Owen tilapia or salmon or cod. I have heard how healthy sardines are for you, but just could not make myself buy a can. Disgusting — slimy little fish squished into a can? Maybe it’s because I hate tuna so much, or maybe it’s just a hatred of that fishy smell, but sardines were on my “I’ll never eat” list.
In the name of healthy protein and fats, convenience (since they can sit in the pantry, which is really helpful on those crazy weeks when we just haven’t had time to go to the store), and getting over my own crazies, I bought a can of sardines. I peeled back the lid and that same pukey feeling came over me, but I forged ahead. I took out the bones (which grossed me out far more than the smell, if that’s possible) and put a few chunks on Owen’s tray.
You know what? He LOVED them. Gobbled. I’m not gonna lie — I did NOT share in this fishy feast! Baby steps, people. I’m pretty proud of myself for getting it in my shopping cart and opening the can.
What other fears can I conquer?! I’m on a roll!
What “fears” or hangups have you gotten over since having a baby?