I should have guessed that something was up yesterday when Gammon came home from nursery. The normally 12-hour-a-day ‘tigger-like’ toddler walked slowly in the door and headed straight over to the sofa, cuddling up to the cushions and announced “Mummy, I’m just going to have a little rest”. I didn’t even know the word “rest” was in his vocabulary. “Fire-proofed bomb” (whatever that is), “pow pow pow”, and “watch my BIIIIIGGGGG jump Mummy” definitely… but “rest”?
I had just served my very fussy boy up a dinner Jamie Oliver would be hyperventilating over (OK, so maybe not Turkey Twizzlers, but Turkey Dinosaurs – are they the same thing?) when he said he had a “sore tummy” from “running around at nursery all afternoon”. Then suddenly, a look of total shock came over his face, he started to shudder and then projectile vomited over our (thankfully) leather sofa and (thankfully) non-carpeted lounge room floor.
Once he’d finally stopped (about 3 or 4 action-replays later), he turned to me looking all cute and vulnerable and quizzical and said, “Mummy, why did things come out of my mouth when I coughed?”
The question totally knocked me for six at first, before it dawned on me that he probably didn’t know what vomiting was and was really freaked out by it. Sure, he has vomited quite a few times before when he was younger, but not in the last year or so, and it’s not something that you see on television or in books very often, so I guess he doesn’t remember what it is.
And then I thought about just how weird a concept vomming is for the uninitiated. As if to read my thoughts, Gammon then asked, “Mummy, why is there carrot and corn and cucumber in my cough?” I explained how sometimes, if you have a bug or virus, or you eat something that isn’t as fresh as it should be, then your tummy fights against it, and it throws up the food that is in your stomach before it has been digested and eventually turned into poo poo.
He seemed to accept that explanation (well, if the Octonauts can flood and then drain the totally submersed Octopod without moving it from its underwater environment, then anything’s possible in Gammon’s eyes, right?) and then continued to practice his ‘forlorn’ face for the rest of the short evening.
He didn’t eat his dinner, he didn’t nag for icecream, he had his bath and got dressed quickly, he cleaned his teeth without complaint, and he even asked if I could read him some stories cuddled up in his bed before going back downstairs for his milk. We got him snuggled up on the recliner with his blanket, teddy and moo and some cushions, and before I could put on Babar for him, he said, “Mummy, I’m really sorry for making such a mess. I didn’t mean to.”
I just melted in an instant, gave him a huge cuddle and told him not to worry – these things happen and, as my nana used to say, it was “nothing to a shipwreck”. Even though he said he felt much better, he still obviously had a heavy heart because he realised how annoyed I can get when he makes such a mess of the lounge room with his toys and doesn’t clear them up.
I made a mental note to go a bit easier on the messy young rapscallion, went to the kitchen to get his milk ready, but it hadn’t even made it out of the microwave before my unusually tired little soldier had floated off to bo-bos, no doubt dreaming of “pow pow powing” his ‘”fire-proofed bombs” whilst doing a “BIIIIIGGGGG jump”, because in toddlerland, even if they’re sick, there is no rest for the wicked.