When you're sick, you need your Mamma

It’s amazing how a call from your child’s day care can change everything. So can one little word from your toddler.

Last week, our day care called to say that our 17-month-old was vomiting, which I couldn’t believe. I’d sent him off to school happy as can be, and Daddy said he babbled all the way there. But after nap, he apparently got really sick. Because I was in a meeting with my phone on silent (I hate that), they reached Daddy first, and he actually was the one to pick him up and take him home. He said he threw up once on the way home, and twice more when they arrived. He finally reached me and told me this: “We got home, and he kind of stumbled down the hallway to our room, and when he got there, he just said ‘Mamma?’ and then when he didn’t see you, he just kind of fell into a heap on the floor.” Needless to say, I left work immediately.

When your child is sick, everything can change in an instant. You go from thinking about meetings to worrying about dehydration. Suddenly budget numbers aren’t nearly as important as the numbers that you read on your thermometer. And in that moment, all you can think about is, “Is he going to be OK?”

Not knowing what I could do in that moment that would help, I immediately started doing the only things I could think of. We made a pile of dirty clothes at the back door to be rinsed and washed later. Put the Ultimate Crib Sheet on the bed in preparation for incidents in the night. I sent my husband to the store for more medicine. And then my baby and I lay down on the bed, where he fell almost immediately into a restless sleep while I lay beside him.

Thankfully after his nap (almost three hours), he seemed better. He picked up his head and seemed interested again in his surroundings. And later that night, when he started to babble again, I could feel my heart soar. He still had fever that actually continued for several days, but no more vomiting. He was going to be OK.

I wish I could have done more to have made him feel better, faster. But I like to think that my presence helped him. After all, when you’re sick, there’s no one you want more than a Mamma.


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