Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Mom Test

It's 12:50 a.m.
Because I am a mom
this is how I spent the last
15 minutes of my life.


I was in a dream
and then there appeared
Sophia
 my 11 year old
at the side of my bed.
I opened my eyes
because
she was covered in
florescent paint
and saying
something
that 
I couldn't quite understand.
She called to me
and so I knew
it was important
but I couldn't
get a handle of what
was happening
in my dream
until I let it
register
"Mom, I just puked."

I wasn't dreaming.

I flew out of bed
using the wings
that God installed
just for moments
like these.
If I would have looked
back I would
realize that
my partner in crime
couldn't help it
that God didn't
make him for this job
and that is why
he hadn't moved
an inch
or an eyelid.

Before I knew it
I had stripped
down every inch
of that top bunk.
Of course
it was the top.
And of course
I needed those wings
so as not to
wake the one
sleeping on the bottom.

No need to mention
the smell or color
of the foulness
or how it sloshed
from pillow
to sheet
to comforter.
I looked down at my
daughter
to see her
use the trashcan
I had somehow provided
before flying into action
on the bedding.
The florescent
colors were gone now.
I blinked to make sure.

Before I could get my bearings
I started to remake the bed
and then thought to ask
"Sophia,
do you want to sleep on the couch?"
The answer came quietly,
"Yes mom, that's a good idea
but I have all this gross stuff
all over me."

"Is it just on your shirt?"
"I got a little on my cast,
and it's all in my hair."

In to the bathroom
we flew.
I cleaned
off her arm cast
(and chuckled
at the thought
of the flu
and a broken arm
at the same time)
with a Clorox wipe
in between
the heaves into the toilet.
I applied
the two plastic
bags and rubber bands
that I had so
neatly stored
under the bathroom sink
yesterday.

I then turned her around
and stripped her down.
She's at a private age.
11 is tricky.
Somehow I was
instinctual enough
to just know
to have her step into the
shower before removing
her soiled clothes.

"Sophia,
did you start your period, too?"
As in,
on top of
the broken bone
and puking.
She looked at me confused.

"Or did you
just poop your pants?"

She sheepishly answered
that she thought
that wasn't her period.

I plugged
the tub
and started the warm water.
Then I gathered the
dirty clothes
and the dirty linens
and headed to the laundry room.

I got the worst
loaded into the washer
and realized that the 13 year old
never started her laundry
like her told her to
before heading to work
this afternoon
or yesterday afternoon,
depending on the time.
Thank goodness
for adolescent
irresponsibility.

I grabbed
an extra blanket
and headed back upstairs
to the couch
where I found an
almost empty roll
of duct tape
which someone
had not put away.
The item that
had been alluding
my memory
for the past two days
came to me.
Compound W
needed to be added to
the grocery list.
Baby Caroline's
wart must be attended to.

Compound W
combined with
duct tape
is the best
antidote
for warts.
I actually
learned that
before I had
kids
if you don't
count the hubby
and his massive
wart on his right knee
that I cured
shortly after marriage.

I washed and rinsed her hair.
twice.
And handed her
some soap
to take care
of the backside.
I held up her right arm
wrapped in plastic.
Placing back the soap
I told her to rinse with water.

I took care of the towel
which I had given her to rest
her broken arm on.
I guess the ledge on the tub
wasn't big enough,
it was floating at her feet.

I ran (I mean flew)
into her room
and grabbed her
comfy shorts,
undies,
t-shirt,
and a cami
because times like
these are too harsh for bras
(even if she does
normally wear hers to bed)
and she will appreciate
the extra layer
of support.
How do I know?
Because I am a mom.
And I always pass the test
even when I am failing.

Here I sit
watching, typing,
shaking my head in disbelief,
not even longing
for sleep to come back to me.
Because I am a mom.
And I am always on duty.

Always.

Notice her favorite
scooby doo blankie?
I made it for her
when she was seven
and without even realizing it
I had grabbed it off
the couch downstairs
while fetching
the other warmer
blanket
just
before flying
back upstairs
30 minutes ago.



6 comments:

Lori said...

So relatable and nicely told, Alice.

Anonymous said...

I love you Alice! You deserve an A+ on the Mom test for today! LEdwards

TeacherFromTN said...

The one Mom test I have never passed.... I just. can. not. Thank goodness Mark is excellent at this particular Mom test! Feel better, Sophia.

Kathy said...

A whole sheet of gold stars for you. How is she feeling now?

Sarah Bartlett (Wills) said...

Thank goodness you took running back up as a hobby. Ha-Ha
Have to move fast in the situations.

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