Last year's cold and flu season was pretty brutal to us....so I've been trying to gear myself up after a long and healthy summer. Last week we had a small taste. Maria, John, and I had a bit of cough/sore throat, and my cough settled in my chest where it has wrecked havoc with my asthma for days now.
Today Maria, Jack, and I went to Hobby Lobby because Maria had some allowance and tooth fairy money to burn. Jack had woken up twice the night before for undetermined reasons, but he seemed fine by morning. He started doing this little coughing thing while we were shopping, but nothing too dramatic. Then, while we were in the check out line....he blew chunks of curdled milk everywhere. It was all very sudden. He just kind of gave a little cough and up it came. I stood there helplessly, my hands bowled under his chin trying to contain it all (being a nurse gives me a high tolerance for wading in body fluids). On a burst of brilliance, I barked at Maria to get a diaper out of my bag and open it up. She did, and reluctantly held it under my hands while I emptied the contents into the diaper and wrapped it up. That saved the floor, but Jack was still hit pretty hard. I left Maria to pay for her purchases and moved Jack out to the car. I striped his messy shirt and wiped him down, thankful for the unusually warm day. On a previous burst of brilliance, I had stashed several empty walmart sacks in my trunk and used these to hold Jack's shirt and the wipes.
On the drive home, I felt a little irritated that no one in the vicinity had offered to help or even a kind word. But then I realized that I had done the same in a very similar situation. What is it about other people's sudden catastrophe that freezes us to the spot sometimes? For some, it may have just been repulsion at approaching the puke, but not for everyone...not for me. Somehow when something like that happens right in front of me, my first reaction is to feel like the person would resent my interference for some reason. That's rarely the case of course, and times when I have stepped in to help someone they have always been appreciative...so why do we still hesitate to jump in and help others?
Jack, anyway, seems fine now. Once home, he had a cautionary lunch of saltines and water, took a long nap, and hasn't thrown up since. When I was changing his diaper and finishing his clean-up at home, he said, "Hobby Wobby". I said, "Yes, did you throw up in Hobby Lobby?" And realizing that he didn't really know what that meant, I acted it out for him, much to his amusement. He got it. He nodded seriously and said, "Yes, it got spilled."