Being A Father Can Sometimes Be Stupefying

by Jon Henshaw

Whenever I’ve been in a crisis, I’ve always had the uncanny ability to remain in control, and to do whatever needs to be done. However, I’ve found one crisis that renders me totally ineffective and useless. That special moment comes when my 2-year-old daughter throws up, or has explosive diarrhea that shoots out her diaper.

If it were me that was sick, I would rush to the toilet, and try to minimize the mess. I would then take off my clothes, and jump in the shower. So why do I freeze when my little daughter starts puking all over the couch, and all over me?

When she does this, I feel frozen in time. I don’t want to move her, because I’m afraid she’ll spew chunks elsewhere in the house, but I also don’t know what else to do. As I sit there holding her, I look at her, and she looks at me, and we’re both asking the same question with our eyes — “What’s daddy going to do about this?”

Visions of stripping her down and hosing her off in the back yard come to mind, but that would probably be too cold, and the spray might hurt her skin. When I do feel like it’s safe to move her, she spews more chunks on the carpet, the hall, and all over the bathroom. Once we finally make it to the bathtub, most of the damage is done, and again, I find myself frozen. Now what do I do?

Visions of puke on the chair, the couch, the wall, the carpet, the wood floor, my shirt, and my face run through my mind. I ask myself, “How will I ever clean this up?” I look down at my daughter, who is as frozen as me, again, wondering to herself as I am, “What’s daddy going to do about this?”

Some resemblance of intelligence returns to my brain, and I turn the tub water on. I then turn the shower head on, and try to wash the throw-up down the drain. I then redirect the water again through the tub’s faucet, and begin to fill the tub up with water, while adding soap. I strip my daughter down, and place her in the tub. I look around, and all I can see is a trail of puke coming from the outside hall, and leading to the tub. I grab some bath towels and throw them on the ground, so we can at least walk safely to her room to get her dressed after her bath.

I can’t help thinking how lame I am. I’m a grown man who knows what to do in most situations, but when my 2-year-old daughter pukes all over the place, I’m turned into a stupefied moron.

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This entry was posted on Monday, October 17th, 2005 at 3:43 am and is filed under Parenting. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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