Thing 1 has just finished throwing up on me. Again. Not a vintage “shouldn’t have ate all those Gummi worms and drank that funny smelling milk” upchuck, mind you. Just a simple panic puke.
For the past six years, I’ve had to give the girl a weekly injection of methotrexate, an old school chemo drug also used for treating autoimmune diseases like Thing 1’s juvenile dermatomyositis. This sunshine-yellow liquid of healing comes with the typical eight pages of whip-out-the-microscope-to-read-’em warnings, such as “if comes in contact with skin, wash immediately and pray you keep the limb,” and the usual suspects of side effects — the most common one, of course, being nausea.
At first, there wasn’t an issue. But as the dosage grew, it would take just a small push of the med into her system before I’d be witnessing a detailed regurgitation of everything she had consumed in the last eight hours. (“Honey, chew your Goldfish. Don’t swallow them whole. Save that for the real McCoy in college.”) After a while, I deduced the drug wasn’t the cause. The moment of clarity came when she once heaved merely at my chipper pronouncement of “time for your shot!”
Someday, I told myself, bearing the sticky, foul brunt of her anxiety would be a small price to pay for remission. Meanwhile, I hold fast to the notion that some are born great, some achieve greatness and some, like me, have bits of semi-digested mac ‘n’ cheese thrust upon them.
Anyway, a short time ago, we were in Claire’s, purveyor of craptastic accessories and the only place in our local mall that pierces ears. Thing 1’s BFF has been talking about putting holes in her lobes for months, so naturally, my little girl was chomping at the bling to also mutilate herself.
While My Love finished the paperwork, Thing 1 sat on my lap waiting for the punch out … growing visibly nervous and weepy with each passing second.
“What’s the problem,” I said. “You’re an old pro at this. You’ve had more needle sticks than a George Bush voodoo doll at a Venezuelan political rally.”
Then, I spotted a look in her face that was a little too familiar.
“You’re not gonna lose it are you?” I said. “I mean, all the blood draws, IVs and shots you’ve gotten from doctors and nurses over the years, you’ve never thrown up when ANY of them poked you. I’m the lone exception.”
“Get it out of your mind right now. I reserve the right to maintain my unique status in your history of spewing. You’re not going to start to spread the vomit love.”
“Oh, would you stop it,” My Love said, returning from the cash register. “Don’t encourage her.”
“I’m not encouraging. I’m against her throwing up — 100 percent! Puking is solely within my domain as official shot giver of our household. She shan’t spread the wealth upon underpaid hourly mall personnel.”
Our ear specialist for the day, Sh’kira-taqueria (not her real name but an incredible simulation) did her best to calm Thing 1 as she disinfected my 8-year-old’s ears. She had at least a dozen visible piercings and claimed the oowie was over instantaneously.
Then sure enough, she brought what looked like a staple gun up to Thing 1’s right ear and SNAP — it was done.
“See, nuh-thiiiiiiing,” Sh’kira-taqueria said before moving over to the next ear and SNAP — mission accomplished.
My little girl had sparkly pink-and-white flower studs in her ears.
And breakfast still in her stomach.
My streak lives on.