Wednesday, September 24, 2008

::Oatmeal, Cranberries & Raisins::


I'm sure this has happened to you. At least, in a vaguely similar sort of way? Ok, maybe never, but try and put yourself in this moment. I was walking through Costco with two of my boys. They were side-by-side, one munching on a particularly tasty product sample. The other, gazing about wide-eyed, drooling profusely. My cart was full. I was 3/4 of the way through my list. And then . . . "Your little guy is sick," the lady in the hair net told me, pointing behind me at the cart, which was now covered in vomit. Elijah. But wait, there's more. It kept coming and coming. All over the floor. All over his baby brother, {who truly could not have cared less.} All over the groceries, including a die-cast BMW model car intended for Christmas.

There are a few me's in a crisis. 1. The me that starts to giggle. Yes, even when my little brother was chocking to death on a lifesaver, I giggled. It's just how my fear comes out sometimes. 2. I lose it and repeat the same few words over and over and over. For example; "Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear." Or perhaps, "Help. Help. Help. Help. Help." Most commonly, "Aidan. Aidan. Aidan. Aidan." {Since, he is my nearest, and most perpetual, source of aid.} Or, 3. The me that freezes.

On this particular occasion I exhibited signs of #3. There I stood, amidst the heaving and the crying and the spewing. And I couldn't figure out what to do. Did I run for a garbage pail? A mop? A hose? Did I reach for my hurling boy, or my hurled-upon infant? Did I abandon my groceries and bolt for the bathroom? Or did I sneak past the cashes with unpaid for, albeit now unsellable, goods to find a sink?

Apart from the smell, my senses picked up plenty of superficially sympathetic commentary. I say "superficially," because all of these lovely people, though kind enough to disguise their distaste, did not overcome it enough to actually help. Until Samantha, that is. "Can I help you?" And I knew she meant it because her shoes were inches away from the puddle and her arms were reaching for my baby. "Oh, yes. Thank You."

Together, we formed a plan. I separated the clean groceries into a fresh cart. Soiled clothes, booties, and chew toys were dumped into a cardboard box. Isaiah was stripped and placed in a cart with Samantha's son while I lead Elijah to the washroom. On the way, I snatched an $8 baby sleeper and $20 sweatshirt I never would have bought, had my children not been covered in throw-up. {"At least they're super cute clothes," Sam's sister said when the worst was over.} The clean cart was left with Sam's sister, which freed Sam up to follow me to the washrooms with Isaiah, whom she stripped, washed and re-dressed, {bless her heart,} while I puzzled out the best way to remove a chunky shirt with minimal hair-contact.

Dear, brave, wonderful women. "We saw you and you just looked like you really needed some help." Yes. Yes, I did. Thank You. Thank you. Thank You. Thank You. Next woman I see with vomit on her shoes, groceries and children; I'm there. No holding back.

{P.S. Why the photo? It looks the way my brain felt at the time.
Why the post title? You don't wanna know...}