Saturday, 29 March 2014

And Then He Vomited All Over the Floor

I saw the grossest thing last night. We were shopping at the Central Market and a little boy just stopped in the middle of the packed aisle, just in front of the Smelly Cheese shop and VOMITED all over the floor. Then he walked a bit further and VOMITED again. But that wasn’t enough. No, he went for the trifecta. This kid vomited 3 fucking times, right where he stood. People were in disbelief, shaking their heads and a couple of women even shrieked. It was like a movie scene and I would’ve given the mother, who allowed her child to chuck up his just-ingested chinese dinner all over the ground, a look of pure reproach if that mother wasn’t ME.

You know that feeling you get when you’re totally panicking and don’t know if you want to cry or scream for help and you are trembling from sheer adrenaline but you have to stay totally and utterly calm?

No? Well lucky you.

I find the Adelaide Central Market stressful at the best of times. Yes, it’s cultural and full of life and colour and sound and smells. Yes, the produce is fresh and often times cheaper than the supermarkets. Yes, the kids love it. All the freedom and sampling and different languages. But I’ve always found having kids at the market a bit stressful. There’s so much activity and noise that it’s easy to lose track of where they are and what they’re doing… and what they’re eating.

We were half way through my vague, yet gourmet, shopping list which said only – fruit, cheese, weekend bread, meats, dutch licorice – when Stefan [you knew it would be him, right?] starts wimpering by my side. I can’t stand wimpering. It’s right up there with whingeing and whining. Just speak properly and tell me what’s wrong, for fuck’s sake. So he’s wimpering and scrambling through my bag for his water bottle, which also annoys me because my bag is on my shoulder and he’s pulling on it as he’s rummaging through. I’m trying to select my cheese for the weekend and I’m just about to let my rapidly intensifying feelings known when I see the look of fear in his eyes. By now he’s managed to get his water bottle out and he’s sucking on that thing like his life depends on it. Which as it turns out, it sort of did.

He had a whole Dutch licorice coin, about the size of a 20 cent piece lodged in his throat and it was precisely at the point that I realized he was choking that the world around us slipped away. And the sound of my accelerated heart beating filled my head.

It’s a terrifying feeling to be rendered useless as your love struggles before you. I COULD NOT let him know that I was terrified though… because he was. And one thing I knew, was that if he panicked, we would be in a world of trouble. So, against a rising wave of hysteria, I dropped everything I was holding, got down on my knees in front of him and told him ‘it’s ok baby’.

And he said ‘no Mum, it’s not. It hurts so much – what do I do?’

And I didn’t know what to tell him! Oh, the mother-guilt of not having the answers for my boy in trouble. But I said that the fact he was talking was a good sign and the fact that he could drink was a good sign… without actually knowing if any of that was true. And then, because I was scrambling for something to hold on to that would get us out of this because by this stage he was bright red and sweating and the wimpering was on its way to wailing and I was wondering how long an ambulance would take to get there I asked him ‘what do YOU feel like you need to do?’ and he said ‘I have to get it out of my throat Mum but I’m scared!!’ 

Then he drank and drank and then he gagged. Oh fuck, shit was about to get real. Stefan HATES vomiting. It freaks him out. So his emotions have now kicked into DEFCON 1 as he prepares for the assault which is imminent. And I went into full ‘protect my cub’ mode and, still on my kneews, held him, rubbed his back and gave him permission to hurl his cookies all over the market floor. Not once. Not twice. But three powerful times until I saw that black fucker come out. At which point, the adrenalin was too much for my boy and his knees buckled from all the shaking and I picked him up and took him away. Leaving the spew, the judgement and the disapproving stares behind me without a second glance.

What would you have done?

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Who needs a pelvic floor anyway?

I was in town the other day to get my hair done. I go to the same hairdresser I’ve gone to for the past 20 years [I’m one of those brand loyal people] and it used to be really convenient because I worked in the CBD so I could just leave my car parked and head on down. Usually on a Friday night followed by Friday night drinks with gorgeous hair. Y’know, back in the day where I didn’t have to be anywhere else other than where I wanted to be. I used to book my hair appointments on Friday nights so that I looked gorgeous and used my time in the chair to text my friends to see where we would meet up and I would touch up my makeup in the mirror and start with a cheeky glass of wine while I was there. But not these days.

So I went to the city to get my roots done and got in a bit earlier to fit in some clothes shopping for my kids who actually don’t have anything to wear 'out'. And when I say 'they don’t have anything to wear' I mean it. Every pair of pants they own are about 7 centimetres too short and the pants of the eldest that are now long enough for the youngest no longer have knees so when they tried on their outfits for their Aunty’s 21st I had what looked like two orphans standing before me.

I had 30 minutes to find something for them before my root job. I always wee before I go anywhere and today was no exception but I usually have to wee whenever I’m out too. Strangely, this occurred even before children. Which is why I know where all the good public toilets are in town. So I’m in Target with a pile of options for the brats and I’m feeling the pressure rising so head to the Target toilet [which is a good one] and it’s out of order. I start to sweat a little but I’m feeling pretty secure because the pressure isn’t too intense yet. So I wait in line and I buy the boys clothes and get my carpark ticket stamped for my discount and head into the mall because I have another errand to run in the 30 minute window I have. I think to myself as I’m focussing on keeping the wee tsunami at bay that I’ll just head straight to the loo at DJs [AWESOME public toilet] and all will be good.

I’m feeling confident, perhaps even cocky. Because you see, I NEVER did those pelvic floor exercises that I was constantly and sensibly encouraged to do. Nope. Not me. Do you know why?  Because when I tried they felt far too similar to having an orgasm. Of course I’m quite partial to orgasms so that in itself wasn’t a problem but I almost always remembered to do them when I was in company or public. Standing in line somewhere. Sitting in a waiting room. Talking to my brother. You get the picture. And I got stage fright. All that squeezing together. It just made me think of my vagina so much and all while I was trying to maintain eye contact or keep a straight face and not think about having an orgasm. [you're doing it right now aren't you?] And the result, after pushing two babies out and not doing my pelvic floor exercises is I no longer have one. Which is a problem when your bladder is full and you’re in public and you have to cough.

Now usually, I can head off a cough with a firm clear of the throat but not this time. No. Not this time. This time, in heavy Saturday morning mall foot traffic, a bit of spit went down the wrong hole. You know what I’m talking about right? And I am WRACKED with coughing. So now I’m coughing, sweating and LEAKING as I start to do that little ‘almost run’ while keeping my legs together that’s a cross between a skip and a shuffle and a convulsion. And I develop a severe case of Tourettes syndrome as I swear, profusely, at myself under my breath. “You couldn’t do the fucking exercises could you?? Who fucking cares if it feels like an orgasm?? You’re PISSING YOURSELF in Rundle Mall. Still feeling cocky???”

Thankfully, it turned out NOT to be the disaster it could have been because sadly, these days my knickers are big and my jeans are baggy so any leakage was disguised. Sitting on that toilet was quite the experience though. Part relief, part reverence. Tourettes was replaced with a sudden urge to say 12 Hail Marys. There may have even been a choir singing. It was seriously THAT GOOD.

I swore [differently this time] to never let that happen again. I wouldn’t again risk the chance of pissing my pants in public because I couldn’t make it to a toilet in time. I promised to myself that I wouldn’t be in that horribly vulnerable position again.

Next time, the boys can go out looking like orphans.