Sometimes changes come in sharp tremors that shake you and leave you in no doubt that your life has altered irrevocably. Sometimes it creeps up on you, and one morning you wake up and realise that they way you look at the world when you shake open your bedroom curtains is vastly different from how you looked at it a year ago.
I've had changes of both types over the last year. Major Tom's arrival in April was one of the first, and marked a change in some large and prosaic ways - a year's maternity leave, an alteration of our lifetime expectations, a whole new child and a boy at that! - and in some less tangible ways. Major Tom completed us in a way we didn't know we needed to be completed. From the moment I knew he was coming, I realised I had to readjust. Career, family, hopes, money - it was all going to have to be totally overhauled. Okay.
The second type of change has surprised me. It took the Night of the Great Spew to make me realise just how much I have changed.
Saturday was a harbinger of what was to come. On the way to Wangaratta, Clarebear vomitted and I had to turn around and bring her home. Because I hadn't got far, I set out again, only to have Major Tom vomit in short order, stymying our trip completely. Then, nothing. The calm before the storm. Sunday morning Clarebear was vomitting again, and vomitted and vomitted... all day. By dinner time both Beloved and I were feeling queasy, and by bedtime, he and I and Gennabug were all vomitting. Then ensued a night which saw encore performances from Isobug and Toxic Teen (who is really getting too old and mellow for that label).
This morning I awoke to find that Isobug and Gennabug had both missed their buckets in their bedrooms, and Isobug in the loungeroom also, and that the bathroom was a special kind of hideous carnage. Despite my own delicate state, I hastened to clear away all the evidence so that the house was smelling of bleach and fresh air and not some kind of third world latrine.
We rested most of the day, with me puttering around after the family, fixing toast, mixing hydration solution, doling out icy poles and resting a maternal hand on somewhat febrile brows. Beloved slept for much of the day. I spent the afternoon getting some tedious jobs done that have been shrieking at me for weeks - sweeping cobwebs out of the back entrance way, wiping out the cupboards under the sink, picking up bits of debris out of the back yard, sorting out the kids' shoe cupboards. The children kept me company in between their naps.
The only remotely resentful moment I had was after feeding Major Tom at 6pm, I came out to find that the planned meal of baked beans on toast (we had barely the stomach for even that) was still in its can/packet, and that Beloved had fallen asleep (again) on the chair and everyone was waiting for me to get it for them. I sighed a little, but then got on with it, and then tidied up afterwards.
This is hardly some kind of amazing feat of motherhood, is it? But for me, such a day, after such a night, is a major turning point for me. Last week I lamented to my sister that I was missing something, that whatever it was that enabled other people to cope and be good and reliable and tidy and organised, I was clearly missing it. I was basically deficient.
And yet, after today, I'm not. And tomorrow I wake up knowing that I'm not, and I can open the curtains and look out on a day that will be full of me being just fine and capable.
Brief thoughts for the day? My new favourite blog is Our Red House. The best thing I have done this month is start up a Home Control Journal. The funniest moment has been laughing about The Worst Vomit You Have Ever Done over lunch today. And tomorrow Gennabug has her orientation day for highschool....
Pic of the day:
When I got home from buying up my Sick Food (potato chips, Coke and Tic-Tacs) there was a little noisy miner bird chick sitting outside the church door, as if waiting for sanctuary. Its mother was swooping down and depositing food in its wide open mouth. I took a snap of it and she was flapping and shrieking at me. I called for Beloved to ask him what we should do, and he told me to leave it. It was gone an hour later. Hopefully not into Mungo's stomach.