We hurried along, sliding shoes onto feet, bundling coats on littles with zippers and snaps, and into carseats with seatbelts clicking shut. Once my six were piled on into the van, after a five-minute drive down the road, we arrived at soccer practice; the kids excited to see their friends, get their feet on a ball and, for those not practicing, play at the tiny park there.
My daughter, already in a foul mood, isn’t used to having someone else be her coach other than her daddy. She knows her coach, though, he’s our good friend, his kids are always over here, his other children are always on our older children’s teams. But for whatever reason, this time it’s different.
“Where’s my blue ball?”
“Daddy always has a blue ball for me.”
“We need to doe-det (go get) my blue ball.”
The first ten minutes were spent arguing with her that yes, this was still practice, even without daddy, and no, she didn’t need her freakin’ blue ball to practice with. I insisted that she either borrow another ball from one of her new friends, or we go home.
She opted to latch onto my hand with a death-grip, instead.
I had to run with her while she dribbled the ball. I had to walk with her here, and there, and when coach asked her a question, she had to whisper the answer in my ear so I could tell him, not her.
This wasn’t exactly the kind-of soccer practice I was expecting. This child is a toddler-beast on the field. She dribbles and manhandles the ball impressively for her age. She takes control of the ball, navigates it, and scores a ton of goals. Right now? She was just a puddled mess of a toddler who wouldn’t cooperate and wanted to be difficult.
Little did I know, she wasn’t feeling well.
I took her and Baby Dude grocery shopping with me yesterday afternoon. While she didn’t ride in the cart, she did feel like touching e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g she could reach. And when we finally got to the frozen food aisles, she was kissing food displays. Oy! I have no idea what may or may not have been on those doors, and displays and things she planted her lips on. What I do know? She woke up this morning puking uncontrollably as we were about to leave the house to drop kids at school.
This poor child has only ever had a stomach bug once, and that was last year. She’s now four. As you can imagine, this is so traumatic for her, she doesn’t know what to do, how to act, what is happening. Her eyes get large, she wants to lean back and rest her head instead of forward into the bucket, she wants to get up, wipe her mouth, she is simply doing everything wrong as she gets sick.
It is painful to watch her hurting like this.
To see her, laying a lump on her sicky-blanket covering her pillow makes me ache. Not but twenty-four hours ago, she was exercising with me on the Wii Fit, dancing to The Fresh Beat Band, and, even though she was being difficult, she was playing with her new friends at soccer practice (eventually, after our blue-ball, where’s daddy argument, that is).
And I was short with her. I yelled. I was upset with her temper tantrum in the car, and quite aggravated at her behavior last night. She didn’t eat well, either. And I got angry, threatened “no cookie” if she didn’t eat more chicken nuggets or vegetables. Little did I know, it was a precursor to this. The pukey, semi-version of herself laying on the chair, limp.
Next time, I will remember this incident, bite my tongue, and be more careful as to not let my frustrations get the best of me. as there maybe more to their behavior than what I thought.
And, maybe, while I’m at it, I’ll wash my kids head-to-freaking-toe after grocery shopping to prevent this from happening again. Ugh!
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