Ooooooooo. I was so worried about today. On Friday, everything seemed to go wrong and I wanted to ostrich my head into the sandbox. Gideon was very sick. Chemo sick. Usually when he is feeling badly, he asks me to rock him or to dance with him. By dance I mean slow dance or a sway until he falls asleep. This time, he asked for the dance and I started my normal sloooooooow mama lunge. He looked at me during the rocking/swaying of Ray LaMontagne's "I Could Hold You" (which has been "Gideon's song" since he was born), so I looked back thinking he wanted a nose kiss or a reassuring smile. What I saw were two chipmunk cheeks of puke. We made it to the trash. I also got some on my face. What mother hasn't though, right? Poor thing kept saying, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" There was a time when someone else's puke dripping into my mouth would have made me lose it, too. Not anymore. Tough-as-nails, that's what is happening over here. I feel like I should train for something. Do they still have that show that asks its players to eat disgusting things for money? Sign me up if they do, please.
Shortly after the puke incident, Brody was waiting at the bus stop and decided he wasn't getting on. By the time the bus got there, it was a full-on temper tantrum. During the temper tantrum, Gideon was laying in his wagon yelling, "Don't cry! It makes me feel like I'm gonna get sick again!" It was stereo of screams and panic-stricken pleas. The other mom at the bus stop looked at me with that mom pity. The feeling like she felt angst for me, but was also extremely glad her daughter was sitting sweetly in seat three. I was bedraggled and Little Miss Firm. Oh. That boy WAS going to school! I boarded the bus with him screaming into my shoulders (asking the other mom to watch Gideon) and placed him in a seat behind the other Kindergardeners. He run off after me. I asked the bus driver what to do, and she said she couldn't have him running around. That was relieving to hear since I couldn't leave him on the bus in hysterics. The only other time I had this experience with Brody was the first night at the hospital when he wouldn't leave his brother. I think Brody doesn't like to leave when Gideon isn't himself. It's like he has a flashback to that hospital scene, or something. It's Gideon seeming ill that gets Brody all in a tither. I really think that's what it is. Anyway, Tom came home for lunch and ended up taking Brody to school. That crisis was behind us.
Gideon slept on me most of the day after that. Once it was time to go get Brody, Gideon asked to play with my keys. I was strapping him in when I remembered I left the "BRODY" sign for my car's dash in the kitchen (for the person walking Brody to me in the parking lot), so I unstrapped Gideon and took him inside with me. Apparently Gideon had enough time to hit the "lock" button as the door was closing. My keys were still on his seat. Tom rode his bike to work so he couldn't go pick him up. UGH. Double hyperventilation. This is when the sandbox looked like the perfect solution and just the right depth for my entire noggin. Thank goodness Tom works with someone willing to loan her car! So the day was brimming over with panic and puke. But we got through it.
We are now on the sticker-chart system with calm bus stop behavior as our focus. It WORKED today. I'm praying it works all week. Gideon is acting sweet and not puking, but his energy is low. Also, chemo needs to be worked through the system and it is painful once some of it needs to be expelled, if you know what I mean. I guess I am graphic with puke and very sensitive when it comes to defecating. We all have limits. Anyway, Gideon is in pain when it comes to this, so I have been giving him many baths to soothe him. I can't imagine the pain he must be experiencing. I also started buying Desitin once again. There are so many parallels between having an infant again and having a little one with cancer. Sleeplessness and Desitin is basically it. So maybe there aren't as many parallels.
Gideon is getting older with his thoughts, I've noticed. He has grown a lot as you all have witnessed, but there is something more at work. I'm not sure I like it. He is realizing how different he is compared to everyone else. He was sitting on my lap today and said, "Mommy, your ear is better?"
"Yes! It is, Gideon. ALLLLL better."
"And, Brody had a hurt ear, too. Is that all better?" he asked again.
"Yup. Brody's ear is healed, too. Isn't that great?" I answered.
That's when his little eyes looked past me and became unfocused. His brow was furrowed in thought (and he looked SO much like his big brother when he did this). In the quietest of voices he said, "But I'm not all better."
Since this was not a head-in-the-sand day, I am thankful I was able to respond with, "But you WILL be! You will get better! Someday the sharks will be gone." If he had said this on Friday, I would have cried and let him cry with me.
Then, with the same sad tone and a face that said you-can't-fool-me, Gideon said, "When I'm six." And then he sighed.
This was the first time Gideon didn't seem optimistic about this entire ordeal. I have to keep trying to remind him of all the things he still can do, that he can still play, and still pretend. This is probably why I got the Halloween costumes early and I have let the boys play nonstop in them. The more cheerful celebrations, the better.
Even though Gideon had a little moment of clarity over the roughness of reality, I'm glad this day was exponentially better than Friday. We are still taking things day-by-day. No. Instant-by instant.