As I get older more things make me nervous. Noises coming from the TV, screeches, beeps, cries, whistles, whacks and whispers all cause me to sit up and tremble. Once again my parents set out to combat my anxiety which always makes me nervous.
They dug out my Thunder Shirt. I hate that thing. When I see it, I know something terrible is about to happen, and I shake. But they added something new to the Thunder Shirt torture. They bought a spray that was supposed to soothe my nerves. The first time they sprayed it on me I got myself into more positions than the Kama Sutra trying to get the horrible smell off of me.
Once I was done everything in the house, but me smelled like lavender. This did not make Mommy happy, so Daddy decided to spray the Thunder Shirt before strapping it on me. They termed this a success after Mommy made a noisy supper and I sat next to Daddy slightly trembling instead of running around the house trying to hide under everything. At our house, if no one is hiding under the furniture is it considered a successful day.
But I was still unhappy about the lingering stench of lavender. Then I got hit with a terrific bolt of luck. In the middle of the night, in the big bed, River vomited.
I jumped out of bed waking Daddy. He saw the vomit and cleaned it up. I was on the floor shaking like a cricket in a lizard factory. Daddy picked me up, told me it was not my fault that I vomited, and wondered if it was the lavender smell that made me sick. I was so close to never getting that horrible scent stuck in my nostrils again.
Then something terrible happened. River vomited again! And suddenly it wasn’t about me anymore. She was getting all the attention.
Her tummy settled the next day, and I thought the attention would be back on me but the next night my sister puked twice in bed again. Now she was on the Terrifying Watch List. You earn a spot on the list when you are sick, and your terrified parents watch everything that you do. With all their attention on River, no one sprayed me. Not even with water, never mind lavender.
The next night I made sure the attention was on me. I vomited a half dozen times while River peacefully slept. That morning I had diarrhea. I was back on top of the Terrifying Watch List. It wasn’t until near bedtime when I finally ate, and then the next morning, when no one puked in bed, that we were both removed from the List and our house returned to normal.
“I am glad Pocket is feeling better,” Mommy said.
“So am I,” Daddy said. “And we haven’t sprayed her with lavender in days, so we know that didn’t make her sick.”
I tell you I can’t catch a break.