Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Trying NOT to Pass the Torch

How do we avoid passing on our neurosis to our children?

It's a question I have been contemplating lately. I learned something on my vacation: My son gets motion sick. Specifically he gets air sick. Especially when returning to California during a storm. When the captain comes on the loud speaker and tells you that the descent into your airport is going to be particularly bumpy and for the flight attendants to please sit down and fasten their seat belts, you know that isn't a good sign.

So once we landed he barfed. And then barfed again...all over himself.

Here's the thing. I wasn't even sitting next to him. I was in the seat in front of him with The Girl. But even though it was The Boy that barfed, and even though it was my mother that dealt with the entire thing, I was completely traumatized. You see, I hate barfing more than pretty much anything else in the world. I will go to GREAT lengths to make sure that I don't do it. I can remember only one time in my adult life that I have barfed and it was when my son was 9 months old and he got some nasty flu that he passed on to everyone around him and everyone barfed. But for some reason barfing completely freaks me out. I have no idea why. I mean, I know that it isn't exactly pleasant, but it there is no need for me to obsess on not barfing as much as I do.

And when we got home from vacation, as I was trying to fall asleep in my very own bed for the first time in 7 nights all I could think about was him barfing. Not about the fabulous vacation we just had...not about him running on the beach or playing in the sand, or swimming in the pool...no. I layed there and thought about how horrible it was that he was going to have to suffer through motion sickness (like I do--thanks Dad) and if I am being totally honest, about how I was going to deal with the imminent amount of barf in my future. For the next few days every time he hiccuped or coughed or even looked at me funny I was convinced he was about to barf. I didn't want to take him in the car for fear he might hurl. My rational brain realized how absolutely ludicrous this whole thing is, but I sat there and silently obsessed. I don't know what my deal is. I really don't.

So here's the thing. I clearly have some ridiculous fear/obsession about vomiting. It seems as though my son might have some barfing in his future (re: motion sickness) and I would like nothing more that for me to NOT pass on my own neurosis about barfing to my son. Like I mentioned above, while vomiting is certainly not something I think most people would prefer to do, it isn't the horrific thing that I have made it out to be in my mind. And my son didn't have any issues. Once he barfed, he was fine. Didn't think twice about it. I want him to keep that attitude and I am doing everything in my power to not let him see that I am silently freaking out. But he's a smart cookie. He might pick up on it. And then I wonder? Why the hell am I so freaky? Did my father do some strange thing to scar me when I was a kid and that's why I am a nut job? Cause if so, I want to make sure to NOT repeat that to my own child.

So sorry that this entire post centered about vomit, but really, my real question is...if you happen to be a bit neurotic about something...anything really, how do you "break the cycle?" How do you make sure to not make your poor child a nut job like me?

No comments: