(The names and dates in this post have been changed to protect the identity of Sophie's classmates.)

Today when I picked Sophie up from school I saw something no parent ever wants to witness: a bucket and mop outside of the classroom.

"No, no, NO!" I thought to myself. I usually walk to her class to pick her up and made my approach with much trepidation. Her teacher dismissed her and I began my interrogation.

"So, Sophie," I started. "Did someone get sick in class today?"

"Hmm?" she was lost in her thoughts at the end of the long school day and thinking about what snack she was going to get out of the machine.

"Did someone get sick today?" I repeated more firmly.

"Oh, yeah," she said, unconcerned.

I knew it!

"Who?" I asked.

"Megan spit up all over the floor and had to go home," she said matter-of-factly.

I immediately ran over the class seating chart in my mind. Megan sat on the other side of the room from Sophie--we still had a chance.

"Sophie, this is important," I said as I turned her to face me. "Did you come within a five foot radius of Megan today or in the past 24 hours?"

"What?" she was confused.

"Did you play with her today? Eat lunch with her? Sit next to her in assembly? Share lip balm? You didn't share lip balm with her, did you?" I was in major panic mode.

"No," she was still unfazed.

"Who cleaned up the mess? Did you go near the mess? Was it projectile? Did you get any on you? You said the floor--was it the floor in the bathroom? Was it properly sanitized before anyone else used it? Did you use the bathroom after Megan puked? Sophie!!!!"

My heart was racing as I thought of the ramifications this vomitous incident could have on the Crowder family--first Sophie, then Carly since they share a room, then either Max or myself. Steve usually is immune. Max puked directly into his face last year and he never got sick...oh, the horror!!! Should I quarantine Sophie? Put her in a bubble? Line her bed with plastic sheets and hand her a bucket when I tuck her in? Lost in my neuroses, it took me a minute to realize Sophie was staring at me.

"You need to relax, Mommy," she said.

She was right. It was out of my control. There was nothing I could do--the damage had been done. Another lesson learned from my six-year-old. I just needed to sit back and let the chips--or chunks in this case--fall where they may.

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Tags: and, bucket, mop, puking, school, vomiting

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