Mom, Be Careful Where you Park Your Vicks Vaporub

What happens when you are an overworked mom

I have a friend S, whose life seems to be a series of bizarre and hilarious incidents. She regales us with graphic descriptions of some of these events. One such event is etched in my head even though I heard it years ago.

At the time of this event, S’s little girl was around 4 years old I suppose.

S and I used to work together. It had been a rather hectic week, and S was super busy with some stuff that had to go out the door early the following week. She was hassled with the mountains of work. On most days, S would have sliced through the work as if she were running a knife through butter that had been left out.

But things were a little more hectic this time. Her hubby was out of the country, the mother-in-law was visiting, there was an upcoming family function, and to top it all, her baby was showing sure signs of coming down with something or the other.

Image by Марина Сиротинина from Pixabay

Now S is normally a Supergirl and manages to accomplish a lot each day. However, during this particular season, it was becoming clear that S was walking on Kryptonite.

Things came to a head one evening after a particularly long and painful day at work. S had turned in all her work on time, but the reviewer was probably having a bad day himself, and decided to use her as his punching bag.

Relatives Come Visiting

Battered and bruised for no fault of her’s, S trudged home wearily hoping to put her feet up for a bit and sip a hot cup of coffee. Aah…but luck and relatives had a different plan up their sleeves. She arrived home to find a sea of humanity inside her living room. Since the mother-in-law was in town, a whole bunch of uncles, aunts, and other nondescript relatives had arrived to chat and catch up on all the gossip.

The trouble with being supergirl is that you have to keep the image at all times. S is very adept at rustling up amazing and tasty dishes at supersonic speed. So mother-in-law who was oblivious to S’s pathetic day at work commanded her to make all her best dishes for the lot in the living room. After all, this was the mother-in-law’s chance to show off that she had recruited supergirl as her daughter-in-law.

S dragged herself to the kitchen, and to her credit, actually managed to make the stuff and serve the guests. At the end of it, the guests were well fed, and S was fed up!

The Baby is Sick

A couple of hours later, when she managed to crawl into her room, she found the poor 4-year old baby sniffing and coughing. S was immediately filled with guilt at not having taken care of the poor baby earlier. A quick check using the highly reliable method of placing a palm on the baby’s forehead assured her that the baby had developed a fever.

S was now in full commando mode. She placed a wet towel on the baby’s head to bring down the fever, opened the windows to cool the room, and cooed to the baby saying she would feel better soon.

Then, she decided to apply old faithful Vicks Vaporub on baby’s nose and throat to ease the breathing. By the time she found the bottle of Vicks and got back to the bed, she found baby sitting up, and the wet towel was lying on the floor.

Vicks to the Rescue

She tried to make baby lie down, but baby was feeling a bit better and refused to be horizontal. S sighed and said she was going to apply Vicks anyway. Baby nodded understandingly.

S opened the bottle and used her index and middle finger to scoop a generous portion of Vicks. She turned to apply Vicks on the baby. Suddenly things happened in a blur.

Baby was at the edge of the bed, and in danger of falling. S now needed her hands to hold the baby and prevent a fall. But one hand had a generous scoop of Vicks and the other hand had the bottle of Vicks.

What should S do? There wasn’t much time to think this through. The baby had to be saved. S did the most logical and reasonable thing under the circumstance. She threw the bottle of Vicks down, and parked the generous scoop of Vicks in her mouth!!!

Aaarrrghhhhh! The next moment saw S writhing and moaning with the Vicks burning through her mouth. And baby forgot to fall off the bed, and instead, she was found consoling S, patting her on the back, hugging her, and trying to calm down a rather hysterical S.

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