Sunday, March 26, 2006

Warning: post contains potty talk

In a way I'm grateful that it hit today because it's Sunday and if I only get an hour or two of work done tonight after the kids are in bed, nothing awful will happen. Knowing that the two major illnesses making the rounds were the respiratory/sore throat/cough/cold thing and a stomach bug--I felt like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop this week as everyone crept back towards health.

Last night it dropped. Much to Ben's horror, he could be standing there minding his own business when suddenly his intestines would turn against him.

"I guess I wasn't listening to my body," he said in a sorrowful tone as I was hosing him down with the pet shower for the second time (the water was warm).

"No honey, you have a stomach bug. Your body is busy fighting it and didn't have time to get you the message before the poop came."

:::30 minutes later:::

"The stomach bug came out my butt again, Moooooooom."

This went on for a few hours and then peace. Everyone went to bed. I wrote another piece and then turned off the computer and worked on a sock pattern for Chris who has size 12 feet and I can't find one pattern written for him.

This morning I slept in--things were looking great. Got up, took care of the dogs, tried the sock on Chris (fit, but barely. I tore it out and added 8 more stitches which is only a little over half an inch in the two-stitch cable rib but adds an inch and a half of stretch to it. This is Austermann Step yarn in colorway nachtblau on size 0 needles.) and then Chris ran off to Altoona to go play for the day. A little while later Jill called to see if I could go on a walk with her and while chatting with her, Ben walked over, said, "Mom--" and threw up all over himself.

Soooo . . . . I hung up and ran him upstairs to the toilet but some sleepwalking child had made the toilet look nasty enough for us both to throw up, so I grabbed a plastic bucket and Ben threw up some more in there.

Then, he said he felt fine and trotted off to go watch Max play a video game. I scrubbed every inch of the bathroom. If we're going to throw up today, let's minimize the trauma. I lit a candle and put it on the back of the toilet seat.

About this time it dawns on me that I can't take him to church and that I have nothing except milk and water to drink in the house. Look, we all have things that get us through periods like this. I have an unwavering belief in the power of ginger ale to settle a stomach. So I call Jill back and ask her to come over and watch the kids so I can run to the store. Then I call Kristen and ask her to collect the food storage funds for me today. Then I realize that between dropping off the food storage folder at Kristen's and getting to the grocery store--the trip is going to take too long. So when Jill shows up I appologize and show her my knitting instead (just because she was there--not related to the puking at all). She entertains the dogs while I get everyone else dressed. Jill goes home, I put the kids in the truck.

Here's what I think I'm doing at this point: taking one moderately sick kid and his two healthy brothers to the store to grab ginger ale and some bread (because I'm not baking today and we're out) and some peanut butter and some milk and a lot of apple juice. Sick kid rides in the cart. Healthy kids help me find things and get out as fast as possible before we infect the population of State College.

I drop the folder off at Kristen's house and as I'm getting back in the truck, Max tells me with disgust that Milo is spitting. I tell Milo not to spit but notice that the kid looks, well, pale. There's no color at all in his lips. We drive over to Wegman's and Milo is complaining softly the whole way. I'm not really listening because at my house I really only accept complaints clearly and briefly stated. I'm going over my grocery in list in my head. Milo's complaining gets louder, but I still wasn't paying attention. Max says with anger and disgust (at Milo), "He needs to change his shirt because he spit on it."

Now, I know Milo is My Child Who Sometimes Spits. But it's not very productive spitting. Just enough to get a firm correction from the rest of us. So I'm thinking, as I pull into the far end of the Wegman's parking lot and aiming for the front area close to the carts, "That's odd, why would Milo want to change his shirt?" and then it occurs to me why just at the same moment that Milo begins to throw up everywhere. Max yells, "He's spitting again!" and I yell back, "That's not spit! That's throw up! Be nice!" So I grab the next parking space and run around to Milo's side of the truck and the poor kid is covered in vomit. I pull him out all the while trying to figure out WHAT to do. In my own little OCD state, I can't go home without gingerale. (I'll pay for the kids' therapy, I promise.) I look in the back of the truck and find a clean jacket, so I pull off Milo's jacket and his dirty shirt and zip him up in the clean jacket. His pants are dirty, but I have no clean pants. If I go to Target and get clean pants first--we'll all die. I don't know why, it's just what I think at the time. So I dry off the pants as best as I can and get us inside. I send Max over to the plastic wrap area to get us some food storage containers to use as puke buckets. I put each child in a cart and then Ben throws up in my hands.

I deserve this.

Once we're clean again, we do the fastest ten-minute shopping trip possible with two sick kids and a nine-year-old who is now in a foul mood (I don't know why . . . . could it be because his crazy mom is being a nimrod?) We buy out their stock of Wegmans gingerale and apple juice concentrate and bread and reduced-fat peanut butter (on sale for 99 cents--got four of them) and milk and some bagels and a few other items. Oh, popsicles. That seemed only fair.

Then we went home.

Max, Milo, and I each had a bagel (Milo's was plain, nothing on it) and now Max is playing his nintendo and Ben and Milo are both asleep and me? I'm eating sushi as I type this. Oh, yeah. Hubris. God's gonna get me.


Risha said...

That sounds like the seventh level of Hades, Alaska. I'll be praying for y'all... 'cause it sounds like you NEED it!

The Queen said...

It turned out okay, although I did see absolutely all of that plain bagel again. The last of the puking was around 4:30 pm. Now, it's mostly bad memories and a LOT of laundry. (That, and I was totally vindicated by my choice of high-gloss on my bedroom wall.)

Dy said...

Oh, Alaska, I'm so sorry! You write beautifully about it, though, and I can picture the entire thing - the spitting, the OCD, all of it. (Probably, in part, because I've done that, too. I blame it on hormones. It may not be, but nobody dares question that.)

Let's all pray there are no more shoes to be dropped (lobbed?) on your doorstep.


Writing and Living said...

In my family it's cola syrup that must be had during the stomach flu.

I've been there and done that -- it's not fun. Hope your having a better day today.

Eliza said...

I have Ginger Ale in food storage! Also, saltines. I've found that those big plastic cups you get a metric ton of from McDonalds are *great* puke buckets. They fit in the cup holders and they are really deep and cover a whole kid face without cutting off the air supply.

Kim said...

Yipes! I sure hope everyone is feeling better?! Much better.

On a sidenote - I love Wegmanns. We don't have one around here, but when we visit family in NY, I always volunteer for grocery pick-up.