It could be worse

Sunday afternoon, after a friend made a gorgeous brunch for us, my beautiful little guy starting puking. Strawberries. All over a gorgeous house.

And I cleaned it and cuddled him and apologized and went on with my day. He asked for a blueberry smoothie. Happy that he felt better, I made one. And he barfed it all over the car. And the house. And his bed and my bed.

My friend, whose family probably bleached their whole house after we left, was sympathetic.

There’s nothing worse than a puking kid, she said.

Actually, I thought, there is.

I remembered the ear infections from hell.  And how food poisoning and pregnancy has luckily struck only the adults in our family.

Today, as the second child started peppering our floors and furniture with regurgitated blueberry smoothie (you’d think I’d learned my lesson and make only pineapple and banana smoothies), I smiled and cuddled and laundered and tea-steeped. Because one puking kid is bearable.

Then Spouse came home with similar symptoms. The older child was tossing cookies (water, really, since he hasn’t eaten for twelve hours) every 30 minutes. And the little guy kept whining the petulant cry of the tired and sick, between grossly congested coughs.

Between them, they’ve been in bed four hours and woken, crying and asking for me, eight times.

It’s going to be a long night. But this is better than so many things that could be wrong. It will end soon, it’s something different, it relieves me of fixing snacks or meals, it lessens the pressure to come up with constructive projects and educational games, and it’s basically a vacation from the tasmanian-devils-on-speed energy we usually have around here. We’re lucky to have laundry facilities and running water and They Might Be Giants science DVDs.

But we’re running out of towels. And sheets. And Bio-Kleen. And I’m going to have to miss a reunion with a friend tomorrow so I can clean vomit off the floor and walls because my kids aren’t old enough to just run to the toilet or sink or tub or something not right…there. Oh, it’s okay, honey. It’s not your fault. This is what Mommies and Daddies are for. Just feel better, pumpkin.

Wanna place bets on how long I look on the bright side, and on what officially flips me to the “I will pay the next door-to-door solicitor to stay here for a while so I can run screaming through the streets” camp?


8 thoughts on “It could be worse

  1. My kids aren’t good at running to the toilet either. I keep a large bowl or bucket nearby when they are in puke mode, so I can at least try to contain the mess. It doesn’t always work, but Eldest is now in the habit of puking in the bowl on the rare occasion that he’s that ill.

    There have been many times when I’ve actually been glad that the kids are really sick. It means sitting in bed and watching TV rather than having to do something constructive with them. I know that’s lame, but sometimes it feels like a serious vacation.

    Hope you don’t get sick with them! That’s miserable!!

    • Since vacations are just relocations, any major difference at home is equivalent to a vacation. So I’m going to vote that I agree.
      (And yeah, I give them a camping cooler to barf in, but they usually miss it in their panic. No big deal. We have hardwood floors.)

  2. Oh my, Momma, this is a tough time and you are handling this with way more grace than I could ever muster. You are my hero Momma of sick kiddos. I have allowed myself the luxury to cry and feel sorry for myself while cleaning up such things. Take care of you and I’m hoping that you don’t catch this, too. Green smoothie for you! And … hoping that all are feeling better very soon!

    • Thanks, MommyVerbs! As long as I don’t get sick, I don’t mind cleaning it up. I would mind if there was high-pitched, incessant whining. Or screaming. But sick, cuddly, sad creatures bring out the best in me.
      Unless I’m barfing, in which case I tend toward high-pitched, incessant whining. ;-)

  3. Gross. Three sick boys (not to be all cliche-y about it, but in my experience MOST grown men revert to boys who want to be babied when sick) and . . . you. With the cleaner and the laundry and the sympathy.

    It’s that last one that I have such trouble with. How old do they have to be before you can tell them to tough it out? Older than three, I know.

    Anyway. I sincerely hope everyone recovered with remarkable speed and that you are not similarly stricken.

    • I tell the adult one straight out that if he’s well enough to get out of bed, he’s well enough to do everything else for himself. He can get his own tea and his own shower and his own barf bag. He can run a washer and cuddle feverish kids, too. And he does, pausing to run to the bathroom.
      I might be mean, but nobody’s holding my hair when I puke, so…

  4. Blech! We discovered recently that our new L-shaped bunk beds had one major drawback: the nighttime lean-over-and-barf-on-your-brother phenomenon. Pretty pukey, with two boys and two sets of PJs and two sheets and two blankets and two pillows all needing nighttime changing. Pretty remarkable, really.

    I hope everyone is feeling better!

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