Do you all remember our story of the train ride home from Indiana one Christmas about 3 1/2 years ago? And how almost all of us got the stomach flu – while on the train? If you don’t remember, you can read it here.
I am extremely happy to tell you we eventually recovered. However, the memories still cause convulsions somewhere between laughter and horror.
We were so happy to be without a really nasty bug that laid us all up . . . for almost 3 years. Until these past couple weeks. This story is kind of like dominoes . . . you tip one over and they all go crashing down! Let me start at the beginning.
Two weeks ago, we had taken all six children to the dentist – which is a couple hours from here. Lowell went with me, which was a huge blessing. Plus, he took us all out for Pizza Hut pizza! You have to realize that we go out to eat on a rare basis with the whole family, so this was a treat we were immensely enjoying.
Until we got home.
Kid #1 decided he would bring all his pizza back up and place it in a wide circle on the living room carpet. His plan worked to perfection! And it took much spraying and scrubbing to get that circle removed – or at least smelling better. Bless the poor chap, he took to the couch and I only had to get up a couple times that night with him. However, he was in tears the next morning when he couldn’t go to first grade.
The next few days were spent watching my family like the scientist dudes did when Mount St. Helens was getting ready to blow her top. I just KNEW somebody was going to barf somewhere, sometime, somehow . . . when I was least expecting it.
On Friday, kid #2 decided he would take a turn and came to our bedroom at 2 a.m. complaining of a bellyache. “Oh buddy, here we go!” So the next miserable chap spent the rest of that night and into the morning emptying his stomach of its contents. But at least he was a teenager, so he could empty most of his own buckets and I could still sleep.
The weekend came and I still had a bad feeling that the littlest guy was going to blow. You have to remember that little people can’t control where they place their vomit, and I had cleaned up many loads of “little people vomit” over the last 15 years. When a mom knows, she knows. Trust me.
2 a.m. Monday morning and we got a very urgent call to report to the bedroom of the littlest dude – kid #3 was puking. Was I right or what? And what is with the whole 2 a.m. thing anyway?!! I was not impressed. What did impress me was how easy it was to clean this time. The poor little dear had been laying on his back and so the vomit ran down over his chin and behind his head. But at least the sheet (and his hair) held the worst of it! I handed him off to Daddy who gallantly scrubbed the little dude in the bathtub at while I cleaned up the bed.
However, with little people, you don’t get to go back to bed and let them vomit on their own. So into the living room we both went to spend the rest of the night trying to catch the flying barf!
Morning rolled around and we had a decision to make. One of our mail Jeeps was needing to be picked up at the auto shop about 2 hours away, which we had been planning to do this day. I also had a big Costco shopping trip planned. But could I do it with a barfing 3 year old? I made the decision – probably as I was gulping down my coffee – and we decided to try it. Surely the little man would be better by the time I reached Costco!
Thankfully, he was much better – just very listless. He slouched over the shopping cart handlebars on a blanket and fell asleep. I got quite a few comments about the tired little guy! Why does it tug on people’s heart strings to see a tired, sick 3 year old – but not a tired, stressed out mama? Don’t answer that.
He began to perk up on the way home and chatted for almost two hours! He even told me that when I get big, I need to get a bow. I guess he must think I still have some growing up to do yet. And by the time we were 45 minutes from home, I needed some caffeine. So I suggested to my little buddy that we stop for a Pepsi. He calmly informed me that while I could have a Pepsi, he would have a Coke! It was said so sweetly that I couldn’t help laughing.
By 9 pm, I was crashing and we all went to bed. For about 2 1/2 hours. At 11:30, kid #4 very bravely broke out of the mold and ruined the whole 2 a.m. thing! Truthfully, 11:30 isn’t better than 2 a.m. Let’s go back to that, k? Back out to the living room I went with this guy for the rest of the night.
There is a funny thing that happens when a large family gets sick.
If you want to be the patient that gets the most sympathy, then you want to be the first one that gets sick!!
Because as the dominoes continue to fall, Mama begins to feel more sorry for herself than anyone else. So while dude #4 was moaning of his bellyache and filling his bucket, I was munching Hi-Chew candies from Costco. That doesn’t sound very sympathetic, huh? Remember I am the wife of the guy who eats Doritos and sips Pepsi while I am in labor! What goes around, comes around. But at least I did empty the bucket for the puking punkin’ and sat beside his couch – while we tried watching a movie at the wee hours of the night!
By the next day, I was seriously sleep-deprived. Deprived enough that I had a feeling I might get sick, too. Sure enough, Wednesday evening saw kid #5 (this time the Girlie) and Mama both lying on separate couches. It was an evening I would like to forget! Everyone else went to bed, and we still kept on puking. But at least we kept each other company! However, I had to somehow empty her buckets in between my own barfing sessions. I was not amused about that either. I just figure I have about a month of chocolate and coffee headed my way after this ordeal . . .
Thursday was a day where I went from the recliner to the bed and back again. My one and only accomplishment was to get two loads of laundry done. Thankfully, Lowell was off work that day and could take care of the others – which was a tremendous blessing!! Some men won’t touch barf, but he does pretty good with it. However, by 5 pm, he admitted he was sick.
Now here is where a strange thing happens! I can handle “little people vomit”, but when the big boys and men start to up-chuck . . . I want to run away. Literally. I went to the other end of the house when I saw him head into the bathroom. It sounds like it comes from their toes, and about tears me up to listen! With little people, you can hold them and tell them it will be okay. With big people, I want to shove a bucket at them and run away to cry.
He bravely spent the night in the living room, but at 4 a.m. the next morning, kid #6 was the last domino to fall. My biggest boy. So while I was preparing to leave for the mail route (since Lowell was still really sick), my two biggest men were flat on their backs. I set the kids down for breakfast and almost immediately the littlest dude decided he would continue his flu from 4 days previous and proceeded to vomit – again.
Here is where both he and I got mad.
I carried him to the bathroom in horror, exclaiming “Not again!” . . . while the little guy was yelling furiously “I don’t WANT to get sick!!”
I declare both of us came close to having a temper tantrum right there.
Truthfully, it probably looked and sounded hilarious – both mama and baby boy yelling in the bathroom. But it was time this game of dominoes ended.
Sort of like this sick blog post. It’s time it ends before you never want to come back again. However, don’t you want to know if we are doing well now? We are. Much better anyway. Thanks for asking. 😉
Moral of the story: there is none. Besides the fact that I seriously need some chocolate.
You all have an awesome week!!