You know it’s going to be an eventful day when your five year old wakes up puking.
And maybe it’s just me, but by kid number three, we’re long past stripping the sheets when one of them tosses his cookies all over the bed. Now, we clean up the crying kiddo, lay down a few towels and wait.
Because there’s always more to come, right?
Also, I take out my contacts before bed and I’m legally blind when I’m stumbling around at night. I may not be so willing to throw down a towel and call it good if I could actually see.
Anyway, 4:30 am – round one of puke, tears, bathroom and towels. Most of it ended up on the corner of the mattress, so the towel fix was totally acceptable. Our son passed out immediately, and we collapsed back in bed. My husband had to be up and gone before 5, ugh, but I was hopeful for another two hours of sleep.
Six am – round two of puke, tears and bathroom. This time, I’m flying solo, and he managed to hit both his pillow and the sink on the way to the toilet. So, pillowcase and pillow went into the washing machine, I did a cursory rinse of the sink and flushed the toilet, and we went back to bed.
I lay there thinking about the mountain of laundry and bathroom duty awaiting me when I had to get up for real – the kind of stuff that just lulls me to sleep.
Seven am – round three of tears from a feverish, miserable little guy. He asked me to sleep with him, and I adjusted the towel, held my breath and climbed in. This poor kid conked out again, and I stealthily crept out as soon as I could.
After popping in my lens, I could see well enough to get good and grossed out. The edge of his bedframe, the carpet, the hardwood in the hallway, the sink and the toilet all needed to be completely sanitized, or better yet, dragged outside and burned. On the plus side, nothing stank and it all cleaned up fast.
Then we were into the morning rush, which is twelve times harder with a sick kid moaning from the sofa and calling mournfully to me every five seconds. I raced around making breakfast and packing lunches, stripping beds and starting laundry.
After shooing the older two out the door on their bikes and settling the two year old with a stuffed animal, some books and her water bottle – because she was giving me frowny faces and patting her belly, explaining that her tummy hurt now too – I grabbed my laptop and charger and sat down with the sick one.
And that’s where I stayed while he alternated between dozing and staring listlessly at the television, while his little sister read to us and demanded “Pecka Pig,” while I answered emails and did my best to get some work done, while the day crawled by.
Because nothing makes time slow down like a miserable kid. And what can you do for an upset stomach? I’ve read that a heat pack can help – not so today – and I dosed him up with some ibuprofen for his fever. I offered popsicles and sips of water, crackers or toast, but he shook his head at all of it.
So we waited it out, snuggling together and getting in a week’s worth of cartoons, me balancing my laptop on a knee and a pillow so he could climb in my lap. I’m crossing my fingers that this is a 24-hour thing, the same quick-and-dirty bug that’s been going around despite the sunshine and the calendar and all the other indicators that summer is almost here.
Pray for us.
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