Yes, my friends, it's stomach bug season. Jack was taken by the puke monster on Saturday evening, and John got hit last night. I fear my time is nigh. Since I'm busy taking care of a sick hubby, I'm going to re-post these little gems from March and April (Crikey, I can't believe this was less than a year ago. It feels like a lifetime!).
Parenthood: Not for the Faint of Heart
It is a truth universally acknowledged by parents that the most feared of childhood viruses is the dreaded stomach flu.
over two years, John and I have managed to escape such horror. No
vomiting, no diarrhea, even when we were both wiped out by the stomach
bug of Christmas '10. Puking is bad enough when you're an adult, but
when you're a child unable to utter such useful phrases as "Grab a
bucket, I'm gonna hurl," the stomach flu becomes something akin to a
minefield. A minefield containing hidden pockets of puke.
Saturday evening, John and I came home from coat shopping (the quest
for the warmest of all winter jackets seems to be at an end; we're
opting for the ridiculously expensive Canada Goose, because it's the
best, and when it comes to cold, I ain't messing around). John lifted
Jack out of the car and, "Grak," Jack deposited the partially digested
contents of his snack - goldfish crackers, to be exact - onto John's
"I think I just picked him up wrong," John
said doubtfully. I, being the pessimist I am, was already convinced it
was something far worse. When Jack refused to eat his dinner, I knew we
were in trouble.
Upstairs, as John was getting Jack's
bath ready, I started to unclothe the child and heard a most unwelcome
sound. Something like a cat getting ready to hack up a hairball.
"Incoming!" I shouted, carrying a half-naked Jack into the bathroom,
where he proceeded to projectile vomit into the sink. The poor kid was
pale and trembling, clearly traumatized by the whole thing, but he
seemed to feel much better once he got into the bath and we brushed his
"Maybe that's the end of it?" John said hopefully.
I shook my head. "Not a chance."
got Jack ready for bed while I proceeded to vomit-proof the crib. See, I
may not have experienced this kind of thing before, but I knew it would
happen eventually. A plan for just such a disaster had formed in my
mind ages ago, and now it was time to put the plan into action. First up
- the accident-proof pads I used to keep under Jack's sheets when he
was little. Next, two blankets that I tucked across the top that could
be easily removed in case of emergency. All non-washable animals came
out of the bed, while a select few blanket-type lovies were allowed to
remain. I got the Pedialyte ready, grabbed a large Tupperware, and
steeled myself for a long night. Two hours after the initial puke, we
heard Jack whimper from his crib.
"GO, GO, GO!" John
and I raced upstairs, grabbed Jack from his crib, and got him over the
toilet just in time. I tried in vain to get Jack to drink some
Pedialyte, but he was already falling back asleep, so we changed his
jammies and laid him back down. An hour later, another whimper. This
time the Tupperware was on hand and the vomit was contained. We gave
Jack a few sips of Pedialyte and went to bed, ready to spend most of the
night cleaning up messes and comforting a sick child.
Miraculously, I did not wake up again until 8:30 on Sunday morning. It was Jack's voice that roused me from my sleep.
I bolted upright, prepared to grab the Tupperware from the hallway.
And that, my friends, was that.
am happy to say that John and I made it through our first stomach virus
relatively painlessly. While John may consider the whole thing luck,
I'm pretty sure it all came down to my carefully laid plans (and John's
willingness to clean a hideously defiled sink). The next time the
stomach bug decides to rear it's ugly head, we'll be ready. Because
parenthood is war, people, and right now, it's Parents: 1; Vomit: 0.
Parents VS Stomach Flu: Round Two
Well, Round Two struck on Thursday, and this time: I was not ready.
happened like this. I got a call from Jack's school saying that the
stomach flu was going around and Jack was looking very pale and like he
wanted to throw up. So I rushed to school and picked him up. I had a
bucket in the car and his smock-bib on, just in case, but we made it
home okay. Jack looked really sleepy though, so I took him up to his
room and began to prepare his crib. But I couldn't just let him wander
around, and he can't be trusted on his changing table, so where did I
put him? In his beautiful blue velvet chair, natch. I turn around for
one second and BLARGH - commencing vomit. I caught the next round in my
bare hands. That was fun. Then I set about cleaning Jack up, all the
while shooting pained glances at my velvet chair, which was absorbing
vomit by the second. Don't even get me started on the little crocheted
pillow that sits on the chair.
Here's what I realized
during Round Two: the stomach flu is totally doable when you have TWO
parents on hand. But when it's just you? And you've got to do the prep
work AND take care of the pukey kid? It's virtually impossible. I should
have done what Sarah suggested (afterward, of course) and stuck Jack in
the bathtub. Hell, pretty much anywhere would have been better than the
chair. Lesson learned. But even still, it's a two-man job. I had a
desperate urge to text John requesting backup, but I was pretty sure he
wasn't going to leave Russian school for this. Fortunately, I already
had tickets to the Hunger Games that night, so John got to face the next
bout by himself (the dog bed took the brunt of that round, I'm sorry to
say). And then, as if the universe really wanted to drive home the fact
that two parents are better than one, Jack had another round of pukies
just as I returned from the movies.
So the score, in
the end, was settled on all accounts. Parents vs stomach flu? 1:1. I
just hope it's more than a few weeks before Round Three.