*pssst* I’m baaaack.
Yes, that’s a whisper. Hannah is running a high temperature today, so I don’t think I’m completely out of the woods yet. I’m afraid to proclaim my triumphant return too loudly, lest I anger the twin gods of vomiting and diarrhea. They are angry. And vengeful. And full of wrath. (And Hannah’s not quite old enough to make it to the bathroom each time she feels sick, which means more washing of sheets, towels, clothes, carpet, walls, rugs and stuffed animals.)
I am so, so tired.
This past week has been a blur. One great big laundry-room visiting, scrubbing, washing, folding, hosing, vomiting nightmare. That repeated itself EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I won’t bore you with the monotony of it, but I will share with you a few highlights:
*Kendra and Alex both spent one night throwing up. After that one horrible night, they were back to normal. Hannah skated through the week unscathed, only it seems to have caught up to her now, too. Kenny and I never did throw up, but I was nauseated for days (think morning sickness, only without the baby), and there were times when it was like I suffered from stealthy bouts of Narcolepsy… one minute I was carrying laundry up the stairs to be folded, and in the next minute, I was sound asleep on the couch with the laundry pile thrown over me for warmth.
Poor Anthony, though, was sick all week. He threw up ALL WEEK LONG. It got to the point where the kids didn’t even freak out anymore. One would just calmly grab the bowl and stick it under his head, while the other would go for fresh towels. (Linen closet? Nope, all out. Mom’s bathroom? None there, either. Laundry room? The only towels down there are the ones Anthony threw up on earlier, and they smell. Definitely not those. Oh look, there are towels on the couch. I’ll just grab one of those and OH MY HECK, MOM, YOU SCARED ME!)
By mid-week, we were playing “Guess What Anthony Ate to Make It THAT Color”.
Yeah, I can make a game out of pretty much anything.
*On Thursday night, everyone seemed to be a little better. The day was chaotic (which had less to do with the virus, and more to do with the refinance), and when Anthony woke up from his nap, he seemed active and happy and back to normal. I buckled the kids into the van and took them to McDonald’s for dinner. (I know, not my best parenting moment. However, in my defense, I was so tired of toast and applesauce, cold cereal and scrambled eggs– both in preparation and in regurgitation– that I NEEDED it. I deserved a break.)
We got to the restaurant, I made my order, and then sitting in the drive-thru line, waiting to pay, I heard it… the retching. The kids started screaming, “MOM! ANTHONY’S PUKING!!! MOM! STOP! PULL OVER! MOOOOOOM” I got to the window, gave the cashier my debit card, tried to calm everyone down, and asked Anthony if he was okay (“Y*gag*eah”). Kendra said she had a towel next to her seat, so I asked her to cover his lap with it, and instructed him to aim for the towel. While I was waiting for my food, I looked over my shoulder to see how he was, and was met with three pairs of eyes. No noses, no mouths- just eyes peeking out from their shirt collars. (As if a thin layer of cotton pulled up bandit-style over the nose could block out that smell… silly kids.) The eyes were dry-heaving, and if the whole situation hadn’t been so terrible, I would have burst into a fit of giggles over that sight.
Home was less than five minutes away, so I made the choice to drive straight home and get the three oldest settled with their food before I tackled the clean-up. It was so bad, I had to unbuckle the entire car seat and put it on the front lawn, with Anthony still seat-belted inside it. Had he not been sitting in the best car seat I’ve ever owned, that they don’t make anymore, I would have picked up the whole thing and put it directly into the garbage. (Yup, THAT bad.) Long story short, I sprayed the heck out of it with the hose, and ended up stripping it down to the styrofoam (styrofoam!?) and plastic base. EVERY piece had to be washed. It took three cycles through the washer to get the smell out.
At least I had a Quarter-Pounder meal to help me through it. *grin*
*Leaving my parents’ house last night, Anthony threw up just as we were buckling him into the car seat. Luckily, I had learned from the McDonald’s episode, so I had extra towels ready. I’m sure it was a hilarious sight to see me, my mom and my sister Kelli (thanks, guys!) alternately running for paper towels, clean clothes, wet wipes and garbage sacks. The three of us stood in the middle of the street, cleaning him off as best we could by the van’s interior light, because did I mention that it was 11:00 PM? Yeah… fun. In hindsight, what made it even funnier was the fact that the neighbors across the street were setting off their arsenal of fireworks. So not only were we dodging chunks and vomit splatters, we were trying not to get burned by fountains and screaming demons and spinning bumblebees and all the other twelve thousand things they set off.
When Anthony woke up this morning, he climbed up on the counter and got into the leftover holiday cupcakes. I was elated because, first of all, he proved that he can forage for his own food now (kidding! I AM KIDDING!), and second, he showed the energy necessary to line up the bathroom stool, various toy bins and the garbage can in order to climb them and reach the counter top. For two weeks, he’s barely had enough energy to hold his head up, let alone hatch a mischievous plot to eat all the cupcakes before his siblings could get one, so it was a huge, albeit naughty, moment. (Who cares? It’s a step toward recovery! Or, at the very least, a life of juvenile detention…) He even used his “Ha ha! Too bad for you!” taunt.
Who teaches him these things?
I am down to my last illness-related load of laundry, which is a huge relief, provided there isn’t more tonight. Now I can tackle the dishes, the toys, the personal shower (can’t WAIT for that one!) and the regular dirty-clothes laundry for our family. If you haven’t heard from me in a few days, check the pile of clean clothes on the couch.
But please, whatever you do, don’t rouse me from my nap by yelling, “Kemi, someone just threw up!”