Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Great Expectations. Or Just Some Expectations. Whatever.

WARNING: This post contains graphic content relating to REAL LIFE CHILDREN WITH A REAL LIFE STOMACH BUG.  Reader discretion is advised.

Not so long ago, The Hubs read a book that included the major tenets of Buddhism.  We love us some Jesus in this house but he is one of those intellectual types that reads to learn.  Me?  Oh, I read such literary classics as Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site and the complete works of Barbara Park (see: Junie B. Jones books 1-1,000,000).

One of the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism is that suffering exists because of unfulfilled expectations.  Therefore, if you expect nothing, you will suffer nothing, because you will never be disappointed.

Well.  Let me assure you that dear old Buddha never tried to maneuver through Back To School Week while fighting a stomach bug which spread to 2/3 of his offspring.

Note to future mamas: Here's the thing about being sick--the mom just doesn't get to participate. No matter how bad you feel, unless you are dying you must carry on.  It's just a fact of life so don't try telling your husband about your misery because HE CAN'T COME HOME EARLY TODAY BECAUSE HE HAS A DEADLINE.  Or something.

Here's how it went down.  It started on a Thursday night at midnight with Middle Child vomiting in his bed like a boss.  I mean we had to strip it down to the mattress and put it in the washing machine right then because of the sheer volume of it all.  One hour later All Knowing Second Grader woke us up again to say Middle Child had just completed round 2.

At this point I switched places with All Knowing Second Grader and slept in the room with a child who continued to vomit every 30 minutes for 2-3 hours before collapsing in exhaustion.

Cue 7:00 AM.  I sneak out of the room, telling myself all I need is coffee in large measure and I will make it.  It's Friday, the day moms everywhere mail it in because we have NOTHING LEFT TO GIVE by 3:00 PM.  All I wanted from this day was to get one kid off to school and then drag the other two around doing 17,000 errands because two kids is kinda like zero kids as long as there are plenty of snacks in the backseat and the soundtrack to Cars plays on repeat.  Stupid expectations.

One sip of coffee and my stomach sends my brain the very clear message that I should not have tried to put a foreign object in it. You see where this is going.

Then The Baby wakes up.  I hobble in to get her up and before I open the door I can SMELL IT.  She is sitting up in her bed, dressed in footie pajamas, a sleep sack, and approximately three gallons of vomit.

Another note to future mamas: Once you bring your little love into the world, you will quickly be forced to throw all repulsion caused by other people's bodily "mishaps" out the window.  You cannot change a dirty diaper worn by a vomit-ridden baby while also holding your shirt over your mouth and nose.  It is not humanly possible.  I know this for a fact.

The Hubs put her in the bath and had to wash her sweet, golden feathers-for-hair three times to get it out.  Her hair is only one inch long.

Meanwhile, I was hiding silently in bed hoping he would forget his day job.


He turned on Netflix and slowly backed away with a promise to return for lunch.  I spent the morning literally lying in the living room floor letting Middle Child watch endless episodes of Rescue Bots while The Baby did...something. I'm a tad fuzzy on this particular issue.

Thankfully sick children sleep more than usual, so The Baby slept most of the afternoon. And bless his heart, The Hubs did come home for lunch at which point I pretended I was alone in the house and just got in bed and went to sleep, again allowing the Transformers to babysit my son.  Winning.

By the evening I had pretty much given up on life and when The Hubs came home I went straight to bed.  Then End.

Except we repeated the night time part of this saga three more times throughout the next week. Except the kids traded vomit for something worse.  Except the one time The Hubs was putting The Baby to bed and she just started vomiting all over him and all over the floor on the way to the bathroom.

I prayed for the rapture several times.

Final note to future mamas: As part of your criteria in choosing a husband I strongly suggest you try to pre-determine how he will handle being completely covered in someone else's vomit.  If you are already married and unsure of this, ask your mom friends to borrow a sick baby.  I promise they will loan you one.

But we hobbled to victory and have been mess free for four whole days.  FOUR WHOLE DAYS, HALLELUJAH! Once again my awesome tribe came through and dropped off a week's supply of Gatorade and crackers and brought All Knowing Second Grader home from school while remaining at a safe distance in their cars with the windows rolled up.  You can never be too careful.

I am feeling certain that even if I had gone so far as to expect this to happen I would still label it as suffering. My dad likes to say I feel things acutely. I say to him, and to every other father who is (probably mistakenly) reading this, call your mother and wax rhapsodic about her virtue. Or send flowers.  Or if you live in this house, ice cream will suffice.

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