We’re in the middle of Spring Stomach Bug of 2016 over here at Casa Elder, and it’s about as much fun as you imagine.
(If you’re imagining that being fun, I really need to figure out how to type in *sarcastic*. Is there a font for that?)
Well, I think we’re in the middle…but maybe we’re at the end (*gasp! Don’t even say that out loud! Jinxing is a thing!) or we might be just at the start. Because this dang bug is unpredictable. It comes in, knocks a kiddo off her feet and puts her head in a barf bowl for a day, and then said kid has a great day of feeling better.
And then it comes back.
48 hours later.
There should be some sort of unwritten rule of the Universe: once vomiting stops, it stops. Like, for realz stops.
Because this just seems unfair.
So far the kids have alternated their bad days, so we’ve never had more than one puker a day. Thanks for that Universe, I guess…
However, my days are filled with the most attentive couch-sitting child-watching I think I’ve ever mustered. A second of distraction means barf goes on the couch and not in the bowl. That’s the problem with having sicko kiddos who aren’t old enough to grab a barf-bowl themselves.
This has been a stretch for me, because my parenting style is one I might nicely call: lax. “Helicopter” is not really part of my parenting vocabulary, but “Ignoring” is well established. Go, child. Find something to do. I know you can entertain yourself. Can I call it “Ignoring Parenting”? That doesn’t quite flow, but Ignorance Parenting sounds worse… I’ll stick with IP. Turns out IP and stomach bugs don’t exactly jive if I want to salvage our upholstered furniture. So during the day: I hover.
Nights are spent sleeping next to one of the sick kids, panic-waking with every cough or moan or mumble. I haven’t timed myself yet, but adrenaline does wonders for a parent who needs to go from sleeping to awake-with-the-phone-light-on-holding-a-bucket-at-the-ready. If there’s a record somewhere, I think I may have beaten it. Good and bad though, 90% of these wake ups are false alarms, so: no barf in the bowl, but there’s still adrenaline in my veins. So much for falling back asleep (parents in Newborn Land, I salute you! Many, many nighttime wake ups is really hard…I’m just starting to remember that as I sit here nursing this mocha).
I’ve consulted enough Dr. Google pages to know this sort of delayed return to sickness is common, and you know what? All you Mamas of multiple kids (or even just one!) who’ve already experienced this circle of vomit-hell: I’m sorry. This sucks.
So far Dom, Andy and I have been spared. But instead of making me feel better, it’s just added to the general anxiety of the situation. How in the world do I keep Dom from getting sick? (Baby gate quarantine, and lots of hand washing- I’m really betting on that being the right answer). Did that toy cross the quarantine line? Did Dom stick it in his mouth?! Can I wash his tongue with soap? Was that a burp or an urp? Do I feel sick? I think my stomach hurts. No, it doesn’t. Moms can’t get sick. So, No! I feel fine! I feel fine! I feel…fine? Andy, do you feel fine? You know you’re not allowed to get sick, right? So, you feel fine too!
So Friends, all joking aside, prayers that we’re at the end of this saga, please? Now, I should stop ignoring my sick kids and get back to watching them.
But if I have to be a helicopter much longer, I might just fly away…