Warning-this post is not for those with a weak stomach since I delve into my feelings on the stomach bug. Be warned-it is a descriptive and bodily fluids heavy post.
A new milestone – a new puking milestone – has occurred in my world.
I was pretty convinced that by the time my children made it to kindergarten, we would have exhausted the world of milestones. All the big ones anyway: first tooth, first step, first word, first day of school.
But there are tons of unexpected and less celebrated firsts along the way. And my new favorite, by far, is the first time they make it to the toilet during our yearly stomach flu.
Vomit is my kryptonite, people. I will do anything for my kids and very little grosses me out. I never really minded changing diapers (I mean I did, but…). I’m not afraid to nurse my little ones around most illnesses and have no problem putting my lips on their burning foreheads to gauge their temperatures.
But puke, no. Just no. I literally can’t even.
It’s so unexpected. It goes everywhere. It looks gross coming out. And then more comes out. Oh, and the stench, dear Lord, that stench!
I think I must have a heightened sense of smell because I can always still smell it! Even after the room has been disinfected and the carpets have been steam cleaned. That’s why we had to move out of our last house. Because on really humid days, I could still catch a whiff of the epic hot dog barf of 2013 rising from the carpet fibers.
The stomach bug in our house normally goes something like this:
Child has belly ache and asks to sleep in our room. The quickest way for me to get back to sleep is to say yes, so yes. Child sits up and violently empties stomach contents all over bed. Child gets up out of bed, runs in circles, spews on floor and into basket of clean laundry. Child walks around making sure to distribute drops of puke throughout bedroom.
Cut to me, scrubbing, nose on carpet, inhaling deeply, “Can’t you smell that, Bill? I can still smell it.” At this point my husband, who is standing in the doorway looking at me like I’m crazy, (clearly) heads downstairs to sleep on the couch.
And then I catch it. Of course I do, I just had my nose in the carpet! But before that is the anxiety of, “I wonder if I’m going to get it? I wonder when I’ll get it? I hope I don’t get it,” which is torture in itself.
But this year was different. First of all, I got it first. Which wasn’t fun, but it did eliminate the panicky worry about if and when I would succumb. But getting it first delegated me to the role of Head Cleaner Upper, since I was immune. I steeled myself for the job.
But to my amazement Victim Number One made it to the toilet. I mean, wow! One flush and a quick once over with the Lysol wipes and I was done? Victim Number Two didn’t even puke, because when one kid gets the stomach flu I pretty much starve my kids out and the foods I do give are easy on the stomach (read no meat, no fruit loops). And Victim Number Three, well, lets just say Victim Number Three is my new favorite. Victim Number Three announced a belly ache, was put on the couch and given the bucket and without any moaning or running around or anything, just leaned over and used the bucket. Done. I didn’t even know what happened until it was over.
Can I really even be this lucky? This could be a new era for my family!
I really hope so. But we still have one unaffected. The germs could be brewing in Victim Number Four’s belly as we speak. And who knows where that puke will land.