Christopher returned home from the Philippines on a Thursday morning, November 14. Megan had her first orchestra performance that evening. The sixth graders were so cute, and not bad for only two months of practice. The seventh and eighth graders were quite impressive.
After our travels, we enjoyed a quiet weekend at home. Christopher took Ben to the Root Beer Store all day Saturday and I relaxed and watched football while the other kids played.
It started early Sunday morning. Megan woke me up around four a.m. with a stomachache. I told her she’d probably start throwing up soon, and she said she already had. Bless her heart, she left me to sleep and spent the next several hours between her bed and the bathroom.
She stayed in bed all day Sunday. Christopher left Sunday night for El Salvador and we prayed neither of us would get sick while he was gone.
Monday, early in the morning, Gavin said he had thrown up three times. I wasn’t surprised that Megan had left me in peace during her sickness, but Gavin? I was pleasantly surprised at his maturity. The year before he had been my worst.
So Monday the big kids rested all day. Tuesday morning rolled around and Gavin told me he had thrown up again. This I did not believe. It didn’t fit the pattern of the virus and he had been playing Monday night with plenty of energy. I told him he was going to school and he pitched a fit and it reached a point where I was going to have a drag a screaming kid to school who had thrown up Monday and claimed he threw up Tuesday. I gave up and told him to go to bed, where he fell immediately to sleep. So maybe he was sick, I thought. And I made him stay in his room for the rest of the day.
Wednesday we were back to our normal schedule. Tired, but normal. That evening I shooed the big kids to bed and turned on the TV. A PBS show about asteroid mining came on, and wouldn’t you know the first person they interviewed was the smarmy guy who fired Christopher a few years ago? Ugh! Having him in my living room made my stomach turn, so I turned the channel. Except 10 minutes later, I was still queasy. Huh, I thought, I didn’t realize I was still harboring such strong emotions about the whole thing. Why else would I be so nauseated…?
Oh, right. I went up to my room, got into my comfy pajamas, threw a few blankets on the floor of the bathroom and climbed in bed to watch TV. It didn’t take long. I spent the next six hours with my head in the toilet, and another six sitting on the toilet. Christopher walked in the door–from El Salvador–an hour after I got sick. If that’s not good timing, I don’t know what is. He got me a few water bottles and offered to hold my hair and then, when Logan woke up sick, spent the night sleeping on the floor next to his crib.
Thursday I couldn’t get out of bed. When skinny people get the stomach bug, it’s bad. Christopher stayed home from work and the house stayed in survival mode. Friday he went back to work but Ben had school and a friend brought me dinner, so we were fine.
By the time the weekend rolled around, I thought we were under control. Logan and I stayed home from church, sick but much-improved, but everyone else seemed fine. Until about Sunday at four when Ben complained of a stomach ache. He lay on the couch for a few hours, which of course raised all sorts of red flags. At six I snuggled in bed with him, wondering if he’d just fall asleep without throwing up. Ha!
Around seven, he got out of bed and started gagging. I rushed him to the bathroom and that kid threw up more than I thought was humanly possible. It was like a fire hose. He stood straight, facing the toilet, and it came out so forcefully that, in spite of most of it landing IN the toilet, the entire bathroom was covered. Just covered. When he was done, he took a breath and said, “Phew. That feels better.”
He sat with Christopher while I cleaned the bathroom. No harm done, I thought. I snuggled Ben up again with a bowl this time. He fell fast asleep, but every 30 minutes or so would wake up and throw up a little bit into the bowl. I had to hold him so he wouldn’t miss.
Meanwhile, Gavin starts complaining about his stomach. You’re fine, I say. You’ve already had the virus. If you think you’re going to throw up, take a bowl to bed with you. It’s probably 9 p.m. by this time, and I figure Gavin is just looking for attention and an opportunity to stay up a little longer.
Soon after, Christopher comes up. I need your help cleaning up Gavin! He has thrown up everywhere. His bed is covered. Then, when Christopher moved him to the couch, with a bowl, he misses the bowl and nails the couch.
At this point, I am angry. Angry that Christopher doesn’t clean it himself after I’ve been dealing with Ben. And livid at Gavin, because now I KNOW that Gavin lied to me Monday and Tuesday about throwing up. There’s no way that kid would have thrown up four times without me seeing the evidence. So I’m yelling at Gavin, see what happens when you lie! Haven’t you heard of the boy who cried wolf? If you hadn’t lied the first time about throwing up I would have taken better care of you tonight and you would not have thrown up all over the house! And Christopher is mad that I’m yelling at Gavin, who is just pitiful sitting in a pool of his own puke, and I say he can clean it up himself!
I go back up to Ben and let Christopher get Gavin in the shower and start taking care of the couch and blankets and such. Eventually, I calm down and help Christopher. It’s a full-scale vomit cleanup, where chunks have to be scraped and flushed and then everything goes into the wash, one load at a time. Now that I’ve taken over the downstairs cleaning, Christopher reclaims his spot on the bed (Ben had been sleeping on my side). I tell Christopher I will keep up the laundry but PLEASE do not let Ben throw up in our bed. Make sure he hits the bowl.
Within an hour Christopher is walking downstairs with OUR sheets and around one a.m. Christopher, Ben, and I are sleeping on couches. Gavin is in bed, throwing up every hour in a large soup pot. Every time he throws up I get off the couch, clean out the pot, and change out the laundry.
Monday Gavin and Ben sat around, played DS and drank Pedialyte, and Tuesday the final member of the family came down with the stomach bug–Christopher.