Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Day That Will Live in Infirmity

It was after midnight when Kate came down from her bedroom to tell me that her stomach was bothering her and that she couldn’t sleep. She asked if she could sleep on the couch and I told her she could and then I tried to sleep. 

Unfortunately the next few hours were filled with listening to Kate shuffle around in the next room and make more than one false alarm run to the bathroom. At nearly 3 am I heard her make haste for the bathroom-- NOT a false alarm. She didn’t make it to her intended goal and shortly my Man joined us in the bathroom with a bucket of sudsy water and a look of sleepy determination. He cleaned up the mess which involved all four bathroom walls and them some while I cleaned up our girl. 

Eventually we all resumed our places in bed and on the couch. The next three or four hours were just as eventful and just as sleepless as the previous hours had been. Finally the sun came up and the birds began to sing and I rolled over on the couch and covered my head wishing it all away for a few more hours. 
{Kate, 2010}

Soon however, Molly came down from her bed and I waved her toward her Daddy. I drifted off to sleep and awoke to a voice from my room, “My belly hurts!”  

“Molly, you’re just hungry. Come and get breakfast.” 

And she did. And I drifted back to sleep until I heard coughing. 

“Molly, are you gonna be sick?”

“Noooooo……” splat, splat, splat.

We hung the top half of Molly, who had managed to deposit her breakfast on the exact same spot that her sister had hours before, over the bathtub to finish her deed (right on top of my bath poof) and I left the bathroom for some fresh air as my stomach had just begun to threaten. 

Turns out I shouldn’t have left because shortly I had to jump over Molly’s mess to avoid making one of my own. My Man, just ready to walk out the door to work turned around and began to change clothes so he could reacquaint himself with the bucket and sponge. It was not long until the scene in our bathroom involved Molly over the tub, me over the toilet and Cole, announcing from the living room that Kate was also rejoining the fun. It was, however, her game to begin with.

In an hour, my Man was at work and the little girls and I were on the couch holding very still. It was just about time for lunch when I woke up to the sound of…well, I’ve been way too explicit already, but Cole had succumbed. My Man was just walking in the door and Meg announced the news to him. “Please tell me,” he said in a terribly anxious voice, “that he made it to the bathroom.” 

The news on that front was good, but now 4 of the 6 of us were in bad shape. Meg, alone with the four of us, spent her day yelling from far away “Does anybody need anything?!” or “I’ll be outside” and at one point I’m pretty sure I heard her say, “Daddy, please take me to work with you so they don’t infect me too! Please!!”   

I read a book once entitled “The Stomach Virus and Other Forms of Family Bonding” and I kept thinking how true that title was. 

It had been a day of bonding. Us sickos comparing symptoms and commiserating with each other on the couch watching episode after episode of Castle and the pair of healthy folks hiding in the kitchen in the evening hunkered over their what-must-have-been-delicious take out dinner. 

By day’s end we were running low on WalMart bags, but otherwise things were looking a little better. Late in the evening, Meg and her dad fixed ramen noodle soup for us which was to be the beginning of the BETTER.

When I woke the next morning after 12 hours of sleep, I asked my Man if everyone had kept their noodles down during the night. Happily, mercifully, blissfully, everyone had. Shortly Molly and Kate who’d spend the night on the couch, just in case, awoke and were hungry for breakfast. 

One by one all six of us were found to be in pretty solid shape. “Nothing hurts anymore!!” shouted Molly, “even when I stand up!”  Through out the day, which has become known as "the day after” , the whole gang of us appreciated feeling good just a bit more than we did perhaps last week (until the next day when my Man became the last of us to experience the bug). 

There’s nothing like feeling awful to make us appreciate NOT feeling awful later on. It was quite a day to live through just to gain perspective, but I gained so much more than that…

...you should see how shiny my bathroom floor is!!

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