How was your weekend?
I trust that it was better than ours.
And I’m not just saying that because the Patriots won the Super Bowl, which is apparently the biggest letdown that a Denver Broncos fan can face, according to Hubs.
Our weekend was the weekend of nightmares because… after Thing 2 brought the Stomach Flu ’17 into our house on Wednesday night… we all fell victim to it.
Oh, yes! We did!
Thing 2 suffered through the nausea and the vomiting and the horrific diarrhea for 48 hours, until I had myself some significant concerns for his hydration levels. Little Man refused to drink anything, because every time he tried… he barfed it right back up, straight out of his nose, in a precise picture of poise and grace and dignity. I ran to the store for everything I thought might help keep some fluids inside of him: Popsicles, Sprite, ginger ale, apple juice, and the greatest invention to ever come out of the 1970s… warm Jell-O water.
What? Your mom didn’t make you mugs of warm Jell-O water when you were down on your luck and throwing up like Mount Vesuvius in 1978? Nothing felt so good on a sick stomach as a little sugary gelatin, laced with Red 40 food dye and mixed with warm water did.
Thing 2 initially loved his cup of warm cherry Jell-O… and then he puked every last drop of it straight into my lap, right in front of Hubs. Hubs, who handles vomit NOT AT ALL, ran from the room, flapping his hands above his head, crying for help. Never you mind that it was ME sitting in a chair with Thing 2 on my lap, covered in red Jell-O and bile and whatever else came out of Thing 2’s belly THAT time. Hubs managed to get a bath towel from the linen closet and throw at us in the living room, before he had to run to another room and dry heave.
Hubs, you see, is what is commonly called a SYMPATHY PUKER.
If someone pukes, Hubs pukes, too. Hubs doesn’t even have to be sick. If he sees puke, hears puke, smells puke, or thinks someone MIGHT BE puking, Hubs joins in. He can shoot a whitetail deer, gut it, and rip its heart and intestines out without so much as blinking, yet he will die if someone barfs anywhere near him.
Jesus, we lift Hubs up to you; You made him a Sympathy Puker.
By Friday evening, Hubs and I had cancelled dinner plans with friends, because it’s hard to lure a babysitter into your home when your preschooler is erupting out of both ends every few minutes. We said goodbye to real linen napkins, mood lighting, soft music, friends to laugh with at a table, martinis, and not having to say, “Would you sit up in your chair and EAT?!” We called and said, “Thing 2 continues to barf, so we will be staying at home.”
That translated into Mama Will Be Staying At Home With The Puke Fest, While Hubs And The Boy Go Watch The Cousins Play Some High School Hockey.
Before heading to the hockey rink with Hubs, the boy had stopped at Taco Bell with the cute neighbor boy, where they’d laughed and LAUGHED, as they ate an uncountable amount of burritos.
By 11:30 Friday night, the boy was unloading Taco Bell burritos in his bathroom toilet. He was puking for all he was worth, and he COULD! NOT! STOP! He was shooting beans from his nose, and sobbing that his favorite fast food restaurant might be dead to him for the rest of his life.
Hubs put his headphones in his ears, to let a little AC/DC drown out the sounds of puking coming from the nearby bathroom, so that he, himself, might live.
I did what I could for the boy, but… at sixteen… kids are really self-sufficient with their vomiting. They make it to the toilet. They flush the toilet when they are done. They go back to bed. All the boy needed me to do was to pat his back, let him know that Mama loved him, and hand him a glass of water to rinse his mouth with. Oh… and then swipe the toilet with Clorox.
This went on all night long…
… until at 4:00 Saturday morning, I felt queasy.
And by queasy, I mean I felt the Sick Locomotive barreling right down the tracks, headed in my direction, and I was helpless to get off the tracks.
Bless me, but mine didn’t turn out to be the kind of sick that involves puke.
Mine turned out to be… ahem! The OTHER kind of sick, which ladies never admit to having.
Suffice it to say, there was a point at 6:30 Saturday morning, when I wished that our toilet was constructed with handles, so that I could have something to grip and stabilize myself with.
My only thought was, “So this is where I will die.”
I was horrified enough to believe that I should start praying for Jesus’ return, before I actually DID die from the diarrhea.
I could only imagine the shame that I would have brought upon my family, as people would quietly put an arm around Hubs’ shoulders and whisper, “How did she die?”
And Hubs would look away and whisper, “I’d… um... rather not… well... I’d rather not talk about how she died.” Over time, I’m sure he’d simplify his answer to be, “She passed away in a violent explosion.” You know… for insurance paperwork.
The boy and I never left our beds or our bathrooms on Saturday.
I texted the boy to say, “I’m dying.”
The boy texted me back to say, “I’m already dead.”
I texted the boy to say, “My body aches! I have the traditional body ache symptoms!”
The boy texted me back to say, “I think I ripped my chest muscle in half the last time I puked. I think my chest muscle is flapping loose somewhere around my left lung.”
I texted the boy to say, “Just know I loved you.”
The boy texted me back to say, “Just know I’m sorry for lighting small fires in the backyard when I was twelve, when you didn’t know.”
Hubs was still going strong on Saturday with his health. He kept insisting that he was a lot like an Iron Man / Chuck Norris combo, and that he couldn’t succumb to sickness. By Saturday, after having had the stomach flu for 48 hours, Thing 2 was well, and he was ready to eat himself some FOOD. Hubs was kept busy making mac and cheese and supplying him with all the Sprite he wanted, to make up for all the dehydration we had worried about. They watched movies together all day long. They built a fort in the living room. They built airplanes out of Legos. They had themselves a day, while the boy and I slept and ran to the bathroom.
Saturday was my mom’s birthday, so we had to cancel our plans for another dinner out. No one wanted to be anywhere near us on Saturday. I know exactly how the victims of the Black Plague felt.
Hubs put Thing 2 to bed at 8:30 on Saturday night. He then walked into our bedroom and announced, “I’m so sick to my stomach, I may die.”
And THAT, y’all, is how our family spent the weekend.
By Sunday afternoon, we were all pretty much healed back up.
We worked as a family to Clorox our bathrooms. I put Clorox in my dishwasher, to wash all the soup bowls and cups that had been used. I put Clorox in my washing machine, when I washed everyone’s bedding. We sanitized doorknobs, light switches, bathroom sinks, toilets, tubs, floors and the kitchen counters. Everyone got fresh sheets on their beds. Our home was completely fumigated, with the windows thrown open to let in some fresh air and keep us from smelling like an infirmary.
And then we watched the Super Bowl at home by ourselves, because I think our invitations to parties were cancelled when we RSVP’ed by saying, “It’ll be the four of us, and four upchuck buckets.” Apparently, no one wants an upchuck bucket next to the appetizers of hot wings and Lil’ Smokies in the crockpot.
We kept the quarantine in place and the plague at home.
Hubs bought chips and salsa, as well as a take-and-bake pizza, for our private Super Bowl party.
We ate none of it, because we were still in the transition period, where we were tentatively moving from cans of cold Sprite to bowls of hot chicken noodle soup from a can. Baby steps.
Plus? Who wants take-and-bake pizza to be dead to them, because they puked it out a nose? Taco Bell is forever ruined for the boy, so we had to keep the take-and-bake pizza alive for him.
It’s what’s for dinner tonight, since it’s sitting in our refrigerator.
We’ll use it as a meal of mourning, to mourn Hubs’ sadness that the Patriots got another Super Bowl win, while his beloved Broncos had nothing this year. He said the only thing worse than the Broncos not being in the Super Bowl is for the Patriots to take home the Super Bowl trophy and rings.
Or maybe the only thing worse than that would be the Stomach Flu.
Y’all have a good Monday evening.
STAY WELL. Stomach Flu ’17 is hell.