Tuesday, February 14

The Week Before Valentine’s Day

(a love story)

I take Bam-Bam to the dentist. His tooth has what looks like an abscess and all the brushing in the world isn’t going to fix it. Even though I am miraculously able to secure an appointment today, Elroy has a minimum day and just to play it safe we all go.
All of us . . . Me, my mom, Bam-Bam and the girls. We even take 2 cars so that she can run to pick Elroy up if things run too long. My mom and the girls play in the kids’ waiting room (much to the amusement of the dental staff) while I go back with Bam-Bam to see what the damage is. The tooth isn’t salvageable, and he needs other work done (ahh, mommy guilt, my old friend). But they can take care of all of it tomorrow. And even the sedative isn’t as expensive as the place I took Elroy to a few years back (and not again). The dentist nearly jumped for joy when he found out that Bam-Bam has 4 siblings.
Things calm down for a while after picking up Elroy. The usual routine of snack, homework, tantrum, time out and finish homework play out normally. Until after dinner, Elroy gives one of those coughs and instead of bee-lining to the bathroom decides to cuddle on my lap. On the sofa. Just long enough to spray my whole side and down between the seat cushions. And again across the rug and yet again. It was a vile, stinking mess, and hubby (who doesn’t do vomit as it triggers his gag reflex) retreated to the kitchen while I, still dripping, started trying to clean up the carnage before the babies could play in it. Soon after, Hubby heads off to his night job and I get Elroy bundled off to bed with a large bowl and little hope that his aim will improve.

Bam-Bam follows directions and doesn’t eat or drink before his appointment. Elroy stays home even though he feels better and Hubby declares it must have been something he ate. My mom stays at my house with the kids and Bam-Bam and I head off for a morning of sedative induced drunken-ness for him and getting to sit and read something larger than a package label for me. Bam-Bam’s procedure goes smoothly and soon we are back at home. All seems quiet until our middle triplet, Peach Blush, climbs onto my mom’s lap and proceeds to douse her. Again, food is blamed as the likely culprit. I clean up the resulting mess and we return to trying to find Elroy’s spelling words in the only magazines I have (a mid 90’s World Wildlife and Horse Illustrated from my time in high school).
Hours later, Elroy is still working when Peach throws up again. I know for sure now. The kids have some sort of bug and life will be . . . interesting until its run its course.

Elroy is back at school, and Peach is keeping food down. No one else seems to have picked anything up, and I (naively) begin to hope that perhaps the worst is over. All I have to do is keep Bam-Bam on soft foods so that his mouth can finish healing and things can get back to normal. Right up until Strawberry Shortcake (littlest triplet) decides she won’t be left out and soaks the rug. Happily she misses the sofa and the people . . . unhappily she won’t leave her sisters’ food alone and throws up on 3 more occasions that day. Part way through the day I notice a fun sensation of nausea. One that I hope will go away if I ignore it. I make guacamole to go with dinner and hope things will be better soon.

7 am I realize that ignoring my nausea has not indeed made it go away and happily have just enough time to not decorate the house. Guacamole does not taste as good the second time. Hubby, hearing my plight, decides that he’ll be needed more at home and calls into work. This is absolutely necessary, as I get a phone call from my mom. As soon as I’m capable of answering, I find out that not only am I sick, so is she. Hubby has to get Elroy to and from school today. I meanwhile have crawled back to bed, repeating my new mantra ‘it’s only a 24 hour bug, just need to make it a few more hours’. This might have been manageable until the second, shall we say, intestinal half of the bug reared its ugly head. Life was not fun for the next few hours. I couldn’t even keep pepto bismol down. Hubby, seeing that I was incapacitated, was able to hold down the fort until I tottered out. I’m still sick but holding food down seems more possible. 4 down, maybe I’ll get lucky and the last 3 won’t get it. Miracles happen, right?

Everyone seems to be on the mend. I wake up feeling hungry instead of nauseous and even though my mom is still down for the count (she usually takes Elroy to school) getting everyone ready and Elroy dropped off isn’t a monumental task. I even decide to take the younger 4 to run a quick errand before we go back home. We have a quiet day and, still feeling good, I take the kids by myself for a lap of the mall after Elroy is out of school. Even that goes smoothly, the boys stay with the stroller and the girls are happy to be out. We don’t even manage to draw much of a crowd. Leaving the mall was not so easy. The pretty new car next to me was parked too close. Not I-might-graze-it-with-my-door close. It was how-am-I-going-to-buckle-my-toddlers-in close. I grabbed Strawberry (she’s the lightest and so is loaded in the top seat of my stroller) and twisted to get her into the car, sending Elroy in after her to (hopefully) get her buckled in. Peach went in next (which is when Elroy lost control of the situation and got to spend the next 10 minutes or so chasing the girls around the car). As I went to lift Raspberry Tart, the biggest triplet, out of the anchor position at the front of the stroller I saw that her diaper had not been able to contain a blowout. Not just a blowout, a full blown mudslide, like she hasn’t had since she was 6 months old. It appears that Raspberry got the lower portion of the bug after all. And I can’t reload the kids to take her to a changing station inside. I have to change her in the car. She has ruined her clothes, top and bottom, and the seat cover for the stroller. I manage to thread my way between the cars and get her changed on the passenger seat, all the while contemplating how satisfying it would be to write a note on the hood of said pretty new car with the resulting mess. Something along the lines of:
‘In the future please don’t park so close.
Sometimes diapers have to be changed in the car and
that can be difficult if you can’t open the car door.
Thank you – the mom whose car doors you blocked’
I didn’t, but I really, really wanted to.
I stripped down the offending stroller seat, got the stroller and seats loaded and turn to address the shenanigans occurring in the car. Elroy had not only lost control, he had completely given up and the girls were happily climbing from one end of the car to the other. A few frantic minutes of buckling and squirming later and we finally managed to leave the mall. I have timed loading the car alone before. Without the stroller it takes about 7 minutes, with the stroller a little under 15. This time it took 30 minutes. At least Raspberry didn’t throw up.

Hubby let me sleep in a little on Saturday morning, which was good as the stress of Friday afternoon had me hoping against a relapse. I was considering nominating him for sainthood, then I saw what Bam-Bam had done to the bathroom. To give him credit, he was the only kid who managed to even get to the bathroom, much less get anything into the toilet. Unfortunately, his aim needs some work and half the bathroom got splattered. Elroy slept from mid-afternoon until morning, and the others were not any worse than usual. We manage to make it through until bed time without too much drama. Hubby gets home from his night job and he and I get a few quiet moments to ourselves. Until a few hours later when Hubby wakes up. It’s his turn. He’s unlucky; he gets the version I had.

Knowing the hell he was going through, I let Hubby sleep. I even manage, on pain of time-out, to keep the kids from being too obnoxious for most of the morning. Hubby wandered out mid-afternoon, much to my surprise (and has been on the mend since).
It’s a good thing Hubby and I are waiting ‘til Friday to do the Valentine’s thing.

7 people, a 24 hour bug, gallons of vomit.
It took 7 days from the first symptom to the end, but . . . . We appear to have survived. Now I just have an extra week’s worth of laundry and cleaning to find time for. I’m not really in the mood for any of the leftover guacamole. It may be a while before I am.
And then hubby suprised me with a Kindle Fire when he got home from work (after midnight, so it totally counts). Which makes my gift of candy and a card (well and other stuff, later) seem pretty half-assed (to be fair, hubby was making up for not getting me a birthday present last year, or that was how he justified it). *sigh*

coming soon . . . more crafty stuff I've been up to, and seat covers for toddler bike seats.

1 comment:

  1. Someday, we will look back on all this and laugh. Someday. Enjoy your new toy!