During the work week, between ten o’clock and eleven o’clock is me-time. The kids are all in bed and I have an hour to decompress and do whatever I want. I can watch an hour of television, read a book, play on the computer– whatever my little independent heart desires. I look forward to this hour everyday. It is the hour of no bickering and no interruption.
Last night, Carson came downstairs three times between 10:00 and 10:30. The first time, about ten minutes into me-time, she interrupted to hand me an envelope she had found in her book bag, an envelope she easily could have given me in the morning. I felt annoyed.
The second time she came downstairs she was getting water, but she made sure to interrupt my program to tell me. My annoyance got physical. I could feel my jaw clench holding back the yell and scream. “Go to bed, I just want to be alone!” I wanted to say.
The third time I heard her feet, I did yell. “This is getting ridiculous. It is a half an hour passed your bedtime. Go to…” Then I saw her face. She was pale. Awfully pale. She had tears in her eyes. My anger quickly turned to concern, “Carson, what’s wrong?”
“I don’t know,” she said holding back tears, “but I don’t feel right.”
“Do you think you might throw up?”
“I don’t know. I want to go to bed.”
Really? I thought. Than why are we having this conversation?
“Okay, Honey. I will be here if you need me.” I kissed her head. She was not warm, but man, was she pale.
Within ten minutes, the vomit hell began. It came on hard and furious. She was in and out of the bathroom every ten minutes. I held her hair, I tied back her hair, and I handed her tissues to wipe her face.
At one point after dry heaving for a good five minutes, she gasped, “Please help me.”
Ah! I felt helpless. What more could I do?
Well about an hour in, I experienced what more I could do. Carson’s reality turned into one of those horrible ordeals no one wants to admit can happen. Oh, but it happens. Shit happens. Sometimes, shit happens while you are still vomiting. Yes, the body has a magical way of releasing all of which it considers waste when the body decides it is time to get rid of all that it considers waste. The body does not care if you are busy doing something else, say puking your guts out into the toilet.
Hence, I learned that I could help by calming her down and cleaning the mess off of the floor. Shit happens, and sometimes, there ain’t nothin’ you can do but grab a rag. Thank God it wasn’t much, and she was standing on a bath towel when it happened, so actually, the mess was minimal. The hardest thing to get rid of was the stench. Lysol may be my new favorite smell.
Needlesstosay, after that experience she showered and she said she felt a little better. It was now about 12:30 and she was physically exhausted. I was mentally exhausted from the fear of what was coming next. She decided to go lay in her bed. I decided to lay on the couch to be at her beck and call.
In the middle of my first attempt at falling asleep, just as I felt myself falling deeper into relaxation, I heard it: vomit hit the floor. “Carson, are you okay?”
I was on route to the bathroom. When I got there, it was Maggie. Maggie wears glasses, and she wasn’t wearing them now. Holy puke-storm, Batman! It was everywhere! On the sink, down the front of the cabinet, on the floor, on the toilet seat. Some actually landed in the toilet as well.
Two! Two sick kids in the same night! Two sick kids in the same night in a one bathroom house! I am living in Hell, I thought.
For the next few hours, I prayed. Please God, please do not make them have to vomit at the same time. Please God, let it only come from one opening at a time. Please God, make it stop.
God listened to my prayers.
They were a vomit tag-team. If this were an Olympic event, they would have won the gold. They were opera singers each on her mark; one in the wings while the other was performing on the concert stage. Never did they have to be in the bathroom at the exact same moment, but a few times they slapped hands at the door. One on her way out to rest until it came up again, the other on her way in to disgorge the insidious infection.
Around one this afternoon, it ended. The girls are exhausted sleeping on the couches. They have not eaten and they are just starting to really keep down liquids, but I truly believe the worst is over. Sickness rose the white flag and the girls’ health prevailed.
I, too, am exhausted, but for very different reasons. Last night, I was their vomit cheerleader, the “It’s okay it happens to everyone” support system, the “I promise it will all be over soon” life coach. Today, it has been about being at their beck and call. “Mommy, cover me.” “Mommy, I need water.” “Mommy, I need a wet wash cloth for my head.” Oh, and I have done a lot of laundry too.
Yes, I know there is a God even though I have been living in hell. Thank you God for making it finally stop.