Last Monday started like any other Monday except the boys were being unruly. More unruly than usual, anyway. This was the beginning of a very long week that I almost couldn’t handle. We were about to go viral. With an intestinal virus. Here is how it all went down…
So I hear them from the kitchen where I’m making breakfast. Yelling. Fighting.
I peek around the corner and discover them using a xylophone mallet and a maraca to hit each other. Because this is what xylophone mallets and maracas are used for when they are being unruly. As clubs.
So I respond the usual way that I do when I catch them using musical instruments as weapons.
And then, several hours later, I see what their deal is.
No matter what the virus is, my older son gets a stomach ache and my younger son gets a runny nose. I never know what it is going to morph into. This is the fun part. The waiting game.
And now my mama guilt is in full force for thinking they were acting like little jerks earlier. For not seeing what was really going on. The poor babies are sick!
I’ll do anything for them.
Just a quick 24 hour bug. I can handle this.
It seems to be going well. They don’t seem to be getting worse.
Until the sun goes down.
But I can handle this. I clean it up and comfort him.
And then this happens:
Nobody sleeps. My husband is in the background, mostly on clean up duty. And thermometer duty. And getting them to drink water duty. He sleeps in between.
Puking. Pooping. Sometimes alternating. Sometimes at the same time.
More forcing them to drink water. Temperature taking. Carrying. Walking.
Finally, the sun rises. All is calm. We are laying on the floor, flanked by a roll of paper towels and a puke bucket.
This time, I’m right. They remain terribly ill and grumpy and clingy but the pukefest is mostly over. We lay low all day. They even mostly sleep through the night! Mostly.
Now Wednesday is here and things are looking even better!
Oh, except for me. Once the kids are better I suddenly remember that I too exist on the physical plane and I realize that, wow, I’m super sick. I was so busy tending them that I didn’t even notice that my temperature is 104.
Now I am the type of sick person that would prefer to hide under the covers and sweat it out. Alone. If I were an injured wolf, I’d go off and die alone in the woods. Alone. Alone is the key element here. Alone is what I need to get well. Alone isn’t going to happen.
But I can handle this. I can.
They sense my desire to be alone which makes them cling even more.
But my husband will help.
Finally he lures them away from me with promises of playing Candy Land.
Game in progress I retreat to my bed.
I don’t get my wish.
The baby wants to nurse. He is still not feeling well. I get it. But I may have to puke or run to the bathroom with explosive diarrhea. Again. So having him attached to my nipple does not feel safe right now. Or convenient. I’m feverish and delirious so imagine that he is draining life out of me.
I just really want to be alone.
But I can handle this.
Husband manages to pry them from me again and this time I get smart and lock the door.
Only they do not like this.
When all is said and done I think I got about an hour total of quiet alone time. Which is pretty good.
Over the next couple days I slowly start to get better.
I can handle this though. I can. We are almost in the clear now.
At last, I too am back to myself.
So he proceeds to spend an entire day in bed. Alone.
And then he proceeds to spend a second day in bed. Alone.
At some point, as usual, he thinks he is dying.
We’ve been down this road before. I can handle this.
The same flu, I remind him, that I had while taking care of the kids all week.
This is where he is supposed to have an epiphany of how amazing I am and what a hard week it has been for me and why I’m ever so slightly annoyed and jealous that he has been in bed for two days.
Only he doesn’t.
Instead, he says something that is so completely the opposite of what I was expecting that I’m stunned at first.
I don’t even know what to say at first.
So jokingly, I agree with him and tell him that indeed, he must have a mutated version and that he will surely die.
I laugh to myself while I get him water and some hot soup, knowing that he just wrote the ending to my next cartoon.
See? I can handle this.
PS – he was totally fine this morning. We’re all better now!
PPS – if you liked this, then you’ll definitely, probably like my book: