Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sick Day

My blog post for this week got delayed (despite my best intentions) when a stomach bug struck down my eldest earlier this week.  Every time one of my boys gets sick with the flu or any other digestive ailment, my mind flashes to last winter and the nearly three months my family spent passing one virus back and forth.  But the worst part of having a sick child, by far, is the sick day.  If you are a parent, you know what I mean.  In order to protect the other students in your kid's class, you are forced to keep them home and subject yourself to the same germs for at least 24 hours.

You know, because holding the bucket wasn't risky enough.

What I learned this week, however, was that the sick day is almost worse when your child doesn't seem that sick at all.  For you to better understand my predicament, here is a breakdown of 2015's very first sick day.

I woke up to hands all over my face.  Had those hands been washed?  Certainly not.

"Mom, I don't feel good. I mean, my stomach feels really sick."

I tried to triage the situation by asking Cael if he thought he was really in danger of throwing up.  As he gagged and said "yes", I did my best to ignore the fact that he was leaning over me in bed and actively trying not to vomit.

Cael unloaded on my bedroom floor.  I told him to rush to the bathroom to avoid an even bigger mess, and instead, he stared at the floor blankly for five or six seconds and threw up on the carpet again.

I discovered that we were out of carpet cleaner.

While Joel assigned Cael to a sofa and a bucket, I scrubbed with hand soap.  Then with Lysol wipes, followed by hand sanitizer.  Then I picked up the rag I used to clean the carpet and put it in the hamper, where it could nestle closely to all of our clothing and towels.

I wouldn't consider that I contaminated my clean hands until two days later.

Adler woke up for the day, so after just getting back to sleep, I rolled myself out of bed and went to feed the baby.  I could hear Cael explaining to Graham that he "wasn't really sick", but Daddy said he had to come upstairs and stay away.

I dished out a bowl of cereal for Graham, and both kids were immediately under foot.  
(When I was growing up, we always kept a small canister of cat treats nearby in case we couldn't locate our pet. One quick shake, and he would come running.  My children remind me of my old cat, Sammy, in this regard, except the main difference is that the cat pooped in a dirty box of sand and was still neater and more sanitary than Cael and Graham.)

It took seven minutes to convince Cael that it was not a good idea for him to eat a big bowl of cereal.  I have learned that, when sick, he alternates between feeling on top of the world and deathly ill, so I wouldn't let him ingest anything until at least four hours had gone by, which judging by his reaction, must violate the Geneva Conventions.  This would have been the time to ask him to reveal his secrets, but I didn't want to hear any stories involving pilfered pantry treats or how he made his brother drink toilet water. 

Cael assured me that he was completely, totally, not sick.

Cael filled the bucket.

Someone wanted french toast sticks.

I managed to convince Cael to rest on the sofa for a couple of hours by giving him free reign of the iPad, which I'm convinced was really conceived of by a mother of three or more children that got tired of burning chicken and just needed 15 minutes of peace.  Incidentally, the same person must have dreamed up the iPhone and iPod, because every parent knows that if one child gets a device while the other does not, the sun will crash into the moon.  

Just a little astronomy fact for you.

Photo credit here.
Someone still wanted french toast sticks, so I agreed to let him try some banana at noon if he hadn't gotten sick again.

Cael tried to convince me that 11:04 is noon.

Cael inhaled his banana half and threw a bucket-sized fit when I wouldn't let him wash it down with lots of milk.  We talked a lot about which foods are gentle on an upset tummy and I felt confident that he understood why it would only be safe for him to eat certain things.

I caught Cael eating cashews straight from the can.

When I responded with, "Cael, no!  Your stomach can't handle salted cashews right now!", he reacted by spitting out the chewed up bits of nut right back into the can.

I added cashews to the grocery list.

After watching one movie, one TV show and playing two games of solitaire on the iPad,  Cael had his fill of quarantine and decided it would be a great idea to play with Adler.  He invented a great game where he put my baby's hand in his mouth and pretended to eat it, and then when he took it out, Adler, who is beginning to mimic behaviors, put the same hand in his own mouth.  Cool. 

After repeated requests for more food, I gave Cael the other half of his banana with a small cup of Gatorade.  Cael finished it in record time and begged for some blueberry yogurt on the side.

If he couldn't have yogurt, could he have some bacon?

If he couldn't have bacon, could he have a pop tart?

If he couldn't have a pop tart, could he have some hot chocolate?

I dished out the yogurt.

Because it was clear he wouldn't be getting sick again, I gave Cael a normal dinner on the condition that he would rest afterward and let his stomach digest.

I dug out band-aids to cover the two scratches Graham received when Cael wrestled him to the floor and he was gouged by staples on the underside of the sofa. 

Against my better judgement, I allowed Cael and Graham to continue playing together. I took the opportunity to get some laundry done, and when I returned to the room, I found the boys giggling as Graham stood inside Cael's sick bucket and Cael drummed on it with the stick-end of a hobby horse. 

I spent several minutes hoping there are exceptions to the theory of "survival of the fittest".

I finally got both boys tucked into bed, and Cael begged for me to leave the bucket next to his bed, because even though he'd been fine for nearly 12 hours, he "might still decide to throw up".

After finishing the laundry, dishes, and taking a bath, I finally climbed into bed, saying a prayer that no one else would get sick and feeling very grateful that the next day would be easier.

I drifted off, disturbingly realizing that the school's 24 hour rule meant that Cael could not go back the next morning...

1 comment:

  1. What a terrible day that was written in a very hilarious way! You are such a great writer.


Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.