This afternoon marked a pinnacle in my latest adventure in motherhood. I have officially reached the point where I can laugh and joke about the series of events over the past five days. This milestone is a big deal because I'm quickly learning to laugh at my life as it's happening rather than when I'm looking back on it. Last Friday we began a fun ride when Camden woke up in the wee hours of the morning vomiting. He later tested positive for strep throat at the pediatrician's office, leaving his doctor hopeful that the hurling was from the strep.
Well, that diagnosis was contradicted on Sunday when Lawson ralphed in the van on the way to get Hudson's birthday gift. We pulled over and dashed into Rite Aid to get wipes, Lysol, paper towels, and Febreeze. Jason started feeling queasy at that point, so while he fought back the hurlies, I dismantled Lawson's seat and proceeded to scrub and disinfect for the next 45 minutes. We were almost home when Jason lost his battle.
When I finally got everyone home and got Lawson in the bath, Jason quarantined himself in our bedroom, and I proceeded to get Lawson cleaned up. This little feat involved two more vomiting incidents and an especially fun episode where I got projectile pooed on. Twice. When I finally got the boys settled in, I started feeling queasy myself. Scout apparently didn't get the memo and refused to go to sleep because she couldn't see her daddy. I finally resorted to putting her on the couch with me, but when I woke up at 2:30 a.m., she had migrated into our room and curled up next to Jason. Clearly I knew what I could anticipate with her in the next 48 hours after that.
For most of the duration of my illness, I lingered in what I like to call Puke Purgatory, in which the person remains in a state of disgusting nausea without the relief of throwing up. It reminded me of the five months of debilitating nausea I endured when I was pregnant with Scout--which reminds me that I really need to call that urologist. Anywho...Jason assured me, having thrown up no less than ten times that night himself, that the relief that came with the act was completely overrated.
We spent the whole of yesterday catching fleeting moments of sleep and breaking up fights. Well, Jason got to break up the majority of the fights since I couldn't get out of bed until 2:00 in the afternoon. We woke up optimistic today and started bathing some seriously stinky boys, which is right around the time Scout started throwing up.
Apparently our little sunshine really hates to puke. Every time I held the little barf bowl to her head when she started retching, she shoved it away and whined "I don't want to!" There were many times throughout the day she won the battle of wills with the barfies. She would gag and then declare "I'm okay."
At 3:25, I took a chance and loaded her in the car to go get the kids. She hadn't thrown up in a few hours, and very few people have room for three extra kids (who are all still in boosters) in their mommy mobiles. I got her in the car smoothly, but when I turned the key in the ignition, I heard the increasingly familiar click of a dead battery. Epic. I put in a call to the school to have the boys sent to the front office so that I could wait for my rocking mommy friend Margie to come over and let me borrow a little juice from her battery. Let me just tell you as a side note that I can now jump a battery in less than two minutes without any input from my husband or father. And it's not my alternator; it's a crappy Wal Mart battery that is reading a marginal charge. Clearly we need to get that resolved as soon as possible. But I digress.
The moment I put my car in park at the boys' school, Scout projectile vomited Gatorade all over herself and her car seat. I didn't even miss a beat during Round 2 of "Let's Throw up in Mommy's Van" and simply wiped her down and stripped her. Kudos to the school secretary, who walked my boys out to the bus lane to load up in the van when I called back to explain what happened.
Car seat number two is now dismantled, Scout is bathed and sleeping, the kids have finished homework, Camden is reading, Lawson is playing a computer game, and Hudson is the last man standing. Now we wait. What a feat it will be if he escapes this powerful cootie germ that is taking down Jones family members one by one. If he wakes up hurling tomorrow, it will be the first time all six family members (plus my friend Meghan's son) have been taken out in one fell swoop. Tonight I'll work on birthday cupcakes for Hudsy, who has offered up little complaint despite having had the lamest sixth birthday ever. If he hasn't thrown up by Thursday (the 48 hour mark since Scout got sick), then I hope I feel well enough to eat one of his cupcakes to celebrate.
That Natalie Merchant song "These are the Days" keeps playing over and over in my head because despite all the throw up and poop shoots, these are the days. I figured out a long time ago (and relearned it last summer when we had our lice epidemic) that this is the good stuff that you'll laugh about later. When Jason and I are surrounded at Christmas by our four grown kids and their own families, I hope we laugh till we cry telling stories like these. I hope my own children experience these same challenges one day because this is the good stuff. I mean, it's nasty stuff, but it's still good.