There is a truly unfortunate truth about having school aged children (or children that go to daycare). They are going to get sick, and once they do it will spread through the whole family. That was the case in my house this week. It all started on a cool Sunday morning. (Imagine flashback waves here.) I had made waffles for Super Breakfast Sunday (my one and only flash of early morning domesticity during the week). After we had all stuffed ourselves full of waffles, we all retreated to our usual Sunday places. My husband settled on the couch downstairs to watch ESPN, I cuddled down in my chair with a blanket and my latest knitting project, and the kids went to their playroom to play princess or pirates (or princess pirates, who knows).
After a while, my middle daughter, Paige, crawled into my lap and I started to play with her hair. That's when I noticed that she had a fever. I asked her the usual Dr. Mommy questions. Does your tummy hurt? Your head? Where do you feel bad? She pointed to her head and her stomach. I took her upstairs and gave her some medicine to control her fever and help with the pain in her head. Before I left for work that day, all three of my children were running fevers and my husband was giving me that look. (The "please don't leave me with three sick kids" look.)
When I got home, all three were on my bed. Two were asleep and Paige was watching television. Now Paige has the most amazing ability to heal. Apparently, she threw up once, took a couple long naps, and woke up without a fever and feeling fine. (Which makes me really jealous of my precious little weirdo) My other two daughters and my husband weren't so lucky. My oldest, Adelyn, started throwing up shortly after I had finished getting ready for bed. She got our bed (of course), her hair, and her clothes. My night was full of holding back hair and cleaning out the puke bucket. Around four in the morning, Adelyn stopped puking (oh thank heaven) and my husband started.
When a mother has a sick child, she sleep with a strange kind of hyper-vigilance. So any sound or movement jolted me awake. Hence every time my husband made a mad dash for the bathroom, I woke up as well. By the end of the night, I was as exhausted as my sickies. My youngest daughter's (Charlie) fever had come and gone without incident, so I drug her along with me to the grocery store for quarantine essentials. Chicken, celery, a package of egg noodles (I was way too tired to make homemade noodles), orange juice, Coke (for me), Clorox wipes, and a large can of Lysol were my emergency supplies.
I made comfortable beds for the ones who were still sick and found activities for the "well"ones to do so they wouldn't annoy the sick ones. I set about doing the contaminated laundry (the articles that had not escaped the copious amounts of vomit, joy) and making chicken noodle soup. Now there are a lot of things I can handle in the name of my family. I can handle being puked on and numerous other indecencies. But my "ick" limit is really pushed to the limit when I have to pull the meat of a cooked chicken. Just ew. (And potentially puke) Everyone knows that a whole chicken gives you better broth and therefore better soup than boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
The orange juice and chicken soup seemed to revive my sick loved ones (yay, for Mom and her magical healing powers). So we got through Monday without incident. Tuesday went fine, as well, though I kept Adelyn home from school another day just to make sure she was well. But Wednesday turned out to be another day of sick kids. Charlie started running a fever. She threw up on me that night and our bed (again). She was fine the next morning.
I can't help but wonder when I would come down with the bug. Seriously, you can only be puked on so many times before you start puking yourself. Weeks like this are just another of the many trials and tribulations that mothers have to go through for their family. The best thing I can say is that it touches your heart when your sick kids just want their mommy to hold them. Mothers are an amazing breed of person. We brave sickness to give our children comfort. We constantly give of ourselves for our family.
So moms here is my advice. Arm yourselves. You know that the "sick" season is coming. Get some Lysol, get a flu shot, stock up on children's fever medications, and do whatever you need to do to get yourself and your family ready for the inevitable bug that someone will bring home.