We had the stomach flu in our house last week. First Middle Boy, then me, then the 4-Year-Old Boy. It was a 48-hour, violent flu. There was pain, moaning, dramatic proclamations -- "I'm going to die!" -- and lots and lots of laundry.
It began with a call from the school informing me that Middle Boy had been vomiting. The 4-Year-Old Boy and I rushed to the school to rescue Middle Boy. I'm embarrassed to admit that I was a little irritated when I found out that he hadn't even made it to a trash can. He threw up sitting in his chair in Strings Class. He told me he missed his cello, and only hit the bow. I reminded him, lovingly, that he was TEN years old and next time he gets sick at school, he should GET UP and try to hit a receptacle.
Middle Boy was very ill. I was a compassionate mother and nurse, helping him get to the toilet, brushing his teeth for him, wiping his face, feeding him ice chips, and providing bowls and Ziploc bags for security in case he didn't make it to the bathroom.
It finally appeared his stomach was calming. Over the course of four hours, he drank ginger ale and ate a few soda crackers as he watched SpongeBob Squarepants on the couch. I was happy to see color in his cheeks and hear him laugh instead of moan. Oldest Boy and 4-Year-Old-Boy were in bed for the night. Middle Boy said his stomach still hurt a little, but he was ready for bed. I tucked him in, showed him where the security vomit bowl and Ziploc bag were, and told him to come to our room or call us if he needed ANYTHING. His father and I were there to help him! Poor, poor child, I thought.
Five minutes later, as I was climbing into my own bed, Middle Boy appeared in my doorway.
"I threw up."
"I'm sorry, honey."
"In my bed."
It was horrible. Chris and I obviously had not communicated well about how much ginger ale or how many soda crackers we were each giving Middle Boy. There were at least two liters of stomach contents all over the bed, the carpet, the wall, the nooks and crannies of the bed frame, beadboard and baseboards... it might have even been on the ceiling fan.
"CHRIIIIIIS! I NEED HELP!"
Chris ran up the stairs.
"He puked again. EVERYWHERE. He needs a shower. He's already dripped to our room and back to his."
Middle Boy looked at me sheepishly, "Sorry, Mom. I thought I was done."
I know he didn't mean to. He was tired, probably very comfortable in his bed, and half asleep when he threw up. But there was something about the brightness of his eyes and the rosiness of his cheeks, that made me think he COULD have gotten up.
I started cleaning the mess and the more I cleaned, the angrier I became. I stomped and slammed as I moved wet linens from room to room and searched for the proper cleaning supplies. I had "sick" fluids running down my arms and on my forehead. I had been SO careful as I cleaned the vomit messes earlier in the day. My fate was sealed.
As I continued to clean, I yelled weird things at Chris and Middle Boy. I rarely use foul language in front of the kids but I said ass and shit and hell and damn and maybe even the Big Daddy of bad words. I barked at Chris about picking up Mary's dog shit. Because, you know, at 10:00 p.m. after your child has puked ALL OVER HIS ROOM, it's important that the dog shit is picked up in the backyard.
I've cleaned up vomit messes more than once. All three of the boys have thrown up in their beds. For many reasons that I clearly see in hindsight, this particular crime scene pushed me over the edge. I had a fit.
Middle Boy went back to bed in a restored room and made wide-eyed promises to hit the toilet or the vomit bowl... next time. He was fine that night, although he threw up again the following night. I'm happy to report Middle Boy came into our room and announced that he needed to vomit. Chris did a standing broad jump from our bed, ensuring Middle Boy was escorted to our toilet and properly aimed. No fuss, no muss.
I apologized the next morning to the entire house for my fit. The only one who didn't seem phased was 4-Year-Old Boy, probably because he's an expert fit-thrower.
Please tell me you you've thrown a fit. As an adult. With an audience. While sober.