It’s 11pm. Time to get ready for bed soon. Still gotta make my honey’s lunch and find a new and exciting place to leave the Mr. Elf Fluffy Beard. No more underwear drawer for him, Santa said so. The dog makes one last trip downstairs, unusual but not unexpected.
Then coughing from above and the sound of two not so little feet hitting the floor. Heart drops to stomach with the realization that there is a little that has just vomited. The sound is all too familiar. Stairs are taken 2 at a time as the crying begins from his room. There is something wet on each step, no time to worry about that now.
He stands in the middle of his room. Vomit on his pants and shirt sleeves. Lead him to the bathroom as he points to the rather large mess in the middle of his comforter. Grab a washcloth to clean his face, wipe away the boogie that somehow got in his hair. Help him change out of soiled clothes and into soft, clean ones. Begin the process of stripping the bed and cleaning the drips that managed to march their way across the floor. Make the bed with fleece sheets in case he decides he can go back to sleep in his bed tonight, but lead him to the living room couch knowing that it will be the resting place tonight.
Soiled bedding and clothing moved to the laundry room and the door shut. That was a disgusting lesson learned the night the dog ate the vomited on sheets… Door double checked just in case it didn’t latch all the way. Turn around to see the dog behind you, back covered in vomit. Shit… The dog was sleeping soundly in his bed with him…
March the dog back upstairs and lock him in the bathroom. Run the water, pull out the towels and soap. Give the dog a bath. At midnight. Realize mid bath that there is no cup for rinsing in sight. Thankfully he comes upstairs to see where you are and he is sent to fetch a cup. He returns with my honey who can care for him until the dog is clean and dry.
Thermometer is pulled out, a fancy machine that swipes across the forehead. Hoping beyond all hope this is a bad reflux incident and not the flu. Stupid thermometer measures 88°F. Every time. Well, he doesn’t feel warm. Send my honey back to bed and move back to the living room with the boy.
Trip to the basement to pick out a few movies for him to choose from. He’s not falling asleep anytime soon. Turn on Jim Carrey’s rendition of The Grinch and snuggle the boy down with favorite blankets. Return to the laundry room before the stench completely takes over. Start a load. Oxyclean, Downey and LOTS of hot water. Fold the load that’s been in the dryer a couple of days now. Close the door again and double-check the latch. Again. Move to the kitchen to make my honey’s lunch and move her things to the car for morning.
Snuggle with the boy on the couch. Still no fever noted. Watch all of The Grinch with no vomiting. He starts to doze. Finally at 1:30am it’s time to sleep.
His eyes close and he pulls the blanket in tight. Sleep has taken over. Time to move the Elf. Except he sits straight up. He has the look. He moves, but not quick enough. A small mark on the rug, the rest on the floor. Hold him so he doesn’t fall then move him to the bathroom when his body finally decides to give him a rest. Grab a washcloth to clean him and another to clean the floor and rug. He brushes his teeth while furniture is moved and odor remover is sprinkled on the rug. It’s 2am and the vacuum is running over the rug.
Snuggle him back down at the opposite end of the couch with a blanket under his head and two wrapped around him. Finally move the Elf. It’s not funny, not even really cool. But he’s moved and that is all that matters right now. Text the boss to say the flu has reared its ugly head and work is just not in the cards. Return to the small corner of the couch left by the ever-growing child. Grab the remaining fleece blanket and drift off.
Until 2:30am when it starts all over. This time the mess is cleaned and laundry is switched and the child is tucked back in and there is slightly less room on the couch to snuggle back into.
3:00am, 3:30am all the same. Then sleep, glorious sleep. The sleep that leaves you reminiscent of college days traveling home for the holidays and sleeping in the airport or at the bus station in the corner with all your stuff piled around you and using your luggage for a pillow and your coat for a blanket. That sleep that only lasts until 5am before what has become the nighttime ritual finds its way back to the top of the To Do list.
6am, 7am all the same. Then the other child awakens and joins the party at 7:30am and sleep is gone for the time being. Time to get the sick child some liquids before he dehydrates and then monitor him closely. Time to feed the well child. Time to switch the laundry. Again. Time to feed the dog and let him out. Time to make the well child’s lunch and call the school to share that the sick child will not be in attendance. Time to feed the well child a snack since it’s a planned 2 hour delay day and he won’t get one at school today. Time to put the well child on the bus.
Watch a movie with the sick kid, snuggling on the couch. Get up to eat lunch and get him to eat a popsicle and drink some Powerade. Fold the piles of clean laundry that stacked up overnight. Switch laundry again. Realize that the comforter still has a stench to it. Put it back in the laundry room for another date with the washer. Snuggle with the boy a little more over some Tom and Jerry. Keep the dog from attacking the FedEx lady who rang the doorbell. Finally convince the boy to watch Tom and Jerry in the bedroom.
One episode down and the TV gets turned off. Time for a nap. He swears he’s not tired. He is wrong. He lays quietly and is out cold in a matter of moments. Sound sleep has arrived, finally, for both mother and son. It’s now 1:30pm.
He sleeps until after 4pm. He cries down from upstairs that he needs help. Take the stairs two at a time. Again. Another mess, from the other end this time. Another pajama change. Quick glance shows that the pajama drawer has been almost emptied in one night. Time to start laundry. Again. The house smells of Clorox bleach wipes and Febreeze.
Dinner discussed. Gotta make foods that won’t upset his stomach but will help bind him. Practically force a banana on him. Attempt to meet his request for Chinese food by making potstickers. He ate it all and drank more Powerade. The sunken eyes and dark rings started to disappear. But the forehead was hot. Time to check the temperature again.
Grab the box and realize that it wouldn’t work earlier because in our tired states no one removed the protective plastic cover off the device. Quickly learn from mistake and take the temp. 101. Time for some Tylenol. It’s 5pm.
Talk him into a bath at 6pm to clean him up from his day and change his pajamas. Again. He moves to the basement to play for a bit. Then returns to the couch for a snuggle and some Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. At 8:15pm he brushes his teeth for about the 10th time and crawls into bed. Prayers said, music started. The day has finally come to a close.