On Monday evening I felt my throat tightening in a strange gag-y sort of way. Benjamin was working late, I was putting both kids to bed myself and I felt ok otherwise, so I did what any other mother would do and told myself to stop thinking about it and get shit done. I chalked the throat thing up to a lingering cough I have that’s been around since both kids had RSV around Christmas and continued feeding and bathing and brushing and diapering and kissing my boys to sleep.
A hand-written note that I had seen in the infant room when I picked Emmett up on Friday kept popping into my head, though. “3 cases of stomach bug” it said. Yuck, I thought, as I innocently believed my kid couldn’t possibly contract such a thing.
After I put them to bed I felt kind of shaky and strange. As with most body things, I convinced myself that it was all psychosomatic and I was making it up. Just watch Fashion Police about the Grammys and go to bed, I told myself. NOTHING IS WRONG.
That worked for a little while, until I found myself lunging for the toilet bowl while dry-heaving.
Oh NOW I remember what those two little words feel like. Stomach. Bug.
I cannot remember the last time I was actually sick enough to puke. Puking, to me, is the ultimate worst thing my body could possibly do. Yes, even after birthing 2 children, I still HATE vomiting. When I was younger I worried I would not be able to hold back my own child’s hair someday because I was a chronic “secondary puker” (you know, the type who would immediately throw up themselves if they saw, smelled, touched or even thought about someone else’s puke). Thankfully I have grown out of that habit. Or perhaps my carsick first child forced me to.
But Monday night, let’s just say I had no choice. My body exploded from the inside out. Stomach. Bug.
In retrospect I think Emmett had a minor version of it too, since he cried for a bit on Sunday night and when I went in his room in the morning he smelled like puke and he hasn’t been pounding his bottles like normal the last 2 days. A quick buzz through my Facebook feed confirms that pretty much everyone in my world with children has experienced some form of this bug in the last 2 weeks. Exorcist-style, my friends. So at least we’re in good company?
Tuesday I spent most of my day working from under a blanket on my couch (10 points for being able to work from home and not puke on coworkers!) and by late afternoon I was feeling a lot better. The good news: it’s a true 24 hour bug.
Benjamin was working late again so I was on my own for kid bedtime. I went to grab the keys to get the kids from school.
But they weren’t there.
They weren’t anywhere.
Now, it’s not like me to lose my keys. I always know where things are in our house. So I called Benjamin and asked him offhandedly, “Is it possible that you took both sets of keys to work today?” “No. They were both on the counter this morning.” And then he looked in his bag. And there they were. And without a spare set at home.
Good news: We live close enough to walk to daycare, and I often do this when the weather is good. Bad news: It was 10 degrees outside. I had no other choice, so I gathered blankets and coats and hats to take with me. I figured I could run as fast as I could with the kids and we’d get home without frostbite (yeah, running a non-running stroller with 50+ lbs of kids when barely recovered from the stomach bug sounds fun, right?). I started walking to school while frantically calling any friends and neighbors who might be able to help. But they had to have carseats the right sizes for my kids (and be available), which was a tall order.
Miraculously I DID get ahold of a friend who lives right near us and who has 2 kids about the same ages as ours. He was on his way home from work and said he’d come pick me up, take me to school, pick up the kids, drop us at home and then go back for his kids. HALLELUJAH. Saved.
So that’s what we did. Eventually, an hour later than I normally get the kids, we arrived home in one piece and without anyone (ahem, ME) throwing up on anyone else. I scrounged a quick dinner for Owen and completed bathtime and bedtime for both boys before falling into bed myself.
Lesson learned: It doesn’t matter how sick you are, you’re still the Mama and you’ve still gotta do what you’ve gotta do. Puke or no puke.