Monday, January 17, 2011

“Throw Upping”

Today is Monday. It also marks the first day since last Tuesday that someone in our house hasn’t thrown up (though Johnny still feels kind of nasty). That is SIX days of “throw upping” folks. Not a pretty sight.
Except, that… in a way, it has been. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad it is mostly over (please don’t let that statement jinx us) but I was able to have some really sweet moments in the middle of everything. And seriously, isn’t that what motherhood is, really? Little tiny bits of sweetness sprinkled in between the stuff of real life.

The strange thing about this “throw upping” (Zack’s word) is that it was mostly reserved for the middle of the night. Go figure. Maybe I do my best work in the middle of the night. Anyway, back to the vomit story…
It all started with Zack. He has the unfortunate luck of being stuck on the top bunk which in a pukey situation is just bad. After we got him cleaned up and settled with a bowl we went back to bed hoping it was a one time occurrence. Not to be. So for easier access to the poor kid, we made a bed for him on the floor in our room. That just didn’t work out because, as Zack quickly pointed out, Johnny snores.

So Zack and I settled downstairs in the family room. I used my awesome skills and built us a little fire (we got 22 inches of snow that night) and we snuggled down to talk and sing and sleep. Aside from the vomit, it was actually a pleasant night. Zack has stopped being a snuggly cuddly little man. He is, after all, FOUR. But when he’s sick he must forget that he is four. As I lay there next to him, stroking his little cheeks and singing to him I couldn’t help but enjoy it. I know that during the day he totally likes daddy best, but I love that when he needs someone at night he calls for me. Guess I just like to be needed. Anyway, I was completely uncomfortable sleeping on the freezing floor, but it was so sweet to just be there with my Zack and hear his whispered thoughts on life.

The next morning Zack seemed fine (though he was sick again the next night… weird night sickness?) But on the third day at dinner Lila started asking for a bowl. I couldn’t really blame Johnny for not believing her at first. She does have a slight history of hypochondrial exaggeration (which she no doubt inherited from me)… but she was serious this time.

That night there was more singing and face stroking. More sweetness. In the morning it was mostly gone.
Abby was the next night. She’s always been more sensitive to “throw upping” (puking almost EVERY time we fly, or when she cries really hard…) so she had a harder time of it. But each time as I held her hair and then put her back to bed I had those sweet moments.

Lila was sympathetic to those still sick…2011-01-15 009

I kept praying and praying that Alex would be spared, but it was not to be. Shortly after we put him to bed, on the fifth night, he threw up. Johnny and I lost track of how many times he threw up after about twenty. It was a lot though. Especially for a little guy.

Each time he threw up I would put my cheek on his soft little cheek and hold him as Johnny held the bowl. It was heartbreaking. I finally understood how my mom felt when she always told me she would take my sicknesses from me if she could. It is hard watching your babies suffer and struggle.

I was starting to get really worried when he finally fell asleep for good. And that is when I started to feel queasy. Johnny followed shortly after…

We watched a lot of cartoons this week and basically lived in jammies…2011-01-17 012

Johnny and I have been talking about how weird this has been. Each night a different kid has been sick. It could have been all of them, all at once… or even during the day. Instead, every night someone new. I told him I think it is a blessing. Every night someone had my complete attention. I was able to snuggle and sing and comfort each of them when they needed me. And during the whole thing I kept praying that I would be ok enough to keep taking care of everyone. I was lucky enough to only really be sick for a few hours.
That’s what I call a blessing!


Shawnee said...

OK, I'm bawling my eyes out now. (Hormones, new mommy-ness, or just a sweet post, or all of the above?) I love your perspective. I hope you all get well and stay well!

Bryan and Amanda Russ said...

SOOO sad for you, but love the perspective. I hate seeing my babies sick. The last stomach flu we had, Makayla kept asking, "Isn't there some medicine you can give me for this?" ahrd to tell your begging crying babies No. I hope it is all done with. Love you guys!!!

Amateur Steph said...

Hope you guys are all on the mend now.
I love your description of motherhood, "little tiny bits of sweetness." That is so how it is!

Brittany said... poor things! I loved reading your thoughts on the whole experience and "amen" the whole thing. I've heard from friends/family in Washington, Florida, and here in San Diego about the same bug going around. Ick! Here's hoping it skips the Bunkers house hold. Your kids are so lucky to have you as a mom to snuggle with, even on cold floors in the middle of the night.

Jan Haws said...

So sweet.

Eliza said...

You are such a good mommy. I love you, Emily Russ!