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2007-03-08 - 1:32 p.m.

After several hours of analyzing the situation, weighing pros and cons, consulting with professionals, family and friends, we decided to re-schedule our canceled trip to Austin, Texas. We had planned on visiting my husband's sister and her family as a surprise, that is, until the entire family was stricken down with plague.

2:45 am Monday night (which was actually Tuesday morning, but because it was still DARK outside, it was still "Monday night"):

Simultaneous crying began emanating from both baby monitors, the red lights blinking all the way to the high urgency level. As I stood between each of my children’s rooms my feet led me toward the room which suggested the greatest devastation. That room was Gavin’s. Upon entering I was confronted with my freaked out son pointing to an oozing, bubbling heap of orange vomit smack in the middle of his bed sheets. Yay. Icing on the cake? Puke on the sheets. Same difference. I stood there for a second, not really ever having had to deal with something like this before. Should I call Red Cross? I decided it was probably a good idea to separate him from the smoldering massacre and then pleaded for help from my husband over the baby monitor in the form of, "Help… HELP! Um… PLEASE help? Help." I removed his soiled pajamas and stood him in front of the toilet and mumbled something about puking in the potty if he has to puke again. I had to leave the poor kid to go tend to his still crying sister. She too was laden in puke. It was if they’d secretly conspired with one another, "Okay, on the count of three…"

By the time I had removed Greta from her crib, and taken off her pajamas, along came Sleeping Beauty to see what all the fuss was about. He seemed a little bewildered at why both of his children were standing half naked and crying in the hallway, but soon realized what was going on when I yelled, "There’s puke!! Everywhere!!"

He tended to them while I courageously hastened back into the wreckage to look for survivors. And change bed sheets.

8:06 am Tuesday morning:

The washer and then dryer had been running since 3 am. The children were afflicted with mild fevers accompanied by diarrhea and whining. There was only one more less significant puke incident involving Gavin. He fortunately made it to the bucket on time getting only a little shrapnel on the bath towel that covered his pillow.

I put them both on the couch with their respective "bees" (blankets) and turned on the therapeutic Price is Right. They didn’t understand or appreciate its wholesome goodness at which point I switched the channel to Disney. "Fine then. Be sick." * (* phrase which was initially uttered by Grandma Meyer in or around 1980’s upon Sarah’s refusal to slather the back of her throat with Vic’s mentholated rub and has been a source of hysterical laughter ever since)

The children’s illnesses progressed on into Wednesday afternoon at which point all symptoms appeared to have subsided.

3:17 pm Wednesday afternoon:

I was seated at my computer taking care of "bizmiss" (as Gavin pronounces it) when I heard the garage door go up, a car door slam, followed by dramatic retching and moaning out in the garage. I put my head in my hands while I came to the horrible realization that William too had come down with the stomach virus.

3:19 pm Wednesday afternoon:

William stumbled in the door and rolled down onto the bedroom floor with his arm over his eyes, breathing labored. I exited the bedroom to go mark the front door with a big black X to indicate that our household had succumbed to plague. "Stay away!" I shrieked to the neighbors in despair. Vultures loomed overhead.

It was then and there that all travel preparations came to a screeching halt and we decided to cancel the trip. Half packed suitcases and duffel bags lay strewn about the house.

Thursday:

Greta had 3 back to back horrific, leaking, fuming diapers. I thanked God that we weren’t stuck on an airliner way up in the middle of the sky for those whoppers. That would have been justification for an emergency landing.

William probably figured that he’d get more sympathy from a can of cocktail wieners than he would at home and headed down to work that day. As it turns out, he ended up feeling semi-human again as the day progressed. We learned that we still had the opportunity to take our trip if we left on a 6:05 AM flight the next morning. Packing resumed.

the past - the future

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