Wednesday, January 25, 2012

i’m just a singer in a rock ‘n roll band

today is the first day in five days that i’ve put on real clothes.
real clothes being: a t-shirt, jeans, slippers and bra.

we here at the googiehaus are at the tail end of Puke Fest ‘12-- an event of such unsurpassed enormity that it will for all time go down in the annals of history.
all five of my children succumbed to the siren song of the stomach flu, providing virtually no end to the fun times (and cleaning) of the last five days.

if you are of a delicate constitution i suggest you just close your browser down right now. better yet, click over to some cute kitty pictures or rainbowsandpuppies.com (which i just made up so i don’t know if it exists but probably it does but don’t blame me if you actually go there and it doesn’t contain either rainbows OR puppies ifyaknowwhatimsayin).
come back tomorrow when things are back to the normal crafty/sewing thing and not quite so…body-fluidy.

little man came down with it first: friday night at bedtime punctuated by his whines of “my bellllllly hurts.” we were a touch surprised—seeing as how his typical m.o. is sunday night belly pains—you know--the infamous Sunday Night Sickness.
but the second time he came out his lips were noticeably grayer, and he was sent back to bed with The Bucket.
when the puking began i went into cleaning overdrive. i donned disposable latex gloves and followed The Boy to the bathroom—alternating soothing whispers and back rubs with spritzes of lysol.

we have FIVE children. i knew the havoc one stomach flu could reek, and i was determined to outwit it. i even dug out chux pads we were sent home with from the hospital after five’s birth. i layered them—over his pillow, the bathroom floor. thank you, nurses.

by sunday morning i optimistically thought i had won the battle. there had been no episodes since saturday morning, and if the boy wasn’t exactly 100%, he was undeniably better.

naivety, thy name is shannon.

the two older girls started within minutes of each other on sunday night. i sat across from guinevere at the table and literally watched her lips lose their color.
three kids sick with stomach bugs triggered something in my brain. a protective cleaning mechanism that made me start scrubbing and sanitizing. the “sanitize” setting on our washing machine has never been used so much.
so when ava only made it as far as the dining room before losing her cookies (and no, it wasn’t cookies—it was beef stew and how’s THAT for a mental image?) i couldn’t even hear the googiedaddy yelling for me over the sound of my vacuuming.
it was one of those times where you stand there and think i truly, truly don’t even know where to begin. i grabbed some rags and waded in, repeating my mantra over and over: this isn’t puke, someone spilled soup. this isn’t puke, someone spilled soup.

by monday morning it was a very, very quiet house. blobs of children draped lifelessly on the towel and sheet-covered sofa. i hoped for the best—maybe this was it. maybe the two little girls would be spared.

maybe the bucket of bleach water i had at the ready was actually helping.

maybe i’m a dreamer.

when gigi finally got sick i wasn’t surprised. what did surprise me was that my overdramatic three year old, who screams for virtually every bump and scrap she gets, was totally an awesome puker. sat in front of the tv with her bowl, perfect aim every time, not a tear.

there’s a silver lining for ya.

and when elliot started turning the most interesting shade of green on monday night all we could do was sigh and pull out some more towels.

i’ll hand it to him: jeremy tried hard to take the brunt of elliot’s sickness. he cradled her most of monday night while she squirmed and burped and gagged. but i told him early on—she’s saving it for me. fact.

when it finally came it was just as i suspected it would be: she was laying on top of me in bed. the towel we had so carefully kept at the ready nowhere to be found. she simply lifted her head, looked me in the eyes, and released.

there’s no way of sparing you the gory details. i will tell you this: it splashed. i had to shower. when i did, it was everywhere from between and under my boobs to the back of my neck, my hair and my back. i had to strip my entire bed—pillows and all.
i wasn’t covered in puke—i was AWASH IN VOMITUS.

which, it occurred to me as i scrubbed my hair during my impromptu midnight shower, would be an awesome name for a rock band.

probably a grunge band (giggle giggle snort).

so i think we’re done. googiedaddy and i have been queasy and shaky since the start of it all. but how much of that is due to us getting sick vs. just the fact that we’re cleaning up OTHER PEOPLE’S PUKE ten times a day is hard to differentiate.

this afternoon i brushed my teeth, flattened my hair, and dressed myself. i’m hopeful that these clothes will remain untarnished—and not be more in a long line of disgusting jammies i peel off myself and toss right into the washer without thinking about exactly why the hems of my pants are so wet.

in the meantime, while i’m in this state of wary watchful optimism, i’ll get to work on my first CD.
working title: Scrubbing the Porcelain Throne.

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