Dealing with sick children
My eldest boy, Mr Two and three quarters, wakes crying from his afternoon nap. This isn’t uncommon because he is his mother’s son and doesn’t take well to waking in any form. More days than not, he requests cuddles when he wakes up in the afternoon and cries until the transition from asleep to awake is complete. Like I said, he is his mother’s son.
I hear the cry turn into a scream while enroute to his bedroom. Then a cough. I knew what was coming next. I could sense it in the way a mother senses impending doom, whether it be the sounds of silence from the next room (a strong indication something bad is about to happen), or the look on a child’s face before he is about to punch someone. I enter Mr Two and three quarters room as the floodgates unleash and he is covered in spew. I wrinkle my nose, wish my husband was home and then set about cleaning up the distressed poppet.
As I make a pile of vomit-soaked objects and look for fresh clothes, I am grateful to the inventor of the mattress protector. I consider whether I can leave him long enough to get a bucket, Iook at his pale little face, and make a run for it. I’ll be damned if I am cleaning carpet today. I am lucky my Mum is visiting and wrangles Mr Seventeen months while I attend to the poor sick child. The last thing I need is his curious little self investigating the spew in a hands-on way.
Husband returns and he takes over while I scrub the remnants of the sick away. I am gloved up to the nines and spray disinfectant anywhere he treads. I worry about his little brother catching it. The ensuing hours look like this – cuddles, children’s TV, sip of water, vomit….children’s TV, cuddles, vomit. While my brain atrophies, I wonder what all the childless people are doing.
Mr Seventeen months decides he is missing out on all the fun and decides to join his brother on the homemade version of the Vomatron. For the unfamiliar, The Vomatron is a ride in Surfers Paradise, Queensland, which is notorious for making people vomit.
Male TV personalities have been filmed looking terrified and pale while spinning around on it. Watching it makes me want to vomit. Two little boys vomiting makes me want to vomit. I’m convinced I am next when I come over all queasy from watching the kids alternate their projectile efforts. I subsequently do five thousand loads of washing and wash my hands ten million times.
Husband and I scrounge for sustenance in shifts, not leaving the Vomit Brothers alone for a moment. The lounge room is strewn with towels and they are vomiting so much we consider hanging a bucket around their necks. We decide against it. The youngest has taken to playing with the buckets and we have to stop him from loading them up with toys. He doesn’t understand why putting Thomas the tank engine in a bucket which has been spewed in might be gross. He cracks the shits over and over. Walking a dangerous line, we decide to put the buckets out of his reach. This is living on the edge, parenting style.
There was a magic moment in this vomit-fest. Husband used a red plastic toy tub as a spew-catcher for Mr Seventeen months and I had the fun job of collecting it for washing/disinfecting. On my way past Mr Two and three quarters, I had a gut feeling. I’d already walked past him, but took two steps back and with a majestic sweep, put the red tub in front of him at the exact moment he started to hurl. And that, my friends, is how it’s done.
How do you deal with sick kids?