The Offal family, usually stalwarts of health, have been uncharacteristically sick this winter. Random, dry cough that doesn’t respond to any medicine? Check. Head colds? Check. Flu? Check.
But this week? This week, when we’ve been graced with a snow day, two mornings of two-hour delays and another day off school from a previously planned teacher in-service? That’s when my kids pull in the mother of all illnesses: the stomach bug.
My children react to being sick quite differently.
My son woke me up in the middle of the night on Sunday. “I barfed.”
Son: “In my bed. You may want to look into that. I’m just going to sleep in the bathroom for the rest of the night.”
After the first of five loads of laundry (my son sleeps in his underwear but nestles snugly in a cocoon of roughly 12,000 blankets, pillows and his “stuffed animal council”) I found him on the bathroom floor, wrapped in a couple towels, fast asleep. He woke up once more to puke and then claimed the couch in the morning.
After his sister went to school and he gleefully claimed the remote, we had a couple episodes of another variety; he referred to them as “farts with something extra.” He kept down Gatorade at this point, asked when his sister would be home, and requested soup for dinner. He was back to his old form in time for the snow day.
Last night, my daughter complained of a stomach ache right before bed. She’s an anxious child so this isn’t out of the ordinary. However, she made it to the bathroom successfully. After she came and told me about it, she returned to the bathroom, left the door open and the lights on, and proceeded to give me a play-by-play of how things were going. This morning, she moved into the bathroom with a blanket, pillow pet, favorite stuffed animal, a selection of books and some electronics. I practically needed an ambassador to convince her to return to her room for a rest.
We’ve had lengthy discussions about how miserable she is, how she hates getting sick, how she’s so bored. She takes a trash can with her when she’s not in the bathroom. Unfortunately, she gets herself so upset about being sick that she ends up getting more sick.
At this point, she’s kept down electrolyte freeze pops but she’s still staying home tomorrow.
As for me, I smell poop and vomit everywhere, even though everything’s been bleached into oblivion and there’s no reason the stench would still be around. It hasn’t been this bad since the kids were babies. My husband and I have so far withstood the onslaught, and neighborhood Facebook friends tell us that something is going around, as their kids succumb to the same bug.