Remember that nasty Man Plague I wrote about here? Well, after it attacked poor, sweet Husband the piece of shit moved onto the weakest, most innocent member of the family as it ferociously made it's way through C's system early Wednesday afternoon.
Despite quarantining The Husband off from the rest of the family and obsessively wiping down every orifice and crevice of our house with Lysol wipes, that damned virus still managed to claim another member of the M family. And Loyals? It was not pretty.
Our day started off just like every other. An early trip to the grocery store followed by a delicious breakfast of strawberries and french toast sticks, a romp in the playroom and before I knew it, it was time for a nap.
I carried C up to his crib and laid him down at 1:15pm. Sick with an upper respiratory infection of my own, I decided to lay down in our room (directly across the hall from the nursery) and hopefully sleep away some of my own sickies.
1:40pm. That's when I heard it. The Cry. Moms, you know the cry I'm talking about. It wasn't the "I'm frustrated cry," or the "I'm lonely cry," or the "I don't wan't to take a nap right now cry." It was "Oh my god what just happened to me Mom? Hurry up, come help me cry."
The smell hit me like a ton of bricks before I even made it to the hallway.
I silently muttered a prayer of "please God, don't let it be a lot of vomit" as I went to survey the damage and scoop poor, sweet C out of his crib.
The vomit was. everywhere.
Lovie, Ugly Doll, Crib Rail Covers. C's pillow. C's clothes. Everything was down for the count, covered in a thick red mess of half-digested strawberry and curdled milk. And then there was my toddler- with big fat tears streaming down his face.
Oh, just rip my heart out.
I quickly scooped C up, carefully removed his clothes and began wiping him down with a baby wipe. As I sat him on the floor, I began to disrobe the crib. All the while, trying to ignore my own bile that was rising in my throat.
You see, I'm a "puker when others puke" kind of girl and it's not pretty.
Before I knew it, C was crouched on the floor in the middle of his room, whimpering and touching his mouth. I knew this wasn't over. I could only hope and pray it would be quick.
Every 10-15 minutes for the next several hours, this continued. Just as he would wind down and rest his head on my shoulder, the whimpering would begin again.
In the beginning, I just crouched next to him on the floor, rubbing his back, telling him what a good boy he was and that it was OK to be sick. He would clutch my hair, my shoulder, my knee- anything to help him keep his balance as he threw up on the floor.
We went through blanket after blanket after blanket.
Bathroom rug after bathroom rug.
I tried introducing The Puke Mixing Bowl but all it did would frustrate him to have a large pink melamine bowl shoved in his face. I'm sorry, C-man.
I finally broke down around Hour Three when all he wanted to do was sleep. Between heaving he would look up at me and in the tiniest voice, cry "Night Night, Mama? Night Night?"
Oh, for the love. Just rip my heart out, stab it and then shred it into a thousand and one pieces.
Never in my life have I felt so awful. So helpless. Like I would give anything to see those bright blue eyes light up again. I prayed after every throw up that it would be his last. I even tried bartering with God.
"I'll throw up one thousand times if C could just catch a break."
All of my nursing knowledge flew out the window. All I could think about was wet diapers. And for several hours there were none. I tried to feed C an ice pop or two. Those miniature ones that he would beg for as he would stand in front of the fridge and hang by it's handle.
After a few bites, the retching would take over again. The nurse in me kept track on my phone.
Finally, C was able to fall asleep on the floor of the family room. It was now shortly after 4:30pm. He slept the longest sleep since The First Vomit at 1:40pm. I breathed a sigh of relief as I left his side for the first time, only to begin what would be the most horrific laundry attempt ever.
I threw out the crib sheet.
At 5:15, C woke up only to throw up again. And again. And again. Just when I thought it was over. Thankfully, by 6pm it was.
An ice pop stayed down. Followed by a few sips of watered-down Gatorade. And then another ice pop. And another.
Please, if the kid had asked for a pony, I would have been off to the nearest horse farm. He wanted more ice pops? He could have the damned box for all I cared.
Finally, a saltine or two.
We had survived the first Toddler Vomit Virus. You know that scene in The Exorcist when Linda Blair's head rotates? I seriously thought that's where we might be headed.
Puking toddlers are the pits and I wouldn't wish Little Human Vomit on my worst enemy. Sure, I know it was "just a stomach bug" and I darn well know it won't be the last, but that doesn't mean it was any less horrifying.
Watching your tiny little toddler, so vulnerable, retching over and over, with no understanding as to why he feels the way he does.
Oh, Motherhood. You cruel, cruel wench.
Determined to spend the next day outside of the house as much as we could, Carter, who woke up, back as his usual bright-eyed self, couldn't help but stop and smell the tulips... with what I hope was absolutely no recollection of the day's previous events.