This morning was the worst morning I can remember. I am certain there have been worse. Like the wee hours I spent in the emergency room four years ago fighting my kidney stone in a nasty battle. But this morning was wretched. We were supposed to go on a date last night. A family in our church was going to watch Garrett and Matthew and we were going to use a gift card we have to Red Lobster. Well, we cancelled on account of Garrett's barf.
And it's a good thing.
We decided to have a home date and use the rest of some other gift cards we had and split an Applebee's take out salad. We also bought a pie from Village Inn for dessert and rented a movie from RedBox. In all, our "date" was just under three dollars. This is a good thing because, by the time Troy and Garrett got home with the ingredients for our "date" I had started feeling the flu descend upon me. I ate a bowl of cereal instead. I didn't want to see the salad coming back up. Once we got the kiddos in bed we curled up on the couch to watch our movie. About an hour later, Troy asked me a question and I lurched out of my slumber. I'd been asleep for a good half hour. My husband sent me off to bed.
He slept on Garrett's floor so that he could take care of him if any vomiting occurred. My own barfing commenced at about 10:00 pm. I stopped throwing up around 2:30 but, when I awoke this morning, I felt like death. Then, to be as subtle as possible, the other flu symptom set in. My husband, obviously, had to go to church. I stayed home with the boys and it was the most miserable four hours. Matthew would not stop crying. He wanted attention but the only thing getting my attention this morning was the toilet. When I thought I was going to start throwing up again, I had a two-year-old hanging on to my back and laughing every time my throat made that retching sound.
At 10:15 I called my husband's cell phone. My house was a mess, my hair was in a knot on the top of my head, my face was pale, my pajamas were stinky, but I didn't care. I wanted him to send someone from the church over to watch my boys while I wallowed in the stomach flu. It was awful. He didn't answer his phone. I thought about getting on the next flight to San Diego and never, ever, living away from family again so long as we all shall live. Except flying didn't seem like a particularly good idea.
To respond to a couple comments left on yesterday's blog, "Yes, Dena, we do throw up a lot around here. Or, rather, Garrett and I throw up a lot. Poor kid seems to have gotten his mother's susceptibility to the flu." And to Missy, "I did consider calling you but figured you were also at church."
At one point, when I finally got the screamer to stop screaming, I just started to cry. I seriously felt that bad. My son climbed up onto the bed, tucked his legs under the covers and whispered, "Mommy doesn't feel very well." I replied that, no, indeed I did not. It was at this point, while he watched Handy Manny, that he gently began stroking my hair. Much like I did for him
yesterday morning in between his rounds of throwing up. At one point, he pulled a little hard on a strand and whispered, "Sorry. I pull too hard. I trying to be gentle." Truthfully, his little whisper woke me up, he'd put me right to sleep.
Later, while Matthew cried again, Garrett tried to help.
G: Did you try his paci?
Me: Yeah. He doesn't want it.
G: (running out of my room and reappearing seconds later) Try this.
Me: Honey, I don't think the nasal aspirator will work.
G: Yeah. Get his boogers out.
Me: I don't think he has any boogers right now.
G: (Again running to his bedroom and then back to mine) Read him this story.
Finally, I put the baby in the swing. He cried intermittently. About twenty minutes before Troy got home, Garrett ran into my room.
G: Matt-ew is crying in my playroom.
Me: I know.
G: I can't get him to stop.
Me: I'm sorry.
G: I try this. (Takes his paci to him. Then, several seconds later) Little Buddy, I no know what do. Mommy so sick. Stop crying, Little Buddy. (Pause) Really, Matt-ew. Stop.
But he said it all so patiently and so lovingly and, as I contemplated death, I wondered how my two-year-old son is such a good caregiver. And then I thought, if life doesn't ruin him, he's going to be a really good dad. Unless, of course, he tries to climb on his kids while they are throwing up.