Published April 04. 2012 4:00AM
My biggest parenting fear descended upon our house about five days ago.
The Stomach Bug.
Since I first became a mother, I quickly decided that The Stomach Bug was something I hoped we would never have to deal with. Clearly delusional, I know. But we made it two and half years. It was a good run.
And then Little Lady woke up at 12:30 on Thursday morning. A little earlier than her norm, but nothing too unusual. I was nursing her in my half-sleep when I was suddenly covered in vomit. I spent a couple minutes trying to convince myself that it was because of her phlegm. And in that time, she threw up again. And I knew our previously vomitless existence was coming to a screeching halt.
She didn't keep anything down for about 18 hours. Eighteen hours of being vomited on. And then she was better. I thought we were good. And then Sunday rolled around and The Hubbs couldn't get out of bed. He spent a solid 30 hours in bed and then he was fine. I thought we were good. The day went well on Monday. Everyone was feeling good. Then Monday night, Little Man started with diarrhea. Then vomited all over the kitchen.
This plague is ripping through this family, and with 75% of us down, the odds are stacked against me, but I am holding strong.
I've learned some things too. Thought you might be interested in The Rules Of The Stomach Bug:
1. The Stomach Bug does not follow any rules. Just when you think you have it figured out, it will sucker punch you. Just be prepared.
2. If you were FORCED to sacrifice someone in your family to the stomach bug, pick the one who doesn't really eat solid foods. Or your spouse. While all vomit is horrible, I have learned that breast-fed baby vomit is the least offensive and your spouse is at least not going to throw up on you. It is too hard to wrangle and reason with a vomiting toddler. And you can't pick yourself or there will be no one to take care of everyone.
3. The sooner you let yourself go to the vomit, the better off you will be. Just accept that for the next x amount of hours you will have vomit on you. And the good part about vomit on you? It's not on the floors. One less thing you have to clean.
4. If you are tired of changing your kids and your clothes and you think it would be better if you just didn't put clothes on either of you, think again. Clothes ABSORB vomit. Bare skin does not. Vomit all over bare skin is much, much worse than vomit on clothes. Trust.
5. If you are thinking about getting all fancy and putting on a bra, don't. Turns out a bra is basically like a bucket on your chest to collect the vomit.
6. Be vigilant. I'll get back to you on what is actually a "safe" amount of time to say your family is in the clear. Don't get too comfortable when no one is sick. The vomit/poop tide could change at any moment.
Do you have any rules to add to this list? I'm not sure we are done with this thing yet, so any other pointers are greatly appreciated.
(Oh yeah, and depending on what strain of The Stomach Bug you have in your house, feel free to swap the word "diarrhea" with the word "vomit".)