Feb 14, 2006

I returned the trash can that spent the last two days resting at my bedside to the computer room this morning. Having the ability to move it, complete with its plastic covering, was a bit of a victory. It implied that at least I was done with the illness that rampaged my family this weekend. That’s a pretty good feeling, almost as good as again being able to fart with at least some semblance of control.

I’m of the opinion that you learn about real parenting when attempting to do it while sick. It’s almost a right of passage. Throw in a sick wife as well as two sick children and the multiplication alone is staggering. It all adds up to a weekend conclusion that was surely drawn up somewhere in hell.

I suppose I could say that it all started Friday night, when my oldest child found that he didn’t like sleeping next to the contents of his stomach, but I didn’t feel it until Sunday evening. The wife and I looked at each over our dinners. Neither of us had much interest in what was on our plates. My wife is a good cook; my belly can assure you that this was a bad sign. We forced our way through bath time and both of us hit the bed with thud at about 8 pm, just minutes after we got the kids asleep.

We also hit the bed at 9pm, 10pm, 11pm, 12am, 1am, 2 am — I think you are getting the idea. Our youngest had taken to projectile vomiting and was, unsurprisingly, unhappy about it. He woke nearly every hour throughout the night, emitting a chorus that was filled with his meals from the day before. I took each opportunity to revisit the bathroom. By morning, there were two weary parents and a child with nothing left to vomit but clear liquids.

At this point, I should mention that there’s nothing sadder than a sick kid. My youngest had no understanding of what was happening to him. He was incredibly tired and suddenly wet. My oldest, who took up the tradition the next day, made us just as sad. He wanted us to provide the magic elixir from the doctor that would make it all better. It just breaks your heart.

I should also mention that I couldn’t be more impressed with my wife through all this. She spent the better part of the first night hanging over the toilet and still managed to hit the ground running when our youngest one woke. By the morning hours she’d get to him before he actually threw up. At this point, I was still moaning under the covers.

Monday was a day of survival in a way. Both the wife and I were still quite ill, not even attempting something like soup until the late evening. The kids needed their parents and their parents needed rest. Occasionally, one parent would fall (asleep). The other would do what needed to be done. The day itself is a blur. I remember cleaning up the dishes and laying on the couch moaning softly to myself from the effort.

Thankfully, today is better. Our oldest is still very much recovering (he was the latest in the time line for the real whammy) but the wife and I feel a lot better. I had a bagel for breakfast! The exclamation point alone should indicate that our victories come in small, meal-shaped packages. The movement of that trash can indicates some independence on exactly where those meals end up.

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One Response so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Kathy
    March 8th, 2006 at 12:29 am #

    Hello Ken,
    I google my husbands name & you came up. Where are you located? We are in Lindenhurst, NY. Are you related to Harlan?

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