February 26, 2009

The Great Plague of 09

I should be a fortune teller. I mean, I'd get one of those fancy crystal balls, a couple really cool hats and maybe even my own infomercial. Why? Because, as predicted yesterday, last night was a long one. I know what you're saying - you didn't have to be psychic to know that, boy genius. And you're right. But I'd still like my own infomercial, please.

Just before she fell asleep for the night, Mia came down with what we're going to call The Great Plague Of 2009, for lack of a better term. During the first several hours of the affliction, we piled up laundry at an alarming rate. Picture, if you will, Mount Everest. Now, picture Mt. Everest composed entirely of laundry. You now have a good idea what the laundry room in our basement looked like. Beth and I divided and conquered. I managed to convince Owen to accept me over Beth for a second night in a row while Beth crashed with Mia, who was up sick about every half hour. The night passed slower for some than others but, when the sun rose, no one was throwing up.

And what did I learn during this process?

  • We have a shitload of sheets, towels and blankets in our house. We could probably wrap the earth with the amount of sheets, towels and blankets we've got. Not that we'd actually do that. That would be hard. I would say that I have no idea what we'd ever do with all of them but I think we found out last night.
  • Our washing machine is way the hell to slow to keep up with sick kids. We have one of those high efficiency washing machines. Apparently in this case high efficiency means uses less water and not goes real fast. Efficiency is in the eye of the beholder.
  • My daughter shrieks like she's getting her arm chewed off by a rabid monkey when she's sick. It was one of the single most awful things my ears have been witness to.
  • Throwing up is a learned behavior. No, you're not born with the knowledge of how to throw up. Without getting too graphic - because I myself am a pukaphobic - we had to instruct Mia as to the finer points of throwing up. And it took all night to master.
  • It's not as hard as you'd think to go through a dozen pairs of jammies in one night.

But above all, I learned that I'm a dad. Sure, I knew that before Monday night but there's nothing like a little reinforcement every once in a while to make it all very real. I get to play with the kids but I also get to clean up the puke. And while one is definitely more fun than another, it all comes back to dadhood. Which is fucking awesome.

Posted by Chris at February 26, 2009 7:05 AM

Don't want to be accused of having Munchenhausen By Proxy or anything :), but my son was always at his snuggliest and sweetest when he was sick with his "I love you Mommy"s and "you're the best Mommy ever"s. I always knew he was getting better when he would start to get a little bit crabby! Then he would return to his old normal self (minus the crabby but keeping the sweetness).

Posted by: NancyJ at February 26, 2009 7:43 AM

Poor kids. The only person that hasn't gotten the Great Plague is you...watch out it's long extending arm my be reaching out soon...

Posted by: Dee at February 26, 2009 8:02 AM

OMG!! Yes, I too, assumed I have always had the knowledge & understanding to aim at the toilet (or even bucket) from birth! When my biggest was little I had to convince her to do that. Sometimes quite physically.

I also recall, despite not *really* liking leather furniture, being very happy with the purchase within about a week (wipey wipey!)

Posted by: harmzie at February 26, 2009 8:11 AM


Posted by: Jeff A at February 26, 2009 8:15 AM

Holy Toledo. I always thought that spewing was ingrained in our DNA. Stomach stuff comes up, goes out, etcetera, rinse mouth, repeat (if necessary). I can't imagine trying to teach someone how to do it. Did you use a white board? Puppets?

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at February 26, 2009 8:16 AM

Glad to hear that the puke-a-thon is over (fingers crossed!)

Posted by: gabrielle at February 26, 2009 8:31 AM

Any man who can utter "dadhood, puke and awesome" in the same sentence is an amazing parent. Congratulations on surviving the pukefest. Now go disinfect your house. Light switches, remotes, computer keyboards, phones, bannisters, faucet handles, and the washer and dryer!!!

Posted by: Christy at February 26, 2009 9:10 AM

SO glad to hear the reign of terror is over. We had a few of these nights before Thanksgiving. It was horrible. I know EXACTLY what you mean about having to teach a kid how to puke. Who would have ever thought that wasn't something you are born knowing?!

Posted by: aimee at February 26, 2009 9:41 AM

sorry to hear miss mia is sick. it always sucks when lil ones are sickies. i hope she gets to feeling better soon and no one else gets what she's got.

Posted by: kimmyk at February 26, 2009 9:50 AM

Oh no! I hope the kids are all better (and no one else has gotten sick.) Little newborns do know how to spit up, though, right? I thought that was one of their major pastimes. So I guess we forget at some point between infancy and pre-schoolerhood? I had no idea.

Posted by: Fraulein N at February 26, 2009 10:25 AM

Making everything alright for your kid is one of the best feelings in the world.

I remember about 2 years ago we bought a carpet cleaner from Costco for the new house, expecting spills of food or whatever. Less than a week later, my girl barfed a ton of muck all over her carpet in the middle of the night. It was horrible, of course, but by the time Jen had her cleaned up and new sheets on the bed, I had fully cleaned the carpet and showed her how it was all better. She was so relieved her new room was OK, that the rest of the night went much better.

Bet of luck to you in kicking this bug.

Posted by: Brad at February 26, 2009 10:41 AM

I am a hugely pukeaphobic myself.

So fortunately, my kid doesn't puke. We made an agreement when I was pregnant that I would forgive her for using my bladder as a trampoline and in return she would not pee or puke on me. It worked.

So, I have a daughter who is just about at zero on the puke scale, but my damn cat pukes all the time.

Posted by: jessica at February 26, 2009 10:54 AM

as an emetophobe, i feel for you, Chris. i hope you don't get it either! gah!

Posted by: ali at February 26, 2009 11:10 AM

I was up throwing up all night too, what a coincident! In my case, poor judgment on the leftover fish. Heh.

For us adults, like Brandon said, it's good for your abs.

Posted by: oakley at February 26, 2009 11:50 AM

You notice you're the only one that hasn't puked yet....

Posted by: k8 at February 26, 2009 12:50 PM

Sorry, dude. I hate nothing more than when my kids have some kind of stomach bug. Gak.

Posted by: Brooke Habecker at February 26, 2009 12:53 PM

"Goes real fast" sounds like a really important washing machine feature. I'm gonna have to keep that in mind when it comes my turn to appliance-shop. I hope everyone's better asap! And my pain-in-the-ass cold doesn't seem so bad now.

Posted by: Heather at February 26, 2009 1:13 PM

These are the moments that make families, right?

I hope you're still unafflicted.

Posted by: Shelly at February 26, 2009 1:39 PM

Dude. Sucks for you and Beth and the kids.

Here is hoping everyone gets better quick.

And yes - puking is a learned skill. My 6 year old still doesn't know the feeling you get before you puke - and thefore still does the "Mom, I feel . . ." VIOLENT ERRUPTION ALL OVER HIM AND I

Posted by: Mindy at February 26, 2009 2:06 PM

From the sharing war stories dept:

Before we had our youngest ( so just the two, a little older than yours ), my wife, daughter and son all came down with some kind of stomach thing, with much the same results.

I stayed home from work, but was still on call ( gotta love IT ) and of course got the call that the critical sales app wasn't working as expected, and that I would have to dial in and make code changes right now, or our lack of ability to guess random numbers about how much money we weren't going to make would somehow implode the universe ( I guess I'm a bit bitter in retrospect ). I told my boss that I was on it, hung up the phone, and my daughter proceeded to release all over the rug. It was at this moment that I learned that if your child is sick with the stomach flu, do not give them red pedialite, as it will come back to haunt you.

In time, the child was comforted, the carpet was cleaned, and sales people could go back to throwing darts at the wall. Yes, fatherhood does rock, although sometimes more in retrospect than in the moment! :)

And for what it is worth, the family rememdy for sick tummies was warm Coke ( very bubbly, not flat, but about room temp ). Always seemed to help.

And a final random note: if you are going to get your carpets cleaned, be sure to get it done with non-chemical treatment. Do some research on Kawasaki disease ( real, nothing to do with the motorcycle ). One of those nasty gotchas that is easy enough to prevent but you never see it coming unless you've been warned.


Posted by: metawizard at February 26, 2009 2:20 PM

Oh, boy. I don't know how you can deal with the puke. Glad you all survived the night. Hopefully the plague is over for the year. Or decade. I'll go with decade.

Posted by: Dianna at February 26, 2009 3:40 PM

My wife is a pukaphobic. Myself, I can puke on command. I am a puker. Not sure what my little one will be. Glad you made it through.

Posted by: DCUrbanDad at February 26, 2009 5:21 PM

I remember The Boy getting the flu. We went through all the sheets in the house, he was left sleeping on an old mattress cover for our Queen sized bed covered with an old sleeping bag.

I hope you're all on the mend.

Posted by: Nat at February 26, 2009 8:06 PM

As a fellow puke-a-phobe, I can only relate too well to your post since we (all 4 of us) had the plague for the past 2 weeks. First Frog Princess brought it home Friday - Sunday. Then Mini Saurus was up with it for Tuesday-Friday, I went down Friday - Sunday and my hubby was Sunday-Tuesday. Yes, I'm still catching up on laundry and yes it is a learned art. Lots of beach towels, gladware, and pjs to be washed. Use the bleach, rotavirus is the only human virus that can live for days outside of the human body. Stock up on saltines and gatorade for you and Beth. Good luck. At least it's over quickly.

Posted by: MaryLea at February 26, 2009 9:00 PM

My son had the stomach flu over the weekend and I also had the all night duty and laundry. But after two sets of pjs, I just left him in underpants. We were both happier and I had way less laundry. Hope everyone is on the mend.

Posted by: Annie at February 26, 2009 10:02 PM

Awesome. Nothing like a good purging to cleanse the body.

I couldn't instrut my boy on puking if I tried. Only time I do puke, I don't really remember what happened the next morning.

Posted by: Surfer Jay at February 26, 2009 10:21 PM

Awesome. Nothing like a good purging to cleanse the body.

I couldn't instrut my boy on puking if I tried. Only time I do puke, I don't really remember what happened the next morning.

Posted by: Surfer Jay at February 26, 2009 10:21 PM

Poor little baby! One more thing about teaching about puking - make sure your son knows to hold the hair of his loved one out of the toilet if said loved one is puking. There are far too few men in this world that understand that rule.

Posted by: TUWABVB at February 26, 2009 11:09 PM

And the best part is that we still have to get up early the next day and go to work... *sigh* I hope Mia is feeling a lot better now!

Posted by: La Petite Belle at February 28, 2009 9:15 PM

I hope everyone is feeling better. Sorry you were all so sick....those stomach bugs are the worst and I always feel so bad when kids get them. Hope you were able to stay healthy.

Posted by: Tina at March 1, 2009 10:06 PM

I hope everyone is feeling better. Sorry you were all so sick....those stomach bugs are the worst and I always feel so bad when kids get them. Hope you were able to stay healthy.

Posted by: Tina at March 1, 2009 10:06 PM

I hope everyone is feeling better. Sorry you were all so sick....those stomach bugs are the worst and I always feel so bad when kids get them. Hope you were able to stay healthy.

Posted by: Tina at March 1, 2009 10:06 PM

The personal loans seem to be very useful for guys, which are willing to start their organization. In fact, it is easy to get a secured loan.

Posted by: JenniePerkins23 at May 26, 2010 4:42 PM