Tuesday, June 08, 2010

A Clorox kind of day

Some nights, when my husband goes up to our two-year-old (who will awaken once a night and need someone to come and soothe him), the poor man falls asleep with our son and wakes up only in time to go to work. Monday morning, however, it wasn't husband's trusty iPhone alarm that awakened him, but the sound of a two-year-old getting sick in bed.

Happy Monday! Here's some of last night's dinner, dad.

The master bedroom is right underneath boy's room, so I knew that something was amiss, because suddenly I heard a lot of adult footsteps, some toddler wailing, and the sound of water running. I had been feeding girl when it all started up, and I imagined that boy's diaper had probably leaked, and that husband was changing it and cleaning up wet sheets. When husband appeared at my door a few minutes later, though, he greeted me with a phrase no one wants to hear at 4 a.m.: "He threw up."

My capable husband handled the carnage, and brought the boy downstairs for a sip of watered-down Gatorade. As our son took his first taste of "juice," husband and I discussed the event, and when I learned that boy's retching bore a striking resemblance to the last time he'd had a stomach virus, I snatched the poor kid's sippy cup away from him so fast that he looked baffled. Because I knew whatever he was drinking now would come back up in about ten minutes. It took twenty, but it did.

And so we did what parents do -- called the doctor, dug out the crackers, doled out sips of water at half-hour intervals, and mopped up the vomit that occurred at intermittent times over the next few hours. As well as the diarrhea. Because vomit, apparently, wasn't exciting enough for us.

To be fair, my husband handled the lion's share of the mess. Since we both were terrified of our newborn catching the bug, I tried to keep my distance from what I imagined to be the seething nest of germs that was my son. So husband held bowls, wiped tears, gave hugs, changed diapers and did all the things that I wanted to do for our poor boy but didn't dare.

As we all know, though, there IS justice in the world. My turn was coming.

Later in the day, RIGHT after boy's diaper had leaked ON THE COUCH -- yay -- and while husband was doggedly scrubbing the cushions with a rag soaked in Resolve, I was changing our daughter's diaper in the master bedroom. Her changing table is right next to our windows which overlook a lovely golf course view. On quiet days like yesterday, we sometimes see deer grazing along the far side of the course. Their graceful forms never fail to arrest us, and it happens often enough that we keep an eye open for the sight when we pass any back window. I'd spotted a doe earlier in the day, and had turned my head to see if it was still there, or if it had been joined by a fawn or two. Unwisely, I chose to do this while my daughter's diaper was off.

Suddenly, I heard a quick squirting noise, and felt a suspicious and startling warmth on my shirt and jeans. I looked down to discover what I already knew -- that I was covered in yellow breast-milk-poo. As any of you know who have had babies, a parent gets really used to dealing with newborn baby poop, because you're faced with it SO MANY TIMES a day, so I wasn't terribly grossed out. Still, it was human feces. And no one wants to wear that as an accessory, no matter how cute the person is who produced it.

What was so impressive was the fact that she'd really just hit me. Her changing table pad was spotless. Basically, I'd been spray-tanned in poop. When my husband heard my exclamation, he had a feeling he knew what had happened, and started yelling, "Did she get you? DID SHE GET YOU?!" He came running in to see the source of my surprise, and when he got a look at me, he laughed so hard he had to sit down.

So I stripped and added my clothes to the overworked washing machine, set it to "hot" and thanked God for running water and soap. And vowed to keep my eyes on the task at hand next time, and to work more quickly.

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