I like to think I’m a decent speller, but from now on I refuse to write the word “flu” as anything other than a four-letter word, because it really ought to be one. In my world it shall now and forever be known as the “floo,” and I’ll tell you why…
Things started off last Thursday as a perfectly normal, lovely evening. Ford didn’t eat much at dinner, but I chalked that up to the zerbert-fest Jake made him endure before sitting down to his meal. The kid could hardly breathe he was laughing so hard, I figured… so that must be why he’s not eating. But then later on, he didn’t want much of his bottle before bed either. Hmmmm. And that’s when it hit me. No really… like, for real hit me. All over me. It was as if the 3 bites of dinner he had eaten and the 3 sips of milk he had taken suddenly turned into a banquet-sized feast in his stomach. In a matter of seconds I went from, “… goodnight light and the red balloon, goodnight bears, and good… GOOD GRIEF FORD, WHERE DID ALL THAT COME FROM?!”
The poor kid rocket-puked at least 5 times before I could even catch on to what was happening. And by the time I did he, and I, and his chair, and his carpet, and poor old “Goodnight Moon” were all covered in partially digested collard greens and hummus. That’s what I get for trying to feed my kid healthy food. Not that partially digested French fries puke would be that much better, but still.
I think both of us were so dumbfounded we just stared at each other for a good two minutes before I finally realized I was the only one of the two of us who was capable of starting on the clean-up process. So as my mind went to work on how I could pay Jake back for being out playing basketball this of all nights (!!!!), I went to work on transferring Ford to the tub, hosing him off, and figuring out a way to clean up his room enough so that it didn’t smell too much like puke and also wouldn’t put him into a coma from cleaning solution fumes.
When both he and his room were cleaned up I picked him up for a little pre-bed snuggle only to discover that I had now gotten him puke-smeared again from the leftovers all over my own shirt that I had completely forgotten to clean up and/or take off. Two rounds later of this same thing happening (yes, I’m a slow-learner, but I was also in kind of a daze at this point) I was now both topless and pantless putting my little guy to bed in nothing but maternity underwear, a sports bra that I’ve had since my freshman year of college, and socks. And at 32 weeks pregnant, that’s something even a 13-month old shouldn’t have to endure seeing, even though he’ll never remember it. I hope.
I put Ford down and in the five minutes it took me to get a message in to the advice nurse at his Pediatrician’s office I hear whimpering coming from the baby monitor.
I open Ford’s door and am knocked upside the head with the sour/vinegary smell of throw-up. I turn on his lamp and see his little head pitifully peek up at me over the railing and it’s COVERED in spaghetti and little bits of turkey. Remembering his school menu that day said those two things, I now realize he has made his way through layer number one in his tummy and has now just thrown up his entire lunch from eight hours ago too. And it is EVERYWHERE… both in the crib and around it.
So (split-screen to Jake miles away high-fiveing buddies after his last lay-up) this time my clean-up round includes not only Ford, but also his sheets, his bumper, his mattress pad, and even the wall and actual slats of his crib because apparently this was a particularly violent outburst.
I won’t make you sit through the details of every round of how this flu kicked our butts, but suffice it to say it was pretty brutal. By the time Jake got home from hoops Ford was sleeping in the most pajama-like jeans and sweatshirt I could find on a single pack-n-play sheet jerry-rigged to fit his crib mattress. I was freezing, delirious, and oh yeah… neked, aside from the “Jake and Page: Cooking Up Love Since 2006” apron I grabbed after my last clean bundies combo got covered in puke. I swear, every other non-furniture item in the house was in the washing machine.
Ford is now down and sleeping soundly. I grab the Resolve and a scrubber and just as I’m getting to work on Ford’s latest victim (the couch, which try as I might, would simply not fit into the washing machine) I hear the chimes of the alarm beep. Daddy’s home! Perfect timing.
Jake walks in, takes one look at me, takes in one breath and his face contorts… “What is that glob in your hair?” he asks. “And what’s that smell? And…” I’m assuming that here he would have asked me why I was doing housework in the buff, but it’s all suddenly too much for my tender-tummy husband… and he dry heaves. Like, 7 times.
Thankfully, that was all that hit him that night… but those dry heaves turned into the real thing by the next day and he was laid-up for about 24 hours himself before the flu-bug flew away from the Fehling house. Finally. Thankfully I have yet to be bitten. Apparently God thinks being 8-months pregnant and taking care of other people with the flu is punishment enough. And he’s right.
I’m now embarking on a lobbying campaign to Webster’s to officially make “flu” a four-letter word. Because c’mon, it totally fits the bill. It’s nasty and gross and it would fit in perfectly with its other, more offensive and vulgar four-letter counterparts…you know, like “Duke.”