It’s 2 am, and yes, I’m awake. We’re going on week 2 of what I like to call Whack-A-Mole Sickness: one family member gets sick and I nurse them to health just in time for the next family member to pop up sick. It’s a vicious cycle and perhaps the only upside is that it distracts me from the morning sickness. Sheesh. What a compensation prize.
It all started 2 weeks ago when Little Lady developed a mystery rash on her back. It quickly spread to her pretty little face and let’s just say it wasn’t pretty! Soon after, Middle Man raced to our bedroom one night announcing that his ear hurt. In his true burly-man fashion, he barely complained. Simply woke up once to cry ferociously for 30 seconds, then laughed and said his ear ‘tooted’. Commence fluids oozing from his ear.
The next morning we were off to the doctor, where I suspect the hubs and I picked up strep throat. Perfect. For the next several days we were down for the count, taking shifts at parenting while the other slept. Again, it wasn’t pretty. We were sucking down Tom Kai Gai soup and hot tea with honey and cayenne pepper like our lives depended on it.
Recognizing my fatigue, I went to bed extra early one night. And good thing I did, since Little Lady……………..
Hold please; vomiting child.
Ok, back. Where was I? Oh yes, Little Lady. She began vomiting at midnight. Why is it always at night? And how does it always smother every square inch of blanket, pillow, mattress and, in this case, crib rails? By now, the hubs and I have an unspoken system: I catch the vomit and he cleans the vomit. So Little Lady and I migrated to the ‘sick couch’ while Daddy began the clean up. And for the record, I’d much rather hold a sweet baby and a ‘puke bowl’ than clean it all up. So thanks, fearless husband.
After a long, sleepless night, my mom graciously drove down from Boston at a dime’s notice (I wonder where that phrase came from?) Anyway, she showed up and, like Mary Poppins, made magic happen. Folding laundry- much neater than I ever fold- making chicken soup, bathing, feeding, and entertaining kids. Priceless. At one point, the 2 younger kids were napping and Big Brother offered to take Nana to the park- a quick, safe walk through our neighborhood. In reality, however, he led my unsuspecting mom almost a mile in the wrong direction, down a very busy street, across an even busier intersection, to….Dunkin Donuts. My mom was played by a 4 year old. And he made out with a donut and hot chocolate. Again, priceless.
By the time my mom headed back to Boston today, we felt refreshed and the illnesses seemed to be easing up. We all went to bed by 8 and……
…..and then Big Brother woke up tonight at midnight. Yup, more throw up. Back to the sick couch with the puke bowl. Back to the hubs hauling crazy amounts of laundry to the basement.
And then I did what any sleep-deprived mother of 3 with a 4th on the way would do: I got online and purchased an absurd amount of probiotics. Angrily. Overnight delivery. Because I intend to do battle with this sickness. Enough is enough. Either we get our guts in check, or we move into a bubble. I’m tempted to blame our sickness on the North in general because, quite honestly, I don’t like Northern winters. Call me crazy, but I just don’t enjoy being inside for 5+ months and forgetting what the sun looks like. However, I suspect that our sickness is a gift from God- a red flag, a heads up, a warning that our immune systems are out of whack. And so I’m thankful for friends and resources who can help us navigate our way to stronger health.
I consider this a great privilege of parenthood: being entrusted with the physical health of our children. Becoming the family doctor. Being proactive. I also consider it a great ministry to comfort our sick children. To hold them and tell that that we’re sorry for their suffering. That this is not how God intended life to be. To show them how to endure discomfort. Because, sadly, they will find life quite uncomfortable at times.
Well, it’s now 4 am and Big Brother has fallen asleep. So I will take a tiny nap before the troops wake up. Hopefully well. But if not, well, stay tuned for another post!