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24-hour flu, 12 hours at a time.

2007-12-17 - 11:15 a.m.

For the second-last weekend before Christmas, this weekend was spectacularly blah. Grommet caught a stomach bug from her uncle Bobby, which meant that by the time I got home Friday she was throwing up every 10 minutes. Since J had to be at work for 6:00 am on Saturday, that meant I was the one who stayed with her that night. Thanks to ½ a Gravol suppository (and really, don’t you just feel nasty administering those things?) she stopped throwing up in the late evening, but she was clearly not herself for the next couple of days and, when the snowstorm Sunday was factored in, we hardly left the house all weekend.

Of course, it was during one of our two brief forays out on Sunday (to get movies and food – since our cupboards were starting to resemble Mother Hubbard’s) that her illness resurfaced rather spectacularly, as she liberally spackled both her and me with the most foul-smelling vomit ever. We stripped her outer layers off right there in the take-out area of the Chinese restaurant, and I too was divested of the shell portion of my jacket. Into a plastic bag it all went. Sadly I couldn’t do much more than mop ineffectually at my snow pants with a paper towel, since I wouldn’t really have been decent without them.

Once we got home she continued to heave rather regularly as she was propped on the couch, her head pitifully, if rather forcefully, cradled over a large plastic tub. One more thing to look forward to about her growing up: she will understand that the horrible feeling of having to puke means that she should lean over a receptacle, rather than try to hide her face against the comforting side of a parent.

I have to ask though, is it not totally unfair that what was a 24-hour bug in an adult can come back and bite the same kid on the ass a full two evenings after the first bout? I felt so sorry for the little monkey. And while she did sleep, if rather fitfully, last night, she told me her tummy still hurt and that she felt like she was going to throw up at about 6:00 this morning. Of course, this time I had to be at work this morning and J was staying home with her today – so why was it me who stayed with her last night too? Further exposing myself to the possibility of catching what could be a dangerous-to-a-pregnant-person bug to boot?

Because J felt that we’d be able to hear her if she woke up puking so there was no need to actually stay with her all night. Since I was the only one of us who felt that someone should be there to try to “catch” the puke in a bucket rather than wait until she’d spewed everywhere, necessitating a messy, foul and large-scale middle-of-the-night cleanup; and I was the only one of us who foresaw, apparently, that being alone would mean she’d try to seek comfort in the “big bed” and crawl in with us where the effects of large quantities of vomit on a bed, a feather duvet, and down pillows would not have been mitigated by a waterproof mattress pad, waterproof chuck pad, and several receiving blankets, I had to be the one to take puke-watch. In other words, I saw the need, so I had to fill it; he didn’t see any need, so in his mind, why not sleep in his own bed?

Don’t get me wrong though: J is a great dad. He was the one who picked Grommet up from daycare early and manned the fort until I got home on Friday, and he’s the one who’s home with her right now. In addition to all that he does for both Grommet and I, he’s also the one who handles most of the around-the-house stuff. For instance, he unpacked almost everything after we moved, and right now he’s painting the basement whenever he gets a free moment. Last week he re-caulked the tub. I won’t just say that I don’t know how I’d manage without him, I’d say, in fact, that I wouldn’t be able to manage without him, and I certainly wouldn’t be living in a 4-bedroom in the ‘burbs with just Grommet and I. Yesterday alone he kept abreast of the 40 cms of snow that fell in less than 24 hours by snowblowing the driveway probably 3 times. And he’ll be out there again today. There is literally not a day that goes by that I don’t think how lucky I am to have him.

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