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Return of the prodigal father.

2008-09-28 - 9:42 a.m.

J’s coming home today and we’re, well, okay. We’ve been fine for the most part and yes, while I’m looking forward to his return, the world didn’t fall to pieces because I had to (gasp!) parent my two kids on my own for 3 days, 10 hours a few days.

Normally I’d say bedtime is the hardest: trying to get a toddler to be quiet and occupy herself long enough to put the 4-month old to bed so that you can devote your attention to said toddler is challenging and took quite a bit of repetitive explaining. Every time the baby was almost asleep the toddler would get impatient and make noise which woke up the baby, which meant I had to get the toddler to try to be quiet all over again.

I say, “normally” because, in fact, the most challenging moment occurred last night, shortly after midnight, when my Grommet crawled into bed with Biscuit and I and promptly emptied the contents of her stomach all over the bed, the pillow, and herself. And those contents included everything she’d eaten that day. I recognized the pineapple she’d eaten for breakfast and the aged cheddar she’d had as a snack. And the smell, dear God, the smell…

It was not my proudest parenting moment, since my first reaction was to yell NOOOOO!!!!, yank her off the bed and her shirt over her head so that she wasn’t dropping foul bits everywhere. I was saved by the fact that Uncle Bob was here and he took charge of the child while I ran for a roll of paper towels and tried to scoop as much of the slimy mess up as I could. Between the two of us we got the toddler bathed and mostly de-putrefied (her right ear still smells vomitous, but I’ve tried to clean it a couple of times so it’ll have to wait for bath #2 later today) and back into her still-clean bed, the baby re-settled into the spare bed (which is Uncle Bob’s and he slept on the couch for the rest of the night, bless him), the pillow, duvet (both down, by the way), and bed stripped and all the bedding into the laundry, and the mattress cleaned as well as we could. I’m happy that I have good-quality protective covers on both my pillows and my mattress, but even then there was some seepage through. Yech.

I was hoping for a sunny dry day today so I could drag the mattress outside and let it bake to thoroughly-dry, but no such luck. Tonight J may not be in his own bed after all.

For the record, I did give a lot of sympathy to Grommet while I was putting her to bed, trying to walk the line between making sure she knew to tell me if she was feeling sick so that she didn’t upchuck in the bed like that again, and making sure she knew that I wasn’t mad because she was sick and that I knew she couldn’t help it. I think those two messages might have gotten through but really, she’s two. What can I expect, right?

Also, we have no concrete proof of what is making her barf every other day, but I do know that I have changed her sippy-cup water every night but not her actual cup for a few days and Uncle Bob investigated and found that the space between the valve and where the water comes out was – and I know how bad and gross this sounds – getting some mould in it. Could be coincidence, but I’m going to change the cup for a fresh one religiously every night and hope that that’s the end of this. I mean, I knew better than to let anything with sugar in it (i.e., juice or milk) sit around for even a full 24 hours and then let her drink it, but I really didn’t think just water would risk the growth of mould. Let this be a lesson. Even if it’s not connected, still, GROSS!

Grommet, by the way, seems totally fine this morning. Of course, she seemed totally fine all day yesterday too, when apparently her stomach was refusing to let anything through it into her small intestine. Fingers crossed that last night was the last mysterious-upchucking for a while. If not, J's going to have a memorable welcome home, and not in the best way.

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