I should have known it was going to be a bad day. After all, it started with Hurricane launching himself onto the bed and kneeing me flush in the balls. Nothing says good morning like a wave of nausea rising from your groin.
It was a Wednesday. The holiday period is over so BB has settled into her routine for the new semester now. It looks like it’s going to be worse than the first, given the number of assessments she has locked in her calendar – but the bonus of no exams is a gleaming light at the end the tunnel. I was still recovering from the blow when she slipped out the door for the day, leaving Hurricane and Chaos free reign to lay waste to our lounge.
We had no big plans. The problem with the recent freezing weather is that getting the kids to leave the house has become a challenge akin to convincing a cat to go swimming. If I try and take them outside in below zero weather again, it could be a week before I can next drag them out. But this wasn’t one of those days, so I was going to wait till after lunch to take them out to the playground for a run around.
I was making some banana bread (the extent of my baking skills) when Hurricane emerged from his room to inform me Chaos had done “something disgusting”. She often wears underwear at home as we move forward with toilet training, so my immediate thought was she had taken them off and sullied their nest, much like the time she dropped a log on our lounge floor and as BB swooped in to carry her to the bathroom started yelling out ‘Mama there’s another poo hanging out of my bottom’. She was right, there was.
But then Hurricane told me it was pink. Pink? That didn’t sound likely. But he was right. She had vomited up that morning’s porridge with raspberries. It is never a good sign when your child who never spews has spewed. Then I saw an empty cold and flu medicine pouch on the ground. It would have held two pills. Chaos has become somewhat of a scavenger in recent weeks, rummaging through drawers and bags looking for snacks. I asked her if she had found this single pouch. She said yes. I asked her what was in it. She said chocolate. What she often means by that is M&Ms. Not the answer I was hoping for.
After working out what the active ingredients were in the pills (not good for little kids) and chatting to BB, I called a cab to take us to the medical centre. Chaos, at this point, was fine. She was fine until she wasn’t. Unfortunately for me this happened right as the cab stopped and I went to pay the driver. I had armed myself with a bowl in case she needed to vomit again, but I had switched hands with it to pull my wallet out. With immaculate timing, Chaos then proceeded to projectile all over me. The only instinct I had was to protect the cab. The last thing I wanted was to pay a $150 cleaning bill for the privilege of being vomited on. Small victories.
So we exited the cab with Hurricane chanting ‘yucky yucky yucky’ and Chaos telling me she felt much better now. I shook as much spew as I could off me and onto the road, took my sweatshirt off and walked into the doctor’s reception smelling a lot like fermented rotten apples. BB arrived shortly after, in time to learn the good news that if Chaos had swallowed the pills then having vomited twice already she would probably be fine, we just had to keep an eye on her.
And she was fine. She returned to her chatty self and was eating and drinking without incident. We thought it was over. Oh how wrong we were.
Fast forward 48 hours and we are at a birthday party for Ben (one of the Canadians) when Hurricane suddenly goes quiet and tells BB his tummy hurts. Then he goes white. She exits the room and within five minutes of getting home he is vomiting into a bucket. Meanwhile, I’m still at the party with Chaos who is smashing back the cake and ice cream with gusto. Then I feel my stomach turn. We leave.
Chaos didn’t swallow the meds, she picked up a bug. Then she mutated it into a devil beast and passed it on.
Poor Hurricane spent nearly 7 hours vomiting on the couch, while I shut myself in the bathroom for the evening. The good thing was Hurricane’s body adopted the single exit strategy. Mine went for the double, obviously to speed things up. I realised early on that it’s much smarter to sit on the throne and risk vomiting into a towel in your hands, than the other way around. So I only went for the face in throne when I was confident I had an all clear from the colon. Strategic.
It’s quite weird the things you think about when your body is trying to save you by destroying your will to live. I started to think about tax evasion. I have no idea why. I don’t even know much about tax evasion. Then I remembered the time my flatmates at university spent our entire week’s food budget on toilet paper because it was on special. And I was thinking how genius that was, given how much I was currently using and how expensive the bog roll is here.
Anyway, both Hurricane and I managed to empty our bodies around 11pm and fall asleep out of pure exhaustion. I was woken at 4am by some very unladylike noises coming from BB in the bathroom. It was her turn.
It is Sunday now. We think, maybe, hopefully, it’s over.
And that, dear friends, is parenting in a nutshell.