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Friday, February 4, 2011

2 Year Old vs. Stomach Bug

“Welcome to the future of preschool fun” another mom told me when I warned her to stay away from our house – my 2 year old son has a stomach bug.

Uncontrollable diarrhea has been buddying up to him for the past 24 hours. Poor little guy. He knows he shouldn’t mess in his pants and gets so upset when I discover it. He sadly asks me, “Mama mad?” I try and assure him that no, I’m not mad and I know he can’t help it.

Still, he can’t help but notice my grimacing face as I try and wipe up the trail of mess leading into the bathroom and rinse out soiled clothes. I try and smile like moms do to show him it’s OK and hug him in the way only a mom can do, even if it means I have to change my clothes afterwards, too.

I just love having more laundry to do.

I have washed my hands so many times, I no longer have any fingerprints left. I could rob a bank and not bother wearing gloves, but I’m sure DNA would still be left behind from all the splits my dried out fingers have them on them.

My mind drifts back to the places we visited to determine the guilty place. Was it the fun toddler time at the church we went to? Fifty kids running around sharing toys and germs sounds like a probable cause. I knew I should have went with my first thought – duct tape his gloves to his hands.

Oh well, too late now.

Or was it the different preschools we visited? If so, this must be what I have to look forward to this fall. I just lost all my enthusiasm for my son going to school.

Calling the pediatrician’s office to see if there is any toddler version of Imodium I can give him just confirmed my suspicion that this is just something I have to let run its course. Good thing they decided to make Pedialyte taste good and that I picked some up a few months back when I saw it on sale.

The nurse sounded like a robot as she explained that there’s not much I can do but keep him hydrated. I guess a person can start to sound that way after saying the same thing to different parents over and over and over again. Still, I couldn’t help but wonder if she talked like that when she got home out of habit. I was just about to ask her when I saw my son streak by me on his way to the bathroom leaving a vapor trail behind him.

Hanging up the phone and grabbing the thinning roll of paper towels, I suddenly realized I am now in the dirty trenches of motherhood. Though I try and be eco minded and not overuse paper towels, I was just daring anyone to mention how many trees sacrificed their lives for that roll of paper towels I was speeding through. Not that there were any Greenpeace members in the bathroom with me.

Yes, I have wash rags and I am using them on his little behind, but I only have about 15 of them. Not nearly enough to get us through the day.

I briefly thought back to times before paper towels and running water. I shuddered and went back to the cleanup in Aisle 5.

My husband called before cleanup was finished, of course. He stated it’s good he is getting exposed to germs and building up his immune system now and I agreed, but I had a hard time ignoring the, “Gee, I’m grateful I have to go work out in the cold and snow” tone I could hear in his voice. And I tried not to sound irritated when he told me had to stop at the auto parts store on his way home.

That’s OK, his time is coming. I have to go to the store and get more Pedialyte and of course I can’t take my son with me! And we all know kids get sicker at night. I feel a slight smile creep across my face as I hang up.

We are so rarely sick around here we just don’t have the experience that other families with school age children have. I’m not sure what lies ahead, but I’m hopeful we’ll get through it as long as the paper towels hold out. Sorry trees.

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