The washing machine has once again packed in and I have to wait for Monday afternoon for the repair man to come back and take a look. David staggers in from work, having somehow trapped something in his back. I find it rather hard to sympathise, given that if the shoe were on the other foot, I would just have to get on with it. I do feel slightly guilty about going out for dinner though and leaving him with the three kids, especially as Tom is especially miserable this evening. “Damned teething” I mumble as I bolt out the door to my friend’s house for uninterrupted chat, food and wine. I don’t overdo it on the wine, given the state of David’s back, I decide I ought to get up and take the boys to Tae Kwon Do in the morning. I get home about 11.30 and decide to have a cup of tea and sit on the sofa. The next thing, I wake up and head upstairs about 2am to find Tom wide awake.
“Oh dear, what’s up with you?” I ask. Tom proceeds to vomit all over himself.
Lift him out, change him and settle him back down.
“What’s up?” David mumbles.
“Tom’s been sick. Don’t know if it’s teething or maybe he’s picked a bug up off the floor? Hope it’s not a bug but given the boys haven’t brought one home, can’t see where he would have got it from?”
“Maybe they’ve brought one home but haven’t actually got it themselves?”
A few hours later Tom wakes up and is remarkably chipper, so I make him his bottle, which he then proceeds to bring straight back up all over the bed. “FML” I say to David “the bloody washing machine isn’t working.”
David is still staggering about but says that it would be easier for him to take the boys to TKD rather than lift Tom and deal with him.
In the afternoon, Jack has a party so off we go to that for a couple of hours. Return to find my in-laws have come to help crippled David. They offer to have us for lunch the following day and look after David and Tom whilst I take the boys swimming. Jump on this offer with alacrity, so much nicer for my children to go and reject food at somebody’s else’s house.
Tom has nappy from hell, which he manages to get his hands and feet in as soon as I whip it off. “FML” I think to myself as I weep silent tears of frustration. We head up to my in-laws and then I take the boys swimming. After lunch we head home.
“I just have to nip into Morrisons” David says, so we swing past there on our way home and he takes Ruari in with him.
“My tummy feels funny.” says Jack.
“Really? Do you need the bucket?”
“Can you just hang on until we get home, Daddy won’t be long now.”
“My tummy really hurts.”
I am wedged into the back between him and Tom so I look around for something; there is nothing except a Beano, which I reach down for, open up and place on his lap.
“If he is sick” I think to myself, “at least this should catch the majority of it and maybe it will work as a distraction too.”
I proceed to read to him, then moments later, he projectile vomits all over it, the car, me, the car, himself, the car. I swear his head must have spun around to have achieved what he achieved. I ring David “Can you hurry up. Jack has just been sick.” I gasp over the vomit fumes.
Moments later, David and Ruari come running out.
“Oh Jeeeesus” says David, as he gets in.
“Yes, never mind just looking, can we just GO!”
We zoom home and proceed to deal with stripping off and dealing with all the vomit washing.
Suddenly remember the washing machine isn’t working “I’ll have to take it all to Mum’s. Just bag it up and leave it by the back door.” As I deal with Jack and myself, David sorts out the car.
“It’s bad. It’s really bad” he says, as he comes in 25 minutes later.
I spend the next few hours cleaning vomit out of a bucket, David packs for his trip to Dublin and finally, everybody settles down and is in bed.
Then I start to feel queasy.
“Right, I don’t have time for this” I say to myself, “so I shall just get a head start and beat it at it’s own game”. So I head upstairs and try to make myself sick. Nothing. How frustrating. Head downstairs to sit with Jack who is snoozing in-between vomiting and watching Team Umizoomi. Am happy to sleep downstairs on the sofas with him as I can’t imagine cleaning vomit off bunkbeds is a particularly easy task.
A couple of hours later, I have to dash to the loo and finally, it hits.
“Well,” I think to myself as I am so violently sick that vomit comes out of my nose” at least I might have a chance of doing my jeans button up again after Christmas. In fact, this can kick start a whole new healthy eating era. Perhaps I will be Australia thin again! (When we lived in Australia, I was REEEEEALLY slim). I will live on broccoli and quinoa.” Of course, all I can think about as soon as I can face the thought of food again are pork pies and fish and chips.
I would like to note that at this point, the following days all merge into each other and I end up with no idea what day it is or what’s happening.
I return to the sofa, feeling cold but much better. At around 4am David comes down, he has arisen to prepare for his trip to Dublin.
“Um, i’ve just been to the loo and it wasn’t bad but it definitely wasn’t normal.”
“Yes, that’s how I started.” I say.
“Well, do you think I ought to go to Dublin then?”
“I really can’t answer that for you.”
At this point, David’s stomach makes a loud gurgling sound.
“Ooh that’s how I started, all that gurgling. I probably wouldn’t go if I were you. You’ll be stuck in Dublin vomiting until your flight back tonight.”
“Hm, I think you may be right. Actually I think I need the loo” and he scuttles off up the stairs.
He spends the next couple of hours running to the loo and then at around 7ish, I hear him puking – probably the whole street heard him, he is not a quiet puker.
He crawls downstairs some time later “Thank God I didn’t go, I started vomming at the time the plane was due to take off. Do you mind if I go and lie down then?”
“No, that’s fine, then i’ll come and get you in a bit and we can take turns to rest?”
I doss around on the sofa with the boys and then at around 9, I hear him vomiting over the intercom. Ugh. “Still, i’m exhausted and hopefully it’s out of his system now” I think to myself ten minutes later and I take myself upstairs ready to take my turn in bed. I walk into the room to find him sat on the floor, headset on, taking a work call with a bucket of sick next to him. Back out of the room in disgust and head back to the sofa.
Forty minutes later David comes down “Sorry about that, I had to brief the guys in Dublin so they could take over the blah work blah blah work blah work blah work blah. That’s a first, i’ve never thrown up two minutes before a call before.”
“Right. Great. Can I take my turn in bed now?”
“Actually, still feeling a bit sick, so i’ll just go and sit by the loo for a bit.”
Hours pass, I sit on the sofa with the boys, doze when Tom is in bed and clean sick up. At some point my Mother in Law comes in, bringing Lucozade, loo roll and other supplies, takes all our washing to do at hers and looks after the boys. I finally get to go to bed for a couple of hours, it has never felt so good to sink into the covers. I wake a couple of hours later in a hot, sweaty mess, unsure what time is it, what day it is and what my own name is. I have a terrible headache but the desire to run to the lavatory has passed.
Eventually everybody is in bed. When I wake hours later, it is the morning and all symptoms have gone. I feel utterly disgusting though, so rise and run myself a bath. I sink in to the hot water and it feels delicious for all of 4 minutes before Jack comes in and dumps a Lego coastguard boat on top of me.
“Do you want to play Mummy? I’ll play with you.”
“What I want” I think to myself “is five minutes peace.” Feel like that ruddy elephant from that story.
Days pass in a blur of vomit, shit and lack of sleep. Note: I am the only one who suffers from lack of sleep, David irritatingly could sleep through a hurricane so why would he hear his children retching into a bucket at 3am or the baby spectacularly shitting all over his Sleepyhead Grande. On Thursday he goes back to work. Up he leaps out of bed, bounding about like Michael fucking Flatley.
“Well i’d better go to the office today.”
Yes off you go with all your fucking sleep, wouldn’t want you to waste all that bastard excess energy on helping me you utter sleep hogging bastard.
I stomp downstairs to begin the breakfast. Now that everybody has stopped vomiting, they’re all bouncing off the walls and eating everything but they still have the runs and are contagious so I can’t offload them at school and crawl back to bed. There is a knock at the door, David is in the shower, of course he is. I hover near the door debating whether to open it given that I am unwashed, braless, have not yet even brushed my teeth and am wearing my old Selfish Mother tee with a hole in and David’s pyjama bottoms and dressing gown. Then the realisation hits that Jack’s new passport is being delivered today. Reluctantly open the door, delivery man recoils in horror. I know I don’t look my best but still; RUDE! I try to keep conversation minimal and only speak on an in breath to avoid terrible bad breath situation. Pop Tom on the floor whilst I open the envelope and he immediately heads towards two pairs of David’s shoes that have been abandoned on the floor. Have never known somebody leave so many bastard shoes all over the place. Run over before he can pick one up and stick it in his mouth, snatch the shoes up and then hurl them up the stairs whilst snarling “TOO MANY FUCKING SHOES IN THIS HOUSE!”
At some point, it’s eventually Friday, the baby is still crapping himself.
“WHEN WILL IT END” I wail at David, who has bravely decided to work from home.
David takes him to the doctor who tells him that we just have to wait it out. FML. We cancel our weekend trip to London.
At the end of it I have to say I am truly grateful for a hot bath after being too weak to wash, a working washing machine, fresh sheets, a night’s sleep, friends who offer to help and take my vomity washing and my mother in law who completely put herself in the firing line to come down and help out with the kids, take all our washing and unfortunately end up catching the hideous bug herself.
Taking stock I have realised that we do not have enough bedding, towels or baby bedding. To think only the week before I had looked in the linen cupboard and almost thrown out a load of shitty old threadbare offerings sitting there but NO, I shall keep them for occasions like this!
I also have to wonder who designed the Sleepyhead Grande because if you get something on it, when you remove the cover, its very structure comes apart. I mean, what? And if you want to buy a spare cover for it you need to remortgage your house.
Also, GRACO, I HAVE A BONE TO PICK WITH YOU. YOUR COVERS ARE COLD WASH ONLY. HAVE YOU MET CHILDREN? CHILDREN VOMIT. CHILDREN PEE. CHILDREN CRAP. EVERYTHING NEEDS TO BE WASHABLE AT 60 DEGREES.
Can only conclude that anybody who designs things for children is as mad as a box of frogs.
But on the plus side I can indeed do up my jeans again and people keep telling me that I look skinny, so you know, silver linings and all that.