Monday, January 26, 2009

Not A Title That I've Ever Seen Used Before

Please put away all snacks now. Trust me.

Years ago, I had an idea for a post, based on what was happening with Eli 3.3 at the time. The post was going to have a memorable title, but I decided in the end, as the model of discretion, not to write it up. And I figured that the memorable title I had ready would never be used.

Then came this weekend.

Let's go back first, though, and tell the first story, because I no longer have the will to be discreet.

What you need to know to make sense of the story, though, is my phobia. Some people are afraid of spiders. Some are afraid of snakes.

No cheap Jim Stafford joke will be inserted here.

What I fear are feces and vomit--specifically, other people's. It may not rise to the level of a phobia, but it's the one thing I just can't handle.

As a parent, though, you learn to handle all kinds of things that you can't, and I changed my share of diapers. Diaper poop, though, has a container. Somehow, that makes it easier.

Moving on to the first story now.

Eli 3.3 had just toilet trained himself (basically, he did it in one day), and he almost never had an accident. Well, unless he was playing hide-and-seek. Incredibly, and scientists could research this for the next century and never find an explanation, when Eli played "hide-and-seek," he would invariably run into the coat closet and crap in his pants.

This only happened two or three times before we got wise, and after that, when he innocently asked if we wanted to play hide-and-seek, we'd both yell "Nooooooo!"

We forgot, though, to tell the babysitter.

She was over one afternoon, and I was still puttering around in my study. When I came out, I saw her, but not him.

"Where's Eli?" I asked.

"Oh, we're playing hide-and-seek," she said.

"Mayday!" I said. "Get to the coat closet before it's too late!"

We opened the coat closet and Eli 3.3 was laughing, because the coat closet, to him, was the perfect hiding place. I explained to Emily what happened when he played hide-and-seek, and we both laughed at the disaster that was narrowly averted.

Until we noticed the smell.

Emily took Eli to the bathroom (she became a nurse, and I can see why--she was awesome) and cleaned him up, but a few minutes later, she came out and said "Bill, that was pretty, um, runny. I think you might want to check for a trail."

A trail.

So I peered at our wood floors, which are, not surprisingly, an excellent color match for certain colors of poo, and saw a spot. And another.

I went and got a flashlight, and began meticulously following the trail, stinky dot by stinky dot. As I did so, I couldn't get one thought out of my mind: I am the shit detective.

That was going to be the title of the post.

This last Wednesday, Eli threw up twice--once at school (late in the day), and once on the way home. He stayed home from school on Thursday, though, and didn't throw up all day. We thought we had dodged the disease bullet.

Those thoughts of dodging officially evaporated when he threw up twice Thursday night and basically got two hours of sleep because his stomach hurt so much.

On Friday, the doctor mentioned the dread word: "rotavirus." $*#*@((@@*&!!!

Oh, and she said "He might have diarrhea before he gets over this."

Friday night, I told Gloria I'd take care of Eli from 1 a.m. until 10 a.m., because she was exhausted and had to get some sleep.

So at 1:11 a.m., Eli wokes up, and his stomach was hurting. I decidee to go sleep on the floor in his room, so Gloria wouldn't get woken up, and for the next two hours, he would sleep for 20-30 minutes at a time, then wake up in pain.

If you don't have kids and don't know what it feels like when your kids are in pain, it's the worst feeling in the world. I can't even think of anything I could compare it to.

At 3:15, he woke up again, and his stomach hurt even worse this time. There was a little "vomit bucket" that we were keeping by his bed (that would hold about 24 oz. of liquid), and he frantically motioned for me to give it to him, which I did.

I did tell you to put your snacks away, didn't I?

The ensuing vomit comet completely filled up the bucket, and since my face was very close to his, my glasses got spattered.

It was at this moment that I wanted to curl up in the corner of his room. And die.

He was upset, because throwing up is upsetting, and he's seven, and he's afraid. And I was trying to soothe him as I carefully walked toward the bathroom, because if I tilted the stupid bucket even one degree, vomit was going to be slopping over the sides.

As David Byrne would say: where? How did I get here?

There was enough commotion that Gloria woke up, and Eli followed me into the bathroom, which is when we discovered that at the same time he threw up, he also had a little diarrhea. After I cleaned him up (that's a white knuckle moment for me, for all the reasons I mentioned earlier), I saw one little spot on the carpet.

Which is why, for the second time in my life, I had to walk a path to see if there were any more spots, and as I did, the same thought returned: I am the shit detective.

Thankfully, there were no more spots, and we decided to go downstairs, because we weren't going to sleep at this point, anyway. So from 3:30 on, we watched movies, and at 6:00, he fell asleep for two hours.

That's how the weekend went. I was so tired Saturday night that after I flossed, I tried to discard the string in the laundry hamper.

I'm writing this on Sunday night, and Eli 7.5 is somewhat better today, but still a long way from normal. And we're all falling over from being so tired.

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