I had just picked up my 4-year-old from preschool. We rushed into the house and were managing through our typical routine of dinner for three kids, homework (which most of the time I need to Google the answers for because my daughter is in seventh grade and apparently the invention of the calculator makes you lose all ability to solve actual math problems), and dinner prep.
It was a particularly exciting day because it was the day before Christmas Eve. My husband and I were officially off from work and with no kids’ activities that night, all that stood between us and a glass (read: bottle) of wine was getting the kids off to bed.
At dinner, I noticed the 4-year-old was pushing his food around his plate. I was getting ready to begin my idle list of threats when I saw it — the thing he does when he is about to throw up. He grabs his tongue and says, “My mouf therts,” which is toddler for “my mouth hurts.” My husband sprang from his seat and managed to get him to the kitchen sink before he vomited all contents from the past seven days from his belly.
I’m sure it’s just something he ate, I naively hoped to myself.
It CANNOT be the stomach flu because it’s almost Christmas, and we all know when one family member gets the stomach flu, we all get the stomach flu. (Except for my pre-teen daughter, who somehow manages to will it away with eye rolls and a shitload of sighing.)
After pockets of sleep mixed in with vomit and poop, the morning brought a new and improved little one. It MUST have been something he ate; the stomach flu would last longer than that, right? RIGHT?!? We decided not to tell my family about the incident. Why ruin Christmas? After all, I was sure it was a fluke.
Christmas went off without a hitch. Presents were ripped through, meals were eaten, alcohol was consumed. I slipped smugly into bed that night and inched up close to my husband.
“I think I have one more present under here for you to open,” I managed to purr before he bounded out of bed towards the bathroom.
Definitely not the reaction I was looking for.
Then I heard it. The familiar sounds of flu being expelled from someone’s body. Noooooooooo. This cannot be happening. We are on VACATION. This is a HOLIDAY.
With my husband bent over the toilet the entire night, I approached the next day with child-like optimism. Even after my husband came downstairs and announced to the entire family that his ass resembled a “Japanese flag.” Maybe, just maybe, I would narrowly escape the path of destruction. Our best friends were flying in to celebrate New Year’s the next day so clearly I would be excused from this disaster.
Fast forward 24 hours. I awoke drenched in sweat and ran like hell for the bathroom. The same bathroom I had painstakingly Clorox-ed to death the day before. I barely made it to the toilet. As I was sitting there, experiencing what I can only describe as an assquake, I realized I also needed to be sick.
Like, RIGHT NOW.
I scrounged around in the dark for our trashcan. I can only assume the noise (of the trashcan or assquake or combination of the two) woke my husband. He entered the bathroom at the exact moment I was expelling the flu out of both ends. I think we made brief eye contact as he slithered back out the door.
And, there goes sex for the next 10 years.
The next two days were a blur of random family members running into our room in the middle of the night, cursing whatever preschooler passed on this atrocity to our 4-year-old in the first place.
It was not to be the merriest of all the seasons after all. Except for my tweenager. Apparently angst and rage can actually ward off the flu.More On