One of the best things about summer is that the seemingly endless rounds of kid germs finally come to an end. Yes, that’s right. You are free to enjoy a cold-free summer. So go ahead, put away the tissues, the vitamin C, the Lysol, the … wait. What was that? Did I just hear a child gagging?
Stage 1: Denial
No. It can’t be! It’s summer! There’s no throwing up in summer! He probably just swallowed a bug or something. Or ate his yogurt too fast. Or had too many popsicles. That makes way more sense. Probably a strange bug-yogurt-popsicle combination. Actually yes. That’s definitely it.
Stage 2: Waiting
It has been three minutes. If we go another two hours, I think we can safely blame it on the bug combo. Four minutes down. We are looking good. Let me just Google “bug yogurt popsicle throw up” and see what comes up. Hmm, not as many relevant results as I was hoping for. Six minutes down. Maybe if I ask him 14 more times if he’s still feeling okay — and throw up.
Stage 3: Anger
Well that’s just great. The entire months of April and May were spent with my three children individually cycling through three illnesses, politely waiting for each child to finish being sick before contracting it themselves. Two solid months with at least one sick child at home! We paid our dues. And now the other kids will probably get it and that will take us halfway through summer with us just being stuck inside unable to do anything except wait for the next vomit and run multiple loads of laundry.
Stage 4: Bargaining
Okay, okay. How about this … I will accept this stomach bug and not complain, even a little bit. I will spray Lysol evenly over every surface. I will press cool cloths to his head. I will perfectly brown toast. But this had to be a 24-hour thing and none of the other kids can get it. Deal? The poor kids have been sick enough this year. Wait, was that my daughter gagging in the other room?
Stage 5: Why Me!
Oh yes, it was. Why! Just … why? I washed hands! I cleaned stuff! Okay not all the stuff, but a lot of stuff! I told them not to pick their noses! Sure, they didn’t listen — but I told them! That must count for something! Why does it not count for something? Why?
Stage 6: Depression
I guess this is it. This will be the whole summer. One child will throw up and I will clean it. Another child will throw up. I will clean it. You know, why even bother cleaning it. It will just get dirty again anyway. And even when I do clean, it’s apparently not good enough. So just forget it. What’s that dear? You need to throw up again? Okay, just do it. Here, why not just throw up into my open hands?
Stage 7: Acceptance
Okay, well I guess there is some good news. Only two out of three kids are throwing up, so it could be worse. And they have it at the same time for once, so that will cut back on total time spent sick. Plus since two of them have it, that probably means it’s not some rare or deadly disease. Thank goodness, it’s probably just a stomach bug. We’ve had a busy week anyway, so a quiet day of watching TV and, er, running to the bathroom doesn’t have to be so bad.
Stage 8: Quarantine
Wait what did I say? Two out of three? GET OUT OF HERE RIGHT NOW YOUNGEST CHILD! YOU DO NOT BELONG IN THIS ROOM! Get out, get out! Let’s go play with all the play dough. All of it! And also throw some marbles on there. Wouldn’t that be way more fun than watching TV with your brother and sister? Come, let’s go fill dump trucks with dirt. And then dump them on the floor. Yes, that’s totally fine. Want to throw some bubbles on there too? Why not! Here, eat some of this Nutella directly out of the jar. No need for a spoon. Just do not enter the room of sickness. Or the bathroom. Please don’t use the bathroom.
Stage 9: Exhaustion
23 flights of stairs, three loads of laundry, five missed toilet attempts, 735 games with the youngest to distract him, and I’m nearly as tired as my poor sick kiddos.
Stage 10: Wait Am I Sick?
Wait a minute, am I a little bit too tired? What if I’m getting it too? No. It can’t be! It’s summer!