March 9, 2008

Resemblance to Daisies: Low

This morning Paul left for the grocery store before I took a shower, to beat the crowds (at the grocery store, I mean, not in our shower). As he pulled out of the driveway, I headed downstairs with a load of laundry--and found the basement covered with huge puddles. I was contemplating the puddles with the detached inability to problem-solve that hits me whenever I'm surprised, when I heard Edward suddenly start crying, and Rob and William yelled, "Edward threw up!!"

So of course I went running upstairs, and I found what looked like a gallon of curdled milk soaking into the recliner and carpet, and Edward was screaming in dismay. And I may be a compassionate mother in many ways, but there is NO CHANCE of me scooping a barfy child into my arms and holding him tight until AFTER he's cleaned up, so I soothed him with WORDS while I wondered if I should try to clean up the recliner or just pitch it into the front yard and hope for it to be swallowed by the earth. And in any case, Edward had to be cleaned up first.

And that's when Henry started crying, and I discovered he had a stinkers diaper.

I realized that although I theoretically could handle this alone, I didn't want to--and since Paul wouldn't even be at the store yet, I could call him on his cell phone and tell him to come back home. I called---and heard his phone ringing from the top of our bureau.

I mobilized the troops, sending Rob and William for a bunch of towels, and Rob to fill the tub with warm water, and William to get baking soda to put into the tub. I stripped Edward down and had him stand on a hard floor as opposed to the carpet, since carpets are Barf Dowsers.

Then William came up and said he couldn't find the baking soda. And I went to check on Rob's progress and found that he'd filled the tub with cold water even though I'd told him it should be warm and had confirmed with him that he'd checked it and it was in fact warm. Also, the shower curtain was in the water instead of outside the tub. And because dismayed frustration is the emotion that leaves me least able to control my temper, of course I yelled at both of them, and I marched William down and showed him the baking soda EXACTLY where I'd said it would be and where it always is, and I invited Rob to feel the water and tell me if that was called WARM or not, and I chewed them both out for not listening to instructions.

Then I apologized, and put Edward in the tub, and had Rob and William supervise him while I changed Henry's diaper and tackled the recliner/carpet mess. I don't want to talk about tackling the mess.

Then I took the laundry basket of revolting towels and clothing down to the washing machine and added half a box of baking soda, and put my barf-speckled pajamas in there too, and went upstairs and got dressed even though I hadn't showered yet, because I find I can't really tackle tough situations in my pjs and socks. And I went back downstairs to examine the basement.

Luckily there was no water in the carpeted areas, only on the cement. And it looked like it was coming from a leak in the bulkhead, not from the ground below. And it looked like it was not getting worse. And nothing was sitting in it except plastic containers and the boards we put under boxes to keep the damp from seeping in. So I rescued a few unprotected things that were on dry cement but might not be soon, and went back upstairs.

I bathed Edward. May I take a moment to recommend baking soda? Before I discovered it, I used to give a barfy child MULTIPLE baths in strongly-scented soaps and STILL not remove the barf smell. I used to put barfy clothes through the washer MULTIPLE times, spraying them with Febreze between each load, and STILL not remove the barf smell. Now I put half a box of baking soda in the washing machine and the barf smell vanishes. I put the other half of the box into the tub, leaving out enough to make a paste to work through the child's hair, and the barf smell vanishes.

As I was drying Edward, Paul came home. I told him the news: basement, barf, CELL PHONE VIOLATION. He said it made sense that Edward was getting sick, because SO WAS HE. He said he nearly threw up in the grocery store parking lot.

And so all day, Paul has been lying in bed, gasping and groaning and asking me to make a batch of Gatorade to replenish his electrolytes. I haven't taken a shower yet, so I'm not quite as fresh as a daisy. I suppose I could take one now, while the three littles are napping, but I would rather talk to you. Venting to friends is what keeps me from having something more significant to complain about, such as jail time.

64 comments:

Kristin C. said...

You are a task MASTER!! Now...just as Paul gets better, you need to "get sick" and lay your ass down in a room of confinment with movies, tea, and diet porn.

Seriously, you are an awesome woman. Everytime I read about your ability to regulate the insanity...I think that I should come to your home for "Mommy Boot-Camp" to prepare me for the daunting task of motherhood.

rccalyn said...

Ha! Your posts always make me laugh, but this time I was groaning for you! And of course your hubby didn't have his cell. Actually, I still laughed - when your hubby was groaning in bed. How do men always fit those stereotypes so well?!

clueless but hopeful mama said...

I'm so with Kristin, on both points.

Let me be clear though, Universe, I certainly don't want Swistle to ACTUALLY get sick.

You are one impressive woman.

Erin said...

Oh Swistle! That is AWFUL. Awful, awful, awful.

So sorry, especially about the puking. I'd put a big bottle of Gatorade by Paul and tell him not to come out of the bedroom until he's ready to feel better. That's the only way to survive simultaneous sick child & husband.

Sorry Sorry SORRY!

Jeninacide said...

Ok so you are totally making my hangover sound a LOT better right now.

Sorry 'bout the BLAH day and thanks for the baking soda tip..

DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR MAKING BABIES SLEEP WHEN YOU'RE HUNGOVER??

I am so never going out AGAIN..

Jess said...

Your approach to this sort of situation is just like my approach to wedding planning. Take stock of what needs to be done. Reach out to significant other for help. Realize no help is forthcoming. Break down overwhelming list of things to do into one task at a time. Go forth and conquer.

I shall try to remember to apply this approach to childrearing as well. And I will try to remember the baking soda tip as well.

Also, I have come to the conclusion that all men are sick wimps. Paul's behavior only bolsters my theory.

Mimi said...

I'm sorry for your crappy morning. Milk barf is the absolute worst.

What do you mean about making Paul a new batch of Gatorade? Is this like pouring some from the bottle into a nice glass with ice, or some awesome homemade Gatorade recipe that we should know about?

Hope your day improves.

JMH said...

I would tell Paul to get up and fetch his OWN Gatorade since you are dealing with barfing toddlers and smelly diapers. And remind him that you NEVER get a sick day and that you r shift ends at "never o'clock" (I locve that!!) Then I woudl ask him just how he would survive if you weren't there. Men...seriously!!!

tulipmom said...

So typical of men not to have their cell phones with them the ONE time you need them.

And how convenient to be sick .... and be able to lie in bed all day.

I hope all 6 of them go to bed early and give you some time alone tonight.

Stimey said...

Oh, that's horrible. And might I add that you are a superwoman.

One of my biggest pet peeves is calling my husband on his cell phone only to hear it ring on the kitchen counter. Highly irritating.

Angie said...

I had one of those days minues the stinky diaper a week and a half ago. Is that all the longer it was? It felt like an eternity of a day and it feels like eternity ago.

KEEP BELIEVING

Elizabeth said...

I will tell you the only thing I'd want to hear in this situation, which is "I don't know how you do it."

Swistle said...

Mimi- It's the instant Gatorade powder. You know, I should look for a recipe online. That stuff is EXPENSIVE.

Swistle said...

Jeninicide- I certainly would never, ever, EVER suggest that the "hair of the dog" that helps a hangover might also knock out a baby. NEVER. I would NEVER even THINK of that crazy idea, let alone say it.

Erica said...

Wow. You deserve TWO medals for this. And some brownies. And possibly some cookies.

Jennifer said...

I have no idea how you do it. Seriously.

Bird said...

So glad that I'm not the only one who winces when they're kid barfs. I've been known to congratulate Charlie when he poops while dad is on the clock. I'm not the only Mom who gets grossed out!!!!

I found the silver lining in that post. Granted, it was my silver lining, but watcha gonna do?

Kristin.... said...

Oh ugh! There is nothing worse than sick husbands. And of course, cleaning up messes, solo, is no good either.
The only other bad thing I can think of is the husband ( MINE ) who takes the cell, but never turns it on. What is the point.

hope they're all better.

melissa said...

That was the perfect thing for me to read right now as I was feeling a little overwhelmed and like not the best mother and I only have ONE child (and one on the way). I'm sorry that your misfortune made me think "oh--it could be worse" but thanks!!

BTW, sick husbands are way worse than sick children and for that I am truly sorry...I can be more forgiving with kids!

Courtney said...

That last line! Ha! HA HA HA! I 'bout peed my pants!!!

Hugs to you for getting through a rough day!

amber said...

Ugh! I have no idea where your patience comes from (necessity? insanity?) but I am in awe.

If it had been me, I would have been in the mad house long before now.

Marie Green said...

Have I ever told you about the time when ALL FOUR of us (before child #3 was born) threw up within the same 1/2 hour? It was awful.

Ok, well now that sounds like I'm trying to one up you. But really I'm trying to say: throwing up is my worst-est of worst things.

Hope they both mend quickly and that no one else catches it.

Tracy said...

That is awful about the puke, but what a fabulous tip. I can't stand to have the smell on me. And we all know I am the one to clean it up. Oh and my lovely reflex is to catch it in my hands.. Lovely right. I hope for your sake everyone is feeling better soon. ESPECIALLy PAUL.. There is nothing worse than a sick husband. It equals about 10 sick kids. (or at least in my house)

Vicky said...

Gosh I hope everyone feels better soon and that the bug doesn't spread to anyone else.

Misty said...

You are the official super mama. Thanks for the head's up on the baking soda thing. I guess this means you keep around extra boxes. My life would be:

"Oh, you got that cookie dough almost completely made, except for the baking soda? Well, you used it on the barf last Tuesday. No cookies for you, sucker!"

Yep.

Alishia said...

I admire your ability to prioritize and problem solve.

Black Sheeped said...

Thanks for the baking soda tip. I know it works when I do stupid things like leave wet laundry in the washer for a week because I forgot I was doing laundry, so it makes sense that it would get rid of puke smell.

We were just talking yesterday about how many things you can fix with baking soda and lemons. Lemons!

I hope you avoid the sickness!

may said...

Aw, what a crappy weekend, Swistle! Sounds like the Barf God really had it in for you. Hope he finds new prey soon.

You know, SOME people might say something like... "Oh Swistle, HOW could you COMPLAIN about BARF and a SICK HUSBAND?? At least you HAVE a husband! At least you have BARF to clean up! At least you have a FAMILY! At least you're not dealing with LEUKEMIA! Or TYPHOID! Or, um, HEARTWORM!" Yeah, so count your blessings and all that crap. ;)

Three cheers for staying out of prison. This post may have convinced me of the goodness of blogging.

Swistle said...

May- Oh, totally! At least he's not barfing in SOME OTHER WOMAN'S toilet!

Jen said...

OH, those DAYS. Horrible. You do have a great way of telling your stories, though, so that they sound funny and not pissy, like mine do!

Nice multi-tasking. And Great Info about the baking soda. I remember you saying something about it on one of my posts when I contemplated burning all of Kate's barfy clothes. Baking soda does the trick! And I will try it in the tub the next time. Thanks!

samantha Jo Campen said...

Oh Lord woman. You're just amazing. And I'm so sorry you had that kind of day--I shudder thinking about it.

Care for a Xanax?

Maggie said...

Oh ick!! That is NOT a good way to start the day...not at all! I hope that everyone woke up from naps feeling much better and minus all thoughts (and actions) of barfing.

Jen4 @ Amazing Trips said...

The dreaded cell phone violation. Oh, yes. We've been there. After I wove the stapler around and asked if he wanted it AFFIXED to his head, he hasn't ever left home without it, again.

What is UP with word verification?! It's AUDIO?!? Listen and type the numbers you hear and they rattle off what sounds like ten different languages and you're struggling to hear ENGLISH in the middle of it? Oh, that has just GOT TO GO. Is that all of blogger, I wonder???

Niki said...

I am sorry this is how your day started.

If it makes you feel better- I think you ROCK!!!

Laura said...

Oh crap...Monday came a day early for you. I was guilty of my very first cell phone violation ever yesterday, as I grocery shopped. I kept thinking to myself,"How odd, nobody's calling..."

jennifer said...

I'm impressed at your ability to multitask so well AND keep yourself out of jail.

Anonymous said...

Hey, is there a way to get your husband to barf in some other woman's toilet? Or to detail every little symptom of his cold to another woman who's got time for and interest in that stuff?

Because I would be OK with that sort of infidelity. (Yeah, I know, I'm lucky that he talks to me.)


Slim

LoriD said...

I do believe Paul and Edward should be quarantined TOGETHER. Put the Gatorade on ice and some crackers on the nightstand. No sense everyone getting sick. It would be especially bad if you got sick, wouldn't it now?

Tessie said...

That ending! With Paul! Surprise twist and not in a good way. Bah.

Hang tough, recliner old buddy. This is why we're not getting new furniture for a few more years, even though BOTH the kid AND the dog barfed on ours recently.

Swistle said...

Jen Trips- I saw that on a couple of other blogs, too. What IS it? I couldn't get it to work (I clicked the "listen" button and nothing happened), and then when it reloaded it had the regular type-it-in verification.

Pann said...

Swistle - this and many other posts are what make you one of my heroes.

Baking Soda indeed - thank you for the tip, I sorely need it!

Hang in there, Super Woman!!!

Stacie said...

Holy rotten list of things to deal with all at once. And yet again more proof that you are, in fact, superwoman. Not only did you clean up so many things you didn't have to clean up bloodstains because you resisted the urge to stab Paul.

Shelly Overlook said...

Weren't you just the teensiest bit tempted to just smother Paul and stuff the body in the underside of the soiled recliner?

nikki said...

Besides, we can't smell you through the computer, so all is good.

Hopefully your day got better. That really sucks. Puking kids are the WORST (and whiny husbands.)

Mommy Daisy said...

Ugh, what a rotten start to a day. I can't get over the fact that my husband (when sick) take complete advantage of the fact that I will get/make/do anything he wants when he wants it. But when I'm sick, I hate asking for help and I end up doing everything for myself like normal. What is it with men?

launchingsloth said...

Wow, sorry about your barftastic morning. Sounds horrific. I hope your day improves!

Baking soda--that is so good to know!

Shelly said...

The baking soda tip is pure genius! I am writing that down right now.

And shelly overlook is my new best friend. That made me giggle out loud.

desperate housewife said...

I just had a crappy morning, at least in MY mind, and when I saw on my reader that you had a new post I clicked yours first, thinking to myself, "What do you want to bet this will put MY day in perspective?"
Here's to you, Swistle, for never failing me! I now feel like I have it easy, and am sincerely hoping that as soon as Paul is better you have the good sense to declare your own sick day!

d e v a n said...

yikes. That sounds like one of those days when you put your head down and just keep plowing forward. The day has to end sometime, right?

Jerseygirl89 said...

You are a goddess.

Wishing I could leave a martini for you here in the comments.

Angie said...

Oh, no. Was that the parking lot on the way into the grocery store or the way out? Please say he at least got the groceries!

(how's that for compassionate?)

Woman with a Hatchet said...

I'm sorry your family is sick! I totally get the cell phone violation. We had LOTS of talks about that over here. If you HAVE a cell phone, but for some "reason" it only has service "part" of the time, then it's not doing you (or me) a damned bit of good.

Got the DH to get a new phone after that fit.

Swistle said...

Angie- Thank goodness, he got the groceries. At least there's THAT.

Amy said...

Oh, no.

I'm so glad you went on to explain the baking soda thing. I was going to have to ask in the comments section, and that probably would have made me sound really uninformed. :) I'll have to remember that one.

Meegan said...

Swistle, that is one SUCKY day. I immensely admire your ability to multi-task. Well done! Is the husband the worst patient of them all? Aren't they always? Gah.

Astarte said...

Of COURSE Paul got sick! Isn't there some kind of rule that says that no one can be sicker than the Man? If a kid barfs, they projectile vomit. If someone has a rash, THEY have POX. If I get anything at all, he erupts in boils. It's the way it is.

Kelsey said...

Horror of horrors! I certainly hoped the day vastly improved as it went on. Puke smell is the worst! Thank you for the baking soda tip. Could have used that after the barfy car ride of December 06!

HRH said...

Next is leaping buildings in a single bound...wow.

Anonymous said...

So what was the source of the water in the basement?

Katie said...

Oh no. No no no. NOOOOOOOO.

You poor baby.

(P.S. Thanks for the baking soda tip!)

PlanningQueen said...

Love the baking soda tip, thanks!

Heather said...

yuck yuck what a day!! You handled it well though.

I liked the idea of mommy boot camp!

Magnolia said...

Is it ok that I sort of idolize you? I mean just reading that made me realize that I'm not entirely in the right when I want to murder people for leaving me with one child and a messy house and a whole shit load of homework.

Only -mostly- right..cos there could be five of them one in diapers one puking and two not listening. Oh and he could come home and lay in bed too.

Either way You're the Patron Saint Thistle of overworked mothers.

Swistle said...

Magnolia- Ha ha! I didn't like being stuck with ONE child and a bunch of housework, either! And I didn't even have homework! My theory is that the number of children a person HAS, ALWAYS feels impossible. One feels about as impossible as five---five is just LOUDER and more expensive to feed.