Thursday, January 10, 2013

Not What I Expected

Settle in, please…this is a long post.  If you have any inclination that you might need to use the bathroom, you should go before diving in to this hot mess.

Last night seemed like any other in our household. We ate dinner, the kids showered and then settled in to watch a little bit of television.

Earlier in the day, the 11yo told me he needed a new backpack; he actually showed me the large rip in his current one. Not too bad a run – it had lasted 3.5 years so I wasn’t too put out by getting a new one.

So I was looking online for said new backpack…shocking though this may be, it’s not as easy as you might think to find school backpacks in the middle of January. But I started with Lands End, because it’s where I’d gotten their current backpacks and seemed to be of good quality.

I found a few options that I thought might be acceptable to an 11yo and called him in the office to take a look. He was holding his stomach and saying he didn’t feel well. “Do you need to go to the bathroom?”


And a minute later, he was lying on the floor, writhing in pain.

Not what I expected.

“Uh, yeah…you need to go to the bathroom…”

As I helped him up, he took a couple steps and then proceeded to vomit all over the hallway.

Sometimes vomiting in the hallway can’t be helped. This was one of those times. But unfortunately he wanted to discuss it there in the hallway. “I’m sorry, Mom.”

“It’s ok…you didn’t do it on purpose, but let’s go to the bathroom to discuss this further.”

As I ran to get some towels to clean up the carpet, I heard an “ought oh.”

He had thrown up with such voracity it was all over the toilet, the shower curtain, the wall behind the toilet, the toilet seat cover and the wall BEHIND him. Oh yeah and the floor and rug too.

Poor kid. He was just sitting there, totally stunned. This was completely without warning and he was clearly trying to wrap his brain around it. We’ve all been there. It happens. And by the grace of God, I wasn’t upset, angry or my usual self.

Not what I (or he) expected.

In the meantime, I called my 9yo to get the dog, because we all know about a dog’s affinity for vomit; I don’t know what this says about me, but all I could think about was Proverbs 26:11 “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” 

If you know a dog at all, you know that it’s not just his own vomit he enjoys. Disgusting? Yes. But true? Yes.

And yes, it’s verses like this which come to mind in my hour of need. Sorry, God.

So the 9yo called the dog and put him outside.

I’m certain you have all noticed that there is one major player whom I have not mentioned; you, my readers, are probably thinking, “Where is Mr. Always Random while all this is happening?”

Well, I have to tell you…what he was in the process of doing made this entire scenario all the more interesting, to say the least.

Mr. Random was finishing up the new vinyl tile floor in my laundry room. Yes, I am getting laminate “click and lock” flooring in my kitchen, living room and dining room (I may have mentioned that before), but because of the potential difficulty, as well as water damage, in the laundry and furnace rooms, I opted for some peel and stick vinyl tiles in those two areas.

They only have a 5-year warranty, as opposed to the 20-year on the “click and lock” so he’s already looking forward to doing this again in 2018.

He finished up the furnace room a couple days and was eager to get the laundry room under his belt as well. And last night…unfortunately, as it turned out…was the night.

In order to make the process easier (less cutting around things and such, I had suggested that he remove the large utility sink, the washer and the dryer before starting on the room. Like any good husband, he followed my advice and all three of those pieces were sitting in the hallway, outside the laundry room.

So that’s where he was when I began yelling for him…he was in the laundry room, working away…oblivious to the chaos which had so quickly descended upon us.

He came quickly…my yelling must have indicated urgency was needed. He stood there assessing the situation. Before he could really process the scene, I made it clear that I was going to need a washer and dryer so I could start cleaning up the aftermath.

Again, like any good husband, Mr. Always Random hopped to it. He had actually already finished up the flooring, but had to put the quarter-round back on (which didn’t take much time) and then move in the dryer. Unfortunately, he needed my help for that…as he was trying to not scrap up the newly laid flooring.

I appreciated that, however, I was unable to help him at that moment, as I was busy cleaning up mostly still recognizable food, fresh from my son’s stomach. Disgusting though that is, it actually helped my gag reflex.

It is at this time that the 9yo began freaking out because it was dark and he was afraid the dog would be eaten by a coyote. Which was a valid concern but not one I was interested in entertaining at that moment.

I told him to stand at the back door and watch the dog. He ran off, but made a pit stop in his room. Then I heard him go back to the living room.  That lasted for about a minute, at which point he ran back to the bathroom, still clearly flustered. I saw, then, why he stopped in his room; night-vision goggles in hand, he still did not feel that this would be enough to keep Indy safe. He begged for the dog to come in.

I told him to go back and watch out the back window; everything would be fine. Mind you the back porch light was on so there was not a need for the goggles but it made him feel important so I just went with it. Frankly, I didn’t care.

So, once I got everything cleaned up, the 9yo returned and begged for dog’s life again. I told him two minutes…at which point he began counting the seconds. Fine. Whatever.

I walked through the living room…the 11yo was lying on the couch and the 9yo was at the backdoor counting. And I realized my jammie pants are damp at the bottom and, of course, I’m stepping on the backs of them because they’re too long (no laughing); even the bottom edge in the FRONT is damp and rubbing on the tops of my bare feet. I keep myself externally composed but internally I am FREAKING OUT.

So I throw the wet shower curtain, rug and toilet seat cover outside because I have nowhere else to put them, plus the 9yo has counted off 120 seconds so he’s in process of letting the dog back in. I hiked up my pantlegs like a lady in a hoop skirt attempting to navigate a mud puddle and run off to change.

I scrubbed my feet too. I felt better but was still disgusted.

I walked back in the living room where my 11yo was profusely apologizing. I explain I’m not mad. How can I be mad at that? Sweet boy. He even offered to help me clean it up. I politely declined. “Please just stay there next to the trash can…thank you very much!”

I then went to check on the laundry room situation. He was still waiting on me. So we loaded the dryer back into the room. Things were going smoothly until we broke the pipe on the dryer vent. I walked away and suggested we finish up today.

Not what I expected.

Soon thereafter we tucked the PBA into bed. The 11yo was feeling much better and I thought that he’d just eaten something which didn’t agree with him (and I didn’t think it was the Sharon Fruit – this week’s Fruit of the Week…no one else had a violent, or even non-violent, response to it; nor was it the new split-pea soup I’d prepared. Again, we’d all eaten it and no one else had that kind of response.) So I tucked him in, but was cautious enough to put the trash can and a large beach towel next to him.

I’d been to this rodeo before.

So since I had no washer or dryer for the evening, I got ready for bed myself. And I did bring the vomit-covered items in from the back porch, as the plethora of wildlife living behind us might have taken an interest in them and there’s really no need to invite wildlife to come right up next to the house and vandalize your property.

As I sunk into my bed, I said to Mr. Always Random, “Well, that wasn’t the evening I expected.”

And I am still cursing him for this. His response: “It’s not over yet.”

Not what I expected.

So two hours after I had fallen asleep, I was awakened by moans and guttural sounds emanating from the PBA’s bathroom. I fly out of bed, to see what was the matter.

Unfortunately, it was not St. Nick.

Just in case anyone isn’t aware, food which has rented space in the stomach for an additional 4 hours looks, smells, and dare I suppose tastes, much more like actual vomit than that which had only been in the digestion process for a couple hours.

I’ll spare you the rest of the gory details but after we got things cleaned up, we settled him on the couch so we could keep a closer watch on him. And when I say “closer watch” that means I could hear him better from the snugness of my own bed.

That is after I was able to get back into my bed. He wanted me to sit with him while he go back to sleep. So I did…as I’ve said before I am not a nurse but in moments like this, where the patient is CLEARLY not feeling well, I can put on the Florence Nightingale hat for a few minutes.

He got back to sleep. And then I got in bed. And then he started moaning. For a good hour, I laid there in bed and listened to him moan. He was in and out of sleep and there was nothing I could do, except pray that he would vomit.

But he did not.

Not what I expected.

This moaning went on until about 4am, actually, when I tried to get him to gag himself. Hey – don’t judge. You know how it is…you know your stomach needs to empty itself and it just won’t come out. So it needs a little encouragement. We all need a cheerleader sometimes, right?

So he even tried that; I stepped into the hallway…no way was I going to watch that. I was already gagging at the thought of it. But it was to no avail.

He did, however, emit a rather large burp and immediately said he felt better. Hey…whatever works.

Not what I expected.

We all went to sleep, until I got up at 5:30. Yes, I like to keep to a schedule as much as possible, crazy though I may be. Although as I have been writing this, our school day schedule has been in a state of upheaval; well, school for the 9yo and I at the very least has been happening. But the 9yo, too, was up in the middle of the night due to screams, moans and what have you; therefore I will admit I am being a little lax about today’s school schedule.  Doing work? Absolutely! Doing it as we normally would? Absolutely not.

Oh, and the 9yo was in our bed for a while too…arms and legs akimbo…makes for good, sound sleep for everyone, rest assured.

Back to the 5:30 wake-up call…since I knew I would probably be tied to the house for the day, and Thursday is grocery day (there's no wiggle room on that), I decided to go early and get back before Mr. Always Random had to leave for work.

So just before 6 in the morning, I left the house. Yes, showered and everything, with make-up on to boot. Wearing sweats (only because I have vowed never to go out in public in my jammies), but still dressed somewhat appropriately to be seen in public. If you consider the grocery at 6 in the morning “in public” because I have to tell you, it’s really not.

I stopped by Starbucks on the way…my coffee wasn’t finished brewing at home before I left and I knew I’d possibly get a headache if I didn’t have some coffee soon; so Starbucks it was, which is not something I do very often, because frankly I’m cheap. However today I had a coupon for a free “Blond Roast”.

Now I wasn’t sure I would like it, because I tend to be a dark roast kind of gal, but I figured free is free and you never know how you might like something unless you actually try it.

Except if we’re talking about a durian fruit…then I already know without a shadow of a doubt that I WILL NOT like that. Don’t ever expect to see that as a PBA Fruit of the Week.

And though the coupon said it was for a small (“tall” in Starbucks-ese) it was actually an egift card for $2.60. Well, I could get more than a tall Blond Coffee for $2.60. Not MUCH more but still. Actually, I got a large (or “venti”) Blond VANILLA Coffee…the blond coffee with sugar free vanilla syrup added, and it only cost me 37 cents.

It wasn't the best coffee I've ever had but wasn't the worst either.

Not what I expected.

The grocery store…not crowded at 6 am. THAT was expected.

The items on my list which were on sale and I had a great coupon for – they were even in stock.

Not what I expected.

BTW I will say that I missed having the PBA at the store. Sure, I sometimes get slightly frustrated at their inability to keep their hands off things while we make our way through the store, but it always pays off when we check-out. We utilize the self-check out lanes. The 9yo helps me scan, and the 11yo bags. It’s quite a system I have worked out. But it gets better: when we get home, I have two able-bodied helpers to unload the car and put things away. It is truly glorious, I tell you.

But I missed that process today. Not only did I have to scan AND bag everything myself, I had to unload it myself. Such a difficult life I lead.

Not what I expected.

Well, early this morning as I was lying in bed listening to my child moan and I was considering how my day would be reworked, I expected I would be doing the grocery store stuff solo today. But before 2am I had not expected it.

When I got home from the store, Mr. Always Random was up and ready to go. I told him I would stay home with the sicko because I knew he couldn’t. At that point, he went to the hardware store to get the needed piece for the dryer.

I am happy to report that my fourth of five loads of laundry is churning away in the washer as I type.

Not what I expected.

My 11yo is still sacked out on the couch, still moaning off and on but things are staying put in the stomach. Poor baby.

He asked for a glass of milk, which I refused to give him, but did give him some water and a little bit of clear soda. And a couple saltines. Yes, my carpet will be ripped up soon to make way for new flooring, but no need for it to smell like sour milk and vomit up until that point, right?

So what is my point in all this rambling? That I am NOT a great, caring and loving mom when it comes to a sick child? That I made a wise choice to NOT go into nursing? That I am trying to embarrass my child? That I should not give my children new and exotic fruits to eat? That I maybe should stop drinking coffee because I had four cups by 9am?

Nope…none of them actually.

My point is this: God knew about this tiny little blip on my radar long before I did, and He knew that it was going to be kind of crappy. It wasn’t what I expected to happen…and that it is ok, because He did.

Before I end, I have to add one last thing:

If you are reading this, I EXPECT that I will get sick as well…so if you could go ahead and continue with this theme of “not what I expected”, that would be fabulous.

Clearly, I have to include a photo of some sort in every post.
And since I wasn't going to include a photo of my poor sick baby,
I thought I'd show you my new laundry room floor...cute, right?

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