Wednesday, December 7, 2011

R's First Sick Day

She woke up uncharacteristically early from her nap. I heard coughs and uncomfortable sounding noises over the baby monitor. I waited a few minutes to see if she would fall back asleep, but when the noises continued, I went upstairs to see what was up. Looking into the darkened room, the first thing that hit me was the smell. Her room usually doesn't smell like this... I could tell she was sitting upright in the dark, babbling groggily to herself. I turned the lights on and confirmed what I had feared: she had puked. It was on her bed, pillow, outfit, blankie, and quilt. Even Pooh had not escaped the onslaught. I carefully stripped her clothes off and carried her to the bathroom downstairs. While filling the tub, I remembered how she had been unusually clingy when I took her up for the nap. What had she eaten? Cheerios and yogurt for breakfast, that's standard, a lollipop while we were at Target, and leftover baked ziti for lunch. The ziti was from Sunday, less than a week old, but maybe that did her in. I had chosen a sandwich for myself for lunch. The possibility also existed, of course, that the problem was a stomach virus. I was less happy with that idea.

R was splashing in the tub when Senpai let himself into the house, home early from work. "Good timing!" I called from the bathroom, "R puked." I asked if he could strip the bed, since I was busy supervising R's bath. I immediately felt guilty for giving him that gruesome task, so I quickly offered to swap places: he could finish R's bath while I stripped the bed. But Senpai is an awesome husband, and said he had to go upstairs to change out of his work clothes anyway, so he accepted the challenge. After washing vomit out of R's hair, I drained the tub and wrapped her up in a towel. She was shivering. It's so rare to see her shiver; the girl is usually a furnace. I had her endure the cold for a moment to put a diaper on, and then I whisked her upstairs and into our warm bed (her bed was as naked as she was by then). I tucked her in under the thick covers until I could dress her in flannel pajamas. She looked so sad and pathetic, not at all sure what was going on.

Back downstairs, I made R a straw cup of water, a peppermint tea bag, and a dash of ground ginger. She hardly touched it, but she was more accepting of that concoction than her typical apple juice. I grabbed a big bowl and snuggled under covers on the couch with her, then we threw on some movies. She started to throw up again almost right away. I had sat her on my lap, which made it easy for me to hold the bowl in front of her and lean her into it. Senpai won more awesome points for emptying the bowl and bringing it back. I had tried giving her a small candy cane to see if the peppermint would help settle her stomach, but instead of eating it, she played with it through all of Mickey's Christmas Carol. I took her to the bathroom afterwards to wash the sugar off her hands, and there, standing at the sink, she got the scared look on her face and started to heave. I lifted the toilet seat, stood her in front of it, and convinced her to puke there. She was so unhappy, poor girl. More hand washing followed, then I settled us in to watch Disney's Robin Hood. She chewed on her straw. I don't think she drank any of the peppermint tea, but she had to get some, at least, from the straw as she chewed away.

More awesome points were awarded to Daddy as he got dinner ready for himself, and cooked soup for R and I (nothing like seeing/smelling puke to make your own stomach feel a little rocky). The movie ended before dinner was ready, and I started going through the special features. R loved watching the clip of all of the characters dancing to "The Phony King of England" (do you remember that? "A pox on the phony king of England!"). She was even dancing herself. It was such a relief to see her happy and full of energy again, three hours after the puking had started. I replayed the clip about three times and she didn't tire of it. When dinner was on the table, she chowed down. It was our first time letting her fend for herself with a bowl of soup and a spoon. She didn't do as well as I had hoped, but with Mommy and Daddy's help, she slurped down lots of soup and went through many crackers, too. Even more relief! She danced, she ate well, life is good!

We remade her bed conservatively after the laundry had finished: no mattress cover (the mattress itself is plastic), a fitted sheet, yes, but no rolled up towels underneath (they usually act as a bumper to keep her from falling), and no pillow. Otherwise, we made sure she still had her quilt, blankie, and the backup Pooh doll. She has partially awoken twice already tonight, but she's been able to go back to sleep, and the vomit has not made a reappearance.

I had planned a playdate at our house tomorrow morning, but I went ahead and cancelled it, not knowing how R will feel, and certainly not wanting to risk giving other kids a virus, if that's indeed what got R down. I'm feeling optimistic, though; the night ended well. To err on the safe side, the baked ziti is getting thrown away.



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