As every mother knows, there is nothing quite so bad as being very sick while caring for sick children. A mother’s brain is full of thoughts as she sinks into a delirium from loss of electrolytes.
Panic thoughts: NOOOOOOOOOO!
Denial thoughts: I’m sure that I just gave myself salmonella from that raw cookie dough I ate. It’s not really a virus. The kids will be fine.
Desolate thoughts: I am all alone. No one can help me. No one can come in or out. We are on our own. I am Tom Hanks, and this toilet is gonna be my Wilson.
Calculation thoughts: It’s 5:45 AM. I can puke uninterrupted for another 20 minutes before the kids wake up. I have to call my husband before 6:30 AM if I want any hope of dragging him back home again before his meetings start. But I can’t call him just yet, because it will wake the kids if they hear me talking. So I will call him at 6:20 AM. He can make it back maybe within one hour of my call. This means I will have to fix breakfast for the kids while puking.
Ridiculous thoughts: Why didn’t we eat that leftover chicken kabob or those ripe avocados already? Now we’re gonna waste all this expensive food this week. It’s just gonna sit in the fridge while we drink Gatorade.
Berating thoughts: Why don’t you ever freaking keep Gatorade in this house?! You have a year’s supply of food storage and five 72-hour kits, and you can’t remember to stock up on Gatorade?! Oh, wait, I remember now. Mr. Okayest drinks it all. It never lasts in storage. And why haven’t I cleaned this toilet lately? Gross.
Self-pitying thoughts: Why now? Intestines, are you really serious right now? The one weekend I had arranged for a sitter? I babysat a friend’s kids last week to earn babysitting co-op hours FOR THIS?!
Confused thoughts: I can’t do this. How do other mothers do this? What if all three puke at the same time? Do you use buckets or towels? Or Tupperware? Do you lean them over? Why don’t I know this already? The twins books didn’t really explain double-vomits. Furthermore, how will I even get down the stairs? I’m so tired.
Maudlin thoughts: This is the end of me. It will never be spring again. I will never eat food again. I will never smile again.
Bargaining thoughts: Please, God, please let me get my strength back before my husband goes down too. Please please please. Someone has to care for these children.
Oh, and remember how I said there is nothing quite so bad as caring for sick children while being sick? Well, there is. It’s when your cousin calls and says he has an extra ticket to your favorite band tonight.