I am not an overly compassionate person with Mother Teresa-like tendencies. Never have been, and likely never will develop a nurse's loving and caring heart. Jason knows this all too well, as my level of care for him when he is sick rivals a Drill Sergeant's: "Get up, suck it up, life goes on, stop whining, go to work!" are a few of the choice tidbits he's heard from me over the years. When he finally went to the Doctor last winter and found out he had pneumonia, he was relieved, because he was afraid to come out and tell me it was just a virus. Poor man.
My kids are slightly different, but I'm too efficient to make room in my schedule for illness. I prefer to just power through it, as much as possible, and with colds that's easier to do. We haven't had a proper vomiting virus for well over a year, and even then, in the seven years since I've had kids, NO ONE has ever puked like William did yesterday.
He got up at 6:30 and sat on the couch to drink his warm milk, as per his usual custom, and since it was a Pro D day for Ava with no school, I crawled back into bed for a bit. He came to get me around 7, his hands pressed to his mouth, crying and saying he was puking. From that point on, he vomited every 45 minutes to an hour until 5 pm, and from 5 until 6:45 he cranked it up to every 15-20 minutes.
I did 6 loads of laundry in the morning, and then we worked out an arrangement with blankets tucked into the couch and the bucket on the couch instead of the coffee table, as even that 8 inches was too far to reach. We developed a pretty good vomit system by the afternoon, so everything was cleaner, but the poor kid was so exhausted and couldn't sleep, because he would fall asleep and wake up 10 minutes later to vomit. He just couldn't catch a break.
I spent the entire day on the couch with him, changing his clothes, running up and down to the washing machine, and disinfecting like a maniac. I had heard of bugs where people couldn't keep liquids down, but had never experienced it until yesterday. He would drink water, or a water/juice mix, and then at the end of the day a water/Gatorade mix thanks to a kind neighbour who dropped off a bottle, and throw it up a few minutes later. I kept telling myself, "Soon he'll keep this down, this is passing, he'll be better soon," but it literally took 12 hours of constant puke before he stopped.
At 6:45, he threw up for the last time, and fell asleep in my arms moments later. I got a chance to study his face in a way I don't get to anymore, and I noticed he is developing a smattering of brown freckles on his perfect baby skin, beside his eyes and not far from his ears. I noticed the distinct colour of his red-gold eyelashes and how red his eyebrows have become compared to the pale blonde caterpillars he had as an infant (they always looked like they would bunch up and crawl off his face - you had to peer really hard to see them).
Something strange happened as I cuddled him close and looked at his sleeping face. I fell in love with him all over again. All of the bad blood and obstinate fights between us dissolved into nothingness, and he was my baby again. It was like a moment stolen from time, for me to enjoy him with no complicated feelings or fears, just the pure love between a mother and her child. The storm was over. We had survived it together. He looked to me for help and I gave it, with no reservations or conditions, and stayed with him until he could sleep on his own.
He slept through the night with no more vomit, and woke up this morning with a 102 fever, so our cuddling times will carry on into today. I feel bonded to William in a new way after our experience yesterday. By the time Jason got home from Vancouver in the evening it was all behind us, and I couldn't begin to explain to him how tough the day was. It's a memory for William and I to share together, and I'm proud of how brave my boy was, and I hope I can remember how close I felt to him when he is recovered and we go toe-to-toe in the ring again.