Tip: If you are the least bit squeamish, you may want to stop reading at this point. You can't say that I didn't warn you.
"Moooooommmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyy!" came out of the darkness of the girls' room. I had fallen asleep about 45 minutes before then and was startled awake by the sound of Meghan's voice.
Her voice awoke a primal force within me, the mommy reflex. Before I even knew why I was in motion, I had arrived next to Meghan's bed. I could see the shadowy outline of her head along with its curly mop of messed up bed head. What I smelled was too familiar, and made me want to wretch. I suppressed that urge to wretch.
"Mommy! I puked," wailed Meghan as she began to wretch again. I had no clue where the first location was of the offending vomit, but I figured that it was probably matted into her hair and pillow.
At this point, the mommy, who didn't want to wake up big sister, the sleeping giant of five year olds, who also didn't want to have to clean the mattress, who desperately wanted to keep said pukey puke essence away from her, scooped up the puker and ran at top speed about 10 feet into the solace of our upstairs 1946 vintage bathroom. While pointing Meghan's face away from my body in mid-run, Meghan vomited onto the goldenrod tile sprawling onto the floor of my bathroom. I was thankful she missed the carpet in the hallway, though.
I resisted the urge to acknowledge the squishy spaghetti noodles suddenly appearing at and under my toes. I slipped a bit as the liquid vomit squished in between my toes. As I veered right toward the toilet, I noticed that the toilet lid was actually closed. Why oh why hadn't Grace left the lid up on this day? Even though having the toilet seat lid down is the compromise in our house, I was cursing the lid inside my head. Meghan was about to blow again, and I knew it was futile to believe that I'd get the lid open in time.
As I predicted in that split second analysis, Meghan let loose on the wall next to the toilet and lacquered the Kandoo wipes box on the floor next to the commode. Spaghetti noodles along with Meghan's nightly strawberry-flavored pediatric drink painted my walls, and then began their gravity induced slide onto our tile floor. The word gross appeared in my thoughts.
At this point, my urge to vomit too became quite intense. I stuffed the urge down again just as Meghan began to cough, sputter, and choke a bit more. A long trail of saliva was running down her chin, and she coughed out, "I puked. I puked. I puked."
"I know Meghan. Try to take a breath honey. Calm down. You're almost done puking," I replied reassuringly. As quickly as I said those words, my karma, my bad luck, my stupid urge to be ever the optimist, or something to that effect came back to bite me square on the butt.
Meghan began to erupt again and again and again and again. Well, you get the picture. She eventually proceeded to vomit bile and then finished it off with some trips to the potty. All night long, Meghan vomited in about 12-14 minute intervals. She finally wrapped up the puking at 5:41 a.m. Yes, I was watching the clock because my mind kept lulling me into a false sense of this round of puking would be the final one, and I could actually get some much needed sleep. Dear husband, Charlie, was initially outside shoveling our sidewalks when my initiation into the festival of fun called a child puking all night long. He joined my fun and spent the night moving a "puke bowl" underneath Meghan's chin as we both decided we need to lie down even though sleep was no where in sight. Meghan, who Charlie dubbed as Kicky McPoker, squirmed throughout the night as her tummy would revolt. When we were not dealing with vomit, we were resting poorly as she kicked, whined, and begged for something to drink. "I'm thirsty. I'm thirsty." (Yes, we did fall into that trap twice. She asked for water. We felt it was finally over, and low and behold, that was not the case. Ugh.)
It was a sleepless night. It was one for our parenting record books, but still quite doesn't live up to the Norovirus episode of 2006. Meghan's perfect delivery of vomit into the Christmas gift bag I was opening still tops the list. I'm sure when our children have left the nest and Charlie and I want to reminisce we may recall this day. For now, I'd rather forget.
I just hope and pray that this particular stomach virus stays far away from me and anyone else who steps foot in this happy home.