Saturday, March 20, 2010

Have Mercy.

The flu hit our house hard, y'all.

I've always told folks that a family of seven getting a "24 hour bug" is really a "168 hour bug", because it has to course through so many systems. And there may be a lag of several days. So, just when you're getting your mattresses refreshed and the carpets clean from Child One's tummy virus...Child Two opens up and starts the process over again.

I used to think that it was so darned inconvenient, this spreading the sickness out, and I would fantasize about everyone falling ill simultaneously, and getting it over with, quickly.

I was so, so wrong.

"Peep" #1 started feeling poorly on Monday night. On Tuesday, I knew she was quite ill because she turned down an offer to be taken to the salon to get her hair done. I took the rest of the children out for lunch, came home, and "Peep" #3 promptly vomited on the kitchen floor.

But "Peep" #3 is a hearty lass, and by Wednesday she had perked up, leading me to believe that maybe it was just a fluke, a weird reaction to her bean burrito or some such.

"Peep" #1 was still prone in her room, however, and complaining about her neck hurting, so I ferried her to the doctor, who gave us the comforting news that it was NOT meningitis...but the flu.

We came home, and I began feeling...poorly.

Then "Peep" #4 lost her cookies. Then "Peep" #5. Then "Peep" #2. Like nauseous, pale dominoes they fell, one by one.

My own stomach eviction occurred sometime in the wee hours of the morning, after bringing the littlest "Peep" into our bed and achieving Rock Star status with my husband by rousing myself each and every time he began to retch and hanging him over the edge of the bed above a waiting trash bin.

No mattresses soiled. No sheet changes. No furniture ruined.

It was a thing of beauty. (Well, the obvious aside...)

Mr. Crib Chick stayed home from work the next day, which was good because...I fell, hard. I don't know the last time I've felt like that. Well, yes, I do...it was the last time I had the flu, several years ago.

It humbles you, the flu. Makes you grateful when you recover. Causes you to stop and smell the roses (once the stench clears from the house), and count your many blessings.

Just pray that your husband doesn't get it.

(None of us want to deal with "Man Flu", now, do we?)

And the Gold goes to...

Because I am insane, and apparently have so little to do, I am continuing my quest to have an Awesome Garden into this year.

The trip to the local home improvement place ("Build something on your own, with expensive implements supplied by us") to procure some last minute things to make a spring planting happen was mostly successful, but I find myself wishing that there were some sort of Concentration Olympics, for all of the mothers of many who don't have the time (or the muscle tone) to compete in other arenas.

Because "Peep" #2, bless his heart, made a comparison between the youngest "Peeps" and a gang of primates, as we wandered the aisles, and although I hate to admit it, I found myself agreeing with him, and wondering how in the world I'm ever able to make any sort of decision when I'm out with them, at all.

Now, they are generally well-behaved children, but I guess there's something about home improvement and the prospect of growing vegetables that is so overwhelmingly exciting to them, it cannot be contained. Because they chattered and scampered like chimps high on crack, touching everything within their reach and basically upping my nervous breakdown risk with every passing moment.

But later, after the storm had passed (and after I had purchased a sufficient amount of seed and some new plants to slowly torture to death), it occurred to me that making decisions under that kind of pressure really does represent some sort of skill. A darned impressive one.

So, moms...what do you think? I know that the regular ol' Olympics are over...why not keep the spirit alive with a new type of competition?

Tabulate price differences between two brands of bread and scan the list of ingredients for high fructose corn syrup while soothing a screaming newborn and keeping a toddler from dumping your purse all over the grocery store floor...

Drive to a new gymnasium while listening to your teenager describe her friends' current relationship intricacies with one ear, and evaluating your six- and seven-year-old's Barbie scenario (which sounds disturbingly similar to the plot of Twilight) with the other...

On second thought...let's not. I'm a little tired.