with a 1 year old
The calls for mommy are low-pitched with several second pauses in-between each call, no real urgency in her voice. I roll over, hopeful to not have to get up. Just as I start to drift back to sleep...
"Mommy!" "Mommy!" "Daddy!" "I want mommy!"
The calls are a higher pitch now, no pauses in between each shout, there's the occasional call for daddy thrown in just in case mommy lost her hearing and there is definitely urgency coming from her little voice.
I know that there's no way she is going to put herself back to sleep at this point. I throw my legs over the side of the bed and take the 10 steps to her doorway. As I open the door I'm immediately smacked in the face by the knowing and horrible smell of sickness. Before I even going through the threshold into her bedroom, I call to my husband to wake up. I need back-up. Then I rush to my little girl's side. A moment too late I realize I should have tied my very long hair back before picking her up. Now, both of us have her partially digested dinner in our hair. I strip her down and put her in fresh pajamas. I know there is just no point in bathing her just yet. My husband strips the bed and I get warm wash cloths to get some of the vomit off of us. Within just a few minutes she begins to hiccup. This is a sure sign that she is about to be sick again. I ask the 1 year old if she is going to throw up. She responds simply, "no" and sticks out her tongue to show me there's nothing there. I grab the trash can and she's able to make about half of it in.
Another PJ change, more towels and sheets added to the wash pile. My husband starts the load of laundry while I call work to let them know I won't be in. Typically, there is some sort of discussion on which parent will be taking the sick day. Which one of us has a meeting that can't be missed or a deadline that can simply not be pushed back. This time though, my daughter had not left my side and I needed to be home with her as much as she needed me.
She seems to have slowed down on getting sick and we head for the bath sometime in the 4:00 hour. As I'm washing my little girl I realize this is the first bath she has ever had by herself since she stopped using the infant tub at 6 months. She looks tiny in the bathtub without her big sister sitting next to her, fighting for one of the floating, colorful bath cups. The bath takes 5 minutes and I scoop her out and get her warm and dry as fast as I can. Next, I decide to make a bed for us on her floor, complete with sheets for floor covering, extra towels for wiping and the puke bucket. My sweet girl drifts off to sleep almost immediately, exhausted by her first-ever vomiting experience.
About an hour later we are up for the day. Shortly after that, big sister is up too. 5 pajama changes for the baby, 3 clothes changes for me, 3 loads of laundry, and 2 baths down. It's only 10 a.m. A little over 6 hours after if all started. Other than needing some extra cuddles she's basically back to normal. I think it will always amaze me how quickly little ones get over an illness. Despite her feeling well, I have to stay home from work that day and then the next one as well (to meet the 24 hour free-of-puke-before-returning-to-daycare rule). It's not all bad. The first day she lets me hold her all day, we get to take naps together and she asks to nurse way more than normal to rehydrate herself. It's a little bit like having an infant again. I cherish the calm and extra snuggles that came out of the day.
The second day her big sister stayed home too (since there was also an illness at the in-home day care). Having to miss two days of work is on my mind. I know I'm going to be going back to a mountain of work. But at least my baby girl got better very fast and we were able to have some extra time together. For me, I'm a little more tired than normal and behind on the regular laundry. For my baby, she made it to 20 months before experiencing her first tummy bug. She seems oblivious to the fact that she was sick just 24 hours earlier. Everything is back to normal.
At least, until the the next illness...
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