Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The History of Our Gastroenteritis

My mom called me today.

"Karen," she said without pretense. "You're in the newspaper."

"I'm in the newspaper?" I repeated.

"No, not you. The sickness," she clarified.

"Oh no. If there is an article about this sickness, I want to be in that article. Me and my three young children. By name." I insisted.

She laughed as if I were joking.

I was not.

The article was not a joke either. It basically said that this specific stomach virus is affecting our entire area and - my favorite part - the infectious period begins as soon as someone becomes ill and lasts at least three days after recovery or, in rare cases, up to three weeks after recovery.

Three weeks of contagion? Oh dear Lord, save this homeschooling mother. I'm rebelling. Officially. I have put us under a seven-day quarantine. After that, all you locals better look out because these crazed, sun-less folk are busting out of this joint.

Do you know who is at fault on this one? My poor dad. But he's not the only one at fault. I am too. We, unknowingly, went out on Saturday and swiftly ruined the Spring Break of visiting extended family.

About a week ago, we had a birthday party for my dad. (He is young-ung!) With all the family gathered at my house, we celebrated, but poor Dad never even got to eat his lemon cheesecake. In fact, by the end of the evening, dear Grandma G.G. (my great-grandma, my father's grandmother who lives with my parents) was sitting in the corner with her hand over her mouth, and my dad was trying not to even look at the food being served. We actually sang "Happy Birthday" to him as we were waving good-bye to their receding car. Then, we all went inside and proceeded to eat his cheesecake.

Unfortunately, we caught the crud. Of course, we don't hold it against dear Dad, especially considering how many germs we've shared with him and Mom.

But that's how The Bowl got to be used this week. And that's how I came to the realization that sleep is highly overrated. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

Sick children abound around here. And one recovering parent.

In an act of sheer self-sacrifice, I have sent Real Gil away to sleep at his parents' house when he is not working his shifts. He is the only family member not to get this lovely stomach flu and it would really make work impossible if he got it (duh).

And he did take care of the children while I was vowing to never go near a Panda Express again. In fact, this is what Real Gil was doing, and this is just another reason why I love the man so dearly.

Yes, homemade sugar cookies with blue frosting. I got nauseous just looking at them, but the kids loved them. And him, of course.

SO-O-O, I'm manning this house in my sleep-deprived, queasy state.

A few things I've noticed. My children are fussy when they are sick. So is their Mama. Two examples will suffice:

1. The Little Man actually cried this morning because some of his toes are smaller than other toes. Interesting observation, humorous response. A good parent would not laugh at ridiculous tantrums, but I couldn't resist.

2. The girls were trying to play pretend, albeit weakly. And they ended up in a fight over princes. The interesting thing, I pointed out to them in perfect Spirit-filled patience, was that the princes were imaginary.

But we are surviving. And I have found the new washing machine's "Sanitary" cycle to be "tested and proven." Candyland has been taken out and played a few hundred times. (Have you ever wondered why Mrs. Nut is in there? What kind of candy is a nut? What a bum deal for her. She should be Mrs. Toffee or Mrs. Sour Patch Kids or something else, but Mrs. Nut? C'mon now, toy manufacturers, think like a kid. At least one with a sweet tooth.)

We are officially quarantined so if you live anywhere near us, resist the temptation to visit. (I know it's hard.) And if you don't live near us, thank our good Lord. Then, go wash your hands just in case.

Hope you and yours are healthy today. And if not, I hope you have a working washing machine and lots of Lysol.



Kris said...

It is originally our fault. We gave it to dad who brought you the germ. Also, if you could be infectious for 3 weeks after symptoms resolve how is Real Gil NOT going to get it? Sounds impossible. You just hang in there. I've already had it and can come over tomorrow if you need me to?
Twin Sister

Anonymous said...

And I'm willing to leave supplies at the end of your driveway. K