My birthday started a little on the early side at 2:29am with the sound of The Girlie retching in her crib. Her (quite pregnant) mother somehow beat me to the bedside, where she extracted the sick kid to the bathroom sink and some earnest vomit triage. Once I suppressed my gag reflex at the carnage in the crib, I got to work stripping the bed, soaking the linens, and putting everything back together again. All of which was repeated more times than I can remember, until the sky turned to cobalt and we decided to divide and conquer: I placed said child on my lap while seated on the couch, turned on the cartoon network (by the way, I hereby un-curse the vow I’ve sworn against 24 hour cartoon TV– it’s pretty dogone handy in such situations) and propped myself up for some less-than-complete slumber. With one hand on the child’s midsection and the other extended toward the puke bowl, I didn’t miss a drop of vomit in over three hours.
After The Wife took a similar turn and I slept, we hurried to the pediatrician to plead our case in the hopes of obtaining some kind of anti-nausea medication before her dehydration became any more acute (last week, The Wife took on a full three liters of IV fluid as she struggled with a similar affliction). Between the meds and sheer exhaustion, a long nap commenced, followed by an extended and odious visit to the laundromat by yours truly to dig out from under the mountain of vomitous laundry piling up on the porch. And with the kid in bed after finally making some damp diapers (and only one additional trip to the Land of Emesis), we’re hopeful that this night will be less interrupted than the last.
So was it a happy birthday? Well, I’ve had funner. And while it’s no good to see someone I love so miserable and laconic, it is indeed a pleasure to be a part of such a great team. (And I’m grateful to my wife’s co-workers, who generously put her on-call all day.) I’m tired, and weary, and smelling vaguely of vomit, but I’m still blessed.