It had been quite awhile-over 2 years, in fact-since my family had been struck down by the dreaded and much feared "stomach flu". Much to my delight, we had never all been inflicted by any germ at the same time. Of course, many had made their way through our family taking their turn to strike each one of us down resulting in weeks of sickies inhabiting our home. But an epidemic so violent that it attacks each family member simultaneously we believed to be merely hearsay, the likes of which we had only heard horror stories and rumors.
Being naive to the existence of the "Puke-a-palooza", my family was a perfect target; sitting ducks, if you will. It creeped ever-so-quietly through our front door, suspected to have been hiding in a backpack, on a Thursday. And by supper time, it had struck down its first unsuspecting victim. Poor #2 heaved and hurled and moaned and groaned as the intruder assaulted his young 6 year old body.
With a positive outlook, I assumed that poor #2 would be the only one to be preyed upon. Alas, naivete is for the foolish. We bedded down sickly #2 on the floor in our room so we could assist throughout the night if needed. However, soon after climbing into bed (still confident in our success of dodging a bullet) we heard a horrible noise and suspicious smell coming from the room of young #3-only 3 years old. Once in the room, the scene of the crime (and smell!) was overwhelming. Walls, bedding, floor, blankies all were victimized by the effects of the voracious Stomach Flu Virus. Certain we were in for a looooong night, papa bear and I suited up and prepared for battle (or course first we had to clean, disinfect and dispose of the affected area(s)and possessions). Good parents that we are, we positioned the victimized child-again near mommy- on our floor so we could monitor and help him aim his little face into his designated bucket.
However, we were caught off guard. Daddy was now feeling "funny" and staked claim of the bathroom. Sounds emitted from that room still haunt me! He spent the night on the floor close to the toilet with his head resting in his bucket. I wrestled with the 3 year old forcing his face into his "puke pail". Much to my chagrin, he is a fighter (and very strong!) and resisted this procedure with force and vocal protests! It was a back-and-forth night of wiping, washing, and trying to to capture as much flying vomit as one mom can.
By morning, daddy looked like death, #2 still had a fever, #3 was still heaving and puking and moaning...and protesting. And now, mama bear was starting to feel the affects of zero sleep, marathon vomit catching (and being covered with it in the process) and breathing germy, "Puke-a-palooza" air all night long. My hopes of being "the chosen one" were crashed as I positioned myself with bucket in hand and joined in the chorus of moans and groans. Hoping that the rest of the family could take care of themselves, my plan to suffer in solitude was short-lived and foiled by an addition to our chorus. #4- only 15 months old- was the next to fall victim. Papa Bear claimed him as his puking partner which left me with the violent puke-throwing 3 year old.
The baby was a puking champ, however, and hit his targeted bucket every time, with the help of daddy. In hopes to save the oldest from suffering the same trauma, we sent him to school. The rest of the day consisted of round-robin puking, groaning, moaning, heaving, and wailing....a nightmare, really. One which my family hopes to NEVER repeat.
By 3:30, it was discovered that #1 would not be spared. He crawled through the front door and secured a bucket of his own slinking to the basement where he could wallow in self-pity. The "Puke-a-palooza" lasted through the next night and by morning we were feeling much better. The event, however, left much damage in its wake. Victimized blankets, sheets and pillows lay in a stinky pile waiting to be assessed. Buckets that suffered much assault scattered the house. And a smell like no other emanated from our premises. Much needed to be done and cleaned and scoured and sanitized....which was mostly left to mommy since everyone else thought they had already suffered enough already.
We now tell stories of the "Puke-a-palooza of 2010". Most laugh at our expense, chuckle along with our story....but secretly fear that it will not strike them too.