5th birthday Jello
We have the plague. It’s the stomach flu/diarrhea plague, and it all started last Friday evening. What, you say? That’s been almost a week? Oh, I hadn’t noticed! (insert sarcasm here)
First Seth threw up all evening. It was the worst that he’s ever been sick, and we were worried, but felt confident all would be well before too long. (We were hopelessly naive.) And then I started throwing up at 9:00 that night. It is a miracle that I had enough milk to continue feeding Ben, and that’s only because my darling BFF brought over some fenugreek early enough in the day that I had it in my system before my stomach emptied. (I’d been worried about my supply, but that became the least of my worries, and it seems to be fine now.)
David struggled along all weekend, trying so hard to keep everyone disinfected and taken care of. I was slow to recover, probably because my body was trying to feed Ben and also because this virus is of the Devil. And then he succumbed on Sunday night.
I rallied enough to take care of us on Monday, and David wasn’t down with it so hard that he couldn’t function at all. There was hope that things would improve by Seth’s birthday on Thursday….
Fast forward to Wednesday morning when Seth woke up with diarrhea so bad that I had to strip the bed entirely and give him a bath. There would be so partying for us this week…
Weary to the bone, I wrapped his presents and made him birthday Jello on Wednesday night, hoping for a somewhat pleasant birthday for him. When the baby slept in this morning, I hoped it was the start of good things to come.
There was a reason the baby slept in.
He threw up everything I fed him at 8:00 a.m., and my heart sank. I hadn’t even opened Seth’s door yet to wish him Happy Birthday. When I went in, I told him it was his birthday, and he smiled and said, “Are you joking, Mommy? My birthday is a long time away.” I said, “No. You can go downstairs and find out.” We all trooped downstairs, and he was so excited to see helium balloons tied to his chair.
I managed to make him his big birthday breakfast of white toast with a little butter and blueberries. You would’ve thought it was cinnamon rolls with bacon, he was so excited. He and Evan put on their party hats and grinned through breakfast.
And then Evan had diarrhea. And Ben threw up again. I called for backup. I’m not superwoman.
When I told Seth that Daddy was going to come home and spend his birthday with him, he acted like he’d won the lottery. He screamed and did a happy dance.
And I learned that it doesn’t take much to make your birthday happy when you’re 5 years old… even if your entire family has the plague. Here’s my list of ways to have a Happy Birthday anyway:
1. Yay! Daddy is home! (Who cares that it’s because Evan has diarrhea, and Ben is throwing up?)
2. I get to eat grape Jello! And white bread! (Isn’t the BRAT diet just another form of the toddler carb diet anyway?)
3. Somebody brought me balloons. I love balloons! (Seriously. Thank God for Dollar Tree.)
4. I get to wear my pj’s all day! (All the easier to strip you if necessary, my dear.)
5. If we don’t go anywhere, I just have more time to play with my new toys!
He had a great day. We sang to him, and he blew out his candles. Friends and family called to wish him a Happy Birthday, and he ate up all the attention with a spoon. A dear friend dropped a present on our front porch, and he loved it. (She ran down those steps like her car was on fire, and I don’t blame her a bit. Save yourself!!!! I’m not sure I would’ve come near the house without a hazmat mask on if I were in her shoes.)
Ben threw up all day, every 3 hours. The nurse told me to keep feeding him, even if he threw it all up. I didn’t put him down all day long. He went 5 hours without peeing in his diaper. It was really sad. He only threw up a little after the 5:30 p.m. feeding, and it looks like the 8:00 p.m. feeding is staying put. Poor, poor baby.
And now we’ve all had it. It’s over. I’m going to find out how long it’ll be before we’re not contagious anymore, but I have hope that we’ll be able to leave the house sometime before February.
Seth will get his birthday cake and fun next weekend. Maybe I’ll have recovered enough by then to do something extra special for him. Or maybe not.
This is the sickest we’ve ever been as a family, and I am done in. Please, God, don’t let us get anything like this again for a very, very, very long time.