Sunday, October 12, 2008


Now, I'm not pointing fingers or anything, but we caught a case of the stomach flu. Thus far only Coop and I have caught it, actually. But it also means that Coop and I were quarantined to the same bathroom while we got over it. First me (actually there were no kids anywhere near me while I was in the throes of it); then Coop.

It was a self-inflicted isolation that served a few purposes. It was close to the facilities and it was away from the healthy (thus far) members of the family. Why we picked the smallest bathroom in the house is still a mystery to me; we all live and learn, I guess. In fact, the bathroom we were detained in is only 5 feet by 5 feet. Throw in a toilet and a shower/bathtub and you are left with a short, narrow corridor in which we situated ourselves and waited out the agony (a full 12 hours).

I've learned something -- now that it's over -- about spending that much time with your child. There was no radio, no T.V., no Wii, no movies. Just him and me, two coloring books, crayons, a few books, and a shoebox full of card games he'd never seen before. Despite everything, I genuinely believe that Cooper was happy to have me by his side and was satisfied playing games that he didn't understand (remember he still can't read) and talking about nonsensical things like, "What if we didn't have a toilet?" Sometime in the middle of the night, shortly after a bout of especially painful puking, he laid his little head on his Batman towel reached his hand out and placed it on my hand and simply said, "Thank you, mommy."

When the worst was over and he could slurp down a Pedialyte Otter Pop without heaving it back up he didn't run to sit in front of the T.V. He didn't immediately ask to play video games. He wanted to show his daddy and his brother his new games (the game he invented using the Mad Gab timer, the Yahtzee dice, and the Carcassonne tiles).

My oppressed little one handled his incarceration pretty well, considering. While I would never wish it on him, and I am certainly not happy he got sick, I am grateful for the opportunity I had to be there for him in the quiet moments, holding his hand while he was scared, wiping the barfy boogers off his face. He's wonderful, even when he's sick and smells bad.

Oh and before I make this sound more wonderful than it was NOT, let me say I also learned that I am feeling extremely old and stiff this morning after spending two nights in a row on a bathroom floor. I also completely get the line from The Devil Wears Prada, "I'm just one stomach flu away from my goal weight." And one more thing, seriously I have to do something about the carpet in the bathrooms.

PHOTO NOTE: Pic of Cooper getting ready for soccer (like two weeks ago) and playing Wii at the same time.


lynnie said...

Now I know why Sarah felt bad when she had the flu,j I threw her the towel as she was throwing up and hurriedly shut the door !!!

Your story actually makes me think that I would like to go back - do it over and lay there for 12 hours - bonding- with my child - but for some reason I can't remember it being this tender ??????

laurel said...

My boys and I had the stomach flu this week too. ALex only threw-up once. Austin not at all, but the stomach cramps right behind the belly button were horrible. We looked like a bunch of hunchbacks, walking around the house. Man, I am sorry you guys had it the UGLY way. Wish I was there too help with the barf and boogers. We love you all!!

Glenda said...

I am so sorry....I am really glad you explained the picture, because for the life of me I thought he was playing jump rope with the hair clippers wearing his dad's socks!

Anita said...

Thanks for not pointing fingers - but I'm sorry, I'm really, really sorry. But I can say I know exactly how you feel. I got it too (shortly after I talked to you on Saturday) and Erik is in bed with it now. Our experience hasn't been nearly as sweet as yours though. I have my fingers crossed that Mason and Steve stay healthy.

grandma GiGI said...

What a thoughtful little boy...Saying "thanks Mommy" for helping him through the flu. Also a thoughtful mommy to stay by his side...