This year the little girl that I love so much gave me the gift of midnight toddler vomit for my birthday. Lots and lots of toddler vomit.
If you have never had the pleasure of taking care of a toddler with the pukes let me tell you, it is a scaring experience. A few weeks ago when she was sick I thought it was pretty rough and coined the phrase "panic puker". In hindsight that day had NOTHING on the 18 hours of pure misery that Lily put me through on my birthday this year. It is safe to say that I would relive the hangover of '03, during which I had to pull over on I90 in Boston to get sick on the side of the road. Not exactly my proudest moment, but at least that night I had some fun before I had to spend the night on the bathroom floor.
It started when I heard "the cry" around 11, coincidentally about 30 seconds after falling into a deep sleep. I shot out of bed and ran to the guest room (Ben's non-sleeping had been taking a toll on Lily so I had separated them once again) to find Lily sitting bolt upright in bed drenched in sweat, covered in puke, and screaming like a pissed off banshee. I'm serious, she was livid...and the instant our eyes met I knew she had found just the person she was looking for. Not to comfort and protect her, no no. Surely someone must be to blame for this disgusting injustice, that person must pay. That person was going to be me.
I put her in the tub, washed her hair, put her in clean jammies, stripped the bed, started a load of laundry, rinsed out the tub, changed her jammies again, spot cleaned the living room rug, and made a "special bed" on the sun room floor all while being verbally abused and berated. Just as I was about to close my eyes on the couch she threw up with no warning all over her "special bed", I glanced at the clock 12:02...happy birthday to me!
The night was looong, neither of us slept. At one point she looked me square in the face and said, "Stop making me throw up." Poor baby, I had no idea so much horribleness could come out of one little body.
Matt got up and went to work and I did my best not to cry at the thought of more puke. I prayed more than once that Ben would not wake up with whatever was raging inside Lily's tummy. (My prayers would not be answered, however there was a 24 hour break between illnesses.) Ben spent most of the day in isolation in the playroom and Lily spent the entire day watching TV between demands for something to eat or drink. When it had finally been a few hours since her last upchuck I allowed her some crackers and water. By the end of the afternoon she was finally looking a little better and had stopped cursing me under her breath.
When Dingle came home from work we both agreed that eating cake in front of Lily would just add insult to injury and so we postponed my birthday festivities until the following day. I was so grateful to sleep in my own bed that night, aside from Lily feeling better, it was the best gift I could have gotten.
The following day everyone was feeling better, I went for a massage, and we all had some chocolate cake. It was certainly a birthday that I won't forget any time soon. Motherhood comes with highs and lows and in the end I am certainly grateful that this was just a stomach bug and not something more serious.
That doesn't mean I have to like toddler puke.