How I Came to be Heaving 60 Pounds of Screaming Kid From a Waldorf Open House

You regulars out there are wondering where your semi-reliable Saturday post is, right?

Well, it all started when I ate my breakfast, Saturday morning. I had been feeling just dandy since I got up, a whole hour to myself to drink coffee and read. I was on top of the world really. Once the kids were up, I scurried around to get everything together for our morning outing– a visit to my favorite local bakery, then a Waldorf open house at 10.

I made breakfast tacos, a never fail way to get protein into the 3YO. Halfway through eating, my stomach started to feel… not so good. Hmm, too long drinking coffee, and then too quick cramming food in I thought. I’ll come right soon enough…

At the bakery it felt wrong to put a chocolate croissant down into the squirmy hole, but more wrong to go without (such are compulsive eating habits). Down the hatch it went. Then load into the car for the Waldorf school.

In retrospect I can see how I was just getting stupider. But at the time I was so sure it would blow over.

I knew enough to warn my friend, when we got to the school, to watch for any sudden excursions to the bathroom and corral my kids if necessary. I managed to stay reasonably coherent through the big open assembly room with the dreamy red watercolor hearts on the wall and miniature rubber boots lined up by the door; through the first and second grade classroom with each child’s homemade schoolbook open on their desk to reveal artistic crayon words and drawings in otherwise blank pages; through the smattering of questions my friend and I asked of the soft-spoken kindergarden teacher dressed in flowing white and pale pink. But once we settled in for play at the nursery, with it’s all wood kid-sized furniture, and faceless cloth dolls, I could avoid it no longer. I was sick.

The knot in my belly was low. Lower than throwing up. More in the impending explosive diarrhea region. The pain was pretty definite. Like the gearing up contractions of early labor.

Continuing my campaign of stupidity, I let my friends (and only possible backup) leave. The 3YO wasn’t ready to go yet, and when she’s not ready to go, going is hard. I couldn’t face carrying her out of there kicking and screaming, even if I did have someone else to carry the Little Guy. Somehow I convinced myself that in another ten or fifteen minutes, she’d be ready to file out in orderly fashion, we’d high tail it home, and all would be well.

However, in another ten or fifteen minutes, she was still decidedly not. But now the Little Guy was. He’d already deconstructed the baby doll swing into it’s independent organic pieces. Three times. He was done with this soft place.

For my part, I tallied the folly of my backup loss and my ever tightening gut wrench, and came to the sad conclusion that all hell was about to break loose.

Which it did.

Cue the 3YO’s wails, “BUT I DON’T WANT TO LEAVE!!!! I YUV THIS SCHOOL!” as I pry the cloth doll from her white knuckles, lift her up, wobble as I realize I can barely stand, then heroically, mythically even, manage to lift the now also screaming 1YO up with the other arm. Barely restraining a full 60 pounds of screaming kid, I make my exit.

I’ve had better drives home. The stabbing in my gut was now full force. The 3YO cried. The 1YO cried. I cried. It was the longest 15 minutes I’ve known in a while.

The cramping got even worse once I was home. I writhed in the bed as if I was in labor. At the worst of it, I couldn’t walk myself to the bathroom. I threw up once, as much from the pain as nausea. It was hideous.

I was in it’s grip all day. It was after 6 by the time the horror had subsided. My guts were still tight and incredibly sore, but I could move. I couldn’t help but think in self-pity, ‘What a waste of a Saturday!’ On the other hand, what the fuck would I have done if it had been a weekday, and My Man at school? Count your blessings, I suppose.

What was it, anyway? You’re sensibly asking. I was sure it was food poisoning, though nothing I’d eaten in the past couple of days seemed remotely suspect. Nevertheless, I was sure, up until the middle of Saturday night when the 1YO woke us up puking his little guts out. Then I reconsidered. He hadn’t eaten any of the same things I’d eaten the day before. A virus! What scandal. Who knew stomach viruses even came in such wicked degrees?

The Little Man was sick all day Sunday, and into today, Monday. He’s not puking everything up anymore, which is reassuring, but neither has he given up the puking.

And babies, wow. They just don’t know how to aim. I’ve washed seven loads of laundry so far, and it ain’t over yet. I had to break into My Man’s shirts, cuz I ran out. Almost ran out of everything. I thought 3 sets of sheets per bed, and 3 towels per person was plenty when I did the big Purge back in November. I wasn’t taking into account the stomach flu on a 1YO.

So that, my friends, is what I was doing over the weekend. Instead of sipping coffee at a local dive and writing one of the several posts buzzing around in my head lately. And now, my mom is coming to visit for a week. It will be awhile before I get to that ‘Kids and Cleaning,’ or ‘How to Build a Toddler Proof Stool’ or ‘Letting Kids Help,’ all of which are in the idea phase. Oh when will they just install these damn machines directly into our brains? So that I can blog while I’m sweeping the floor, or folding laundry?

8 thoughts on “How I Came to be Heaving 60 Pounds of Screaming Kid From a Waldorf Open House

  1. Ahhh… the pain of the stomach flu. I’ll take a week long cold over a very short stomach bug ANY DAY! I have LOTS of old towels and we just puke into them… easier than trying to hold a crying child that’s heaving and a bucket. It’s laundry… for sure… but it tends toward being relatively easy to clean. Relatively. As long as they don’t get you in your hair… sigh.

    Hope you are all feeling better soon… shit like that unravels the glory days feeling pretty quick.

  2. Oh yeah. The vomit down your cleavage, into your pockets, through your belt buckle. Uh huh, no aim facilities whatsoever. Fingers are double crossed for you that the 3 yr old and hubby don’t get it too.

  3. Aw, Calamity J, my deepest sympathies. There is nothing more evil than the gastro virus, and usually for Mum, that means cleaning up small persons vomit while either still nauseous or weak as a kitten post-purge. Still, as my mother-in-law would say ‘You know you’re alive!’ x

  4. O Bella. I’m feeling for you. I have a similar horror story, cept we 4 were in its clutches when friends (another family of 4) came from interstate and decided they’d stay with us anyways as they weren’t going to miss seeing us.

    There was a day-and-a-half lull where we weren’t pukin anymore but were weakly mopping up. Then, just as the gazillion loads of washing were done, the friends got it too. Nothing like holding your kids baby while she pukes, or washing all their vomit-filled bedding, to bring you closer.

    These people are some of my closest friends. Thank goodness.

    Here’s wishing you a long, healthy patch coming up.

    Oh – and when you invent that machine – I’ll have one thanks.

  5. Oh, stomach flu. We had that not too long ago, when I was still in the throes of ALREADY feeling horrible and nauseas thanks to first trimester crud. I not-very-affectionately called it The Stomach Plague. And yes. The laundry. Dear GOD the laundry.

    I hope that you all start to feel better soon!

  6. Hey Calamity, sorry I’m just now responding to your wish to come see my pigs, but I’m a bit of a hermit afraid of the vegetarians and animal liberationists that I come across on the internet, so I had to screen you first by reading your blog. Which is awesome, by the way–you’re a really good writer. I’m not a mother yet but I am totally swept up in your adventures because of the language and enthusiasm you write with. I would like to become a better writer, but it is, unfortunately, one of the things that I am reluctant to put in the necessary work to do it really well. Keep up your good work! I hope you write a book someday.

    My yard is in a smelly, somewhat dormant state, but email me and we’ll see when we can meet up.

  7. I live in Cordova. I love it here. I’m from Alaska. So’s my partner. We want to stay in Cordova. Unfortunately he’s not only married to me, he’s married to the coast guard. The USCG said nope, you’re moving to the midwest. We threw around the idea of me staying and him going. Then we considered our dogs, and the sadness that would ensue should one of us leave or they be separated. Which really made us both asses how much we really enjoy one anothers company. So I bravely took that option off the table in a fit of wifely support. And in my mind a small (okay not small, extremely loud and shrill) voice began repeating holy-christ-I-can’t-move-away-now-I’m-in-the-middle-of-my-grad-program-my-research-examines-the-long-term-socioemotional-effects-of-EVOS-I-can’t-f@#king-do-that-in-Michigan-I-can’t-leave-I-love-my-Cordova-ladies-I-love-my-eco-educating-work-I-can’t-I-can’t-I-can’t-I-love-to-can-and-make-jam-and-smoke-fish-do-they-even-do-that-down-there??????

    Thank goddess for you.

    Randomly coming across your writings about life as an Alaskan transplant down south is reminding me of all the things I sometimes secretly miss while living in the quietness of up here. Such as seeing my favorite singer songwriter live, buying fresh cheeses, more than one thrift store, and having a coffee hovel to frequent. So thank you. For helping me feel a little less freaked out and a little more optimistic.

  8. I have to tell you, I’m way past the stage of small kids (I have 19 and 16 year old boys) but I sooo enjoy your posts! It brings back lots of memories and I almost always laugh my head off. Mind you, I’m not laughing at you…it’s more of a “you poor thing” kind of laugh.

    You are a wonderful writer, keep up the good work!

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