Long Night Ahead?

I wasn’t going to regal you with the fact that I ended 2007 a little on the ill side. Indeed, it was something of an ordeal. At around midnight on the night of December 30, I came down with what I took to be a touch of food poisoning, in the hotel room of New Buffalo, Michigan. I’ll be vulgar enough just to say that I emptied myself out at both ends, and I didn’t get much sleep. Though the urge to be sick subsided by the morning, the tender stomach and the lack of sleep made for a long drive home.

Unfortunately, the hope that it was just food poisoning diminished earlier this afternoon when Erin started throwing up at work, and a couple of hours ago, I heard Vivian waking up, sounding bewildered and distressed, calling for mommy and daddy. I rushed upstairs, and found Vivian looking bleary-eyed and rather disgusted, the poor thing moaning “I spill! I spill!” Well, you can guess what happened.

We gave her a bath. The sheets have just finished their washing cycle. She drank de-fizzed ginger ale, and went back to sleep in clean jammies and layers of towels, and I’m writing this now because it looks like I’m going to pass that rite of passage: the young parent’s first night of sick kid duty. Wish me luck.

Hopefully — and I say this with fingers tightly crossed — this looks to be a short, sharp bug. I was by no means bed-ridden, and though my appetite has only just recovered (more’s the pity since my parents served up some wonderful Chinese food yesterday that I’m right now craving; I’ll take that as a good sign), I was able to function within twelve hours of the bug’s onset. Likewise Erin is functional, and Vivian appears to be sleeping well (again, fingers tightly crossed).

I’m worried about Vivian, though, as this is her first experience with this type of sickness and it’s hard to communicate even the benefits of swirling water in her mouth and spitting in order to clear the yucky taste out — though she quickly cottoned onto the benefits of drinking de-fizzed ginger ale (a staple of sick days that comes courtesy of my mother, and which I’ve since learned has excellent benefits of staving off dehydration. Look up Litrosol, a miracle cure which cut Honduras’ infant mortality rate with just a cup of water, a pinch of salt and a spoonful of sugar. Whoever figured that out deserves a Nobel prize).

So, wish me luck. I have a sick kid on my hands, and I’ll be tending to her for the next day or so, poor girl. And, I should note, that we have a pretty good idea of where the illness came from, which means it’s quite contageous and has a short incubation period. So, the people that I, Erin and Vivian have met over the past three days have our sincere apologies. Drink your ginger ale.

(Update: 23:45): As it turned out, it was not nearly as bad as we feared for Vivian. After putting her to bed after her first upchuck, she slept through the night and had a good appetite the next morning. Erin, on the other hand, stayed home from work, skipped breakfast, lost lunch, and barely managed to put away some broth at dinner. She supplemented with cereal before bed, however. So this is definitely at 12-24 hour bug.

And my parents got it.

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