When The Kids Get Sick

Even a midnight stomach virus can provide a learning moment for a mom and daughter

In the middle of the night, I hear a thump upstairs, then a pair of bare feet clomping down the steps as fast as they can clomp.

“Mom! Mommy! Josie threw up all over her bed and she needs you!”

And so it begins.

My husband and I divide and conquer (and yawn.) “Which one do you want?” I ask him. “Laundry or hard surfaces and the kid?”

He chooses laundry and we both sleepily traipse upstairs. We find poor Josie sitting on her bed in a mass of puke-covered Tinkerbell sheets, her hair sticking out wildly in all directions.

I chalk the hair up to regular bed-head until her big sister knowingly informs me, “She threw up in her sleep. While she was STILL asleep. And she didn’t even KNOW it. Weird! So she pulled the covers up over her head after she threw up on them, and that’s why she has throw-up in her hair.”  


I banish the non-thrower-upper to the bed in the guest room. Then I grab the cleaning supplies: plastic bags, antibacterial wipes, Lysol spray, rags, etc. It’s at this point I realize that I could also use a nose plug. Meanwhile, my husband hauls the air purifier up the stairs and starts yanking off the sheets.

Poor Josie, shivering and covered in throw-up, waits patiently in the bathroom while I start the shower for her. I ask her if she’s okay and she shakes her head pitifully, then smiles a little and looks up at me. “Well, actually, Mommy,” she proclaims, “I feel a lot better now that I threw up.”


I wash her off in the shower, cover her up in a towel, get her some clean PJs and settle her on the couch downstairs by our room (in this house, any throwing-up activity warrants a night on the couch) with a just-in-case bowl, a cup full of ginger ale and some saltine crackers.

Unfortunately, her beloved blankie is a casualty of the preceding events and it is spending the night in the washing machine. As a replacement, she clutches a pot holder her sister made for her on the Loop and Loom.

Since she’s wide awake, we talk for a few minutes and this otherwise yucky situation turns into a bit of a (gross) learning opportunity. We talk about how when there’s something that you’re afraid of doing or something that you really dread there’s really only one thing that ever makes you feel any better.

Josie grins as she sips her fizzy drink.

“Yep. Just throw up and get it over with.”

Words to live by!

I trudge back up the stairs with my rag and my cleaning spray, and I know that she’s right.

Maritza Loechtenfeldt May 27, 2012 at 02:21 PM
At least it was her hair and not yours :[
Devone May 30, 2012 at 03:34 AM
You are right, Maritza! That would've been even more disgusting... :)
Sharon August 01, 2012 at 03:55 AM
I couldn't help but laugh as I read your account of the night of throw-up! Boy, Josie does know how to boil it down into a succinct statement, doesn't she?


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