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Archive for the ‘sick’ Category

I invited my mother to the zoo with me and my three boys this week.  We went to the zoo on Wednesday.

It’s almost Friday…and I still haven’t heard from her.

I think she is avoiding me.

It’s really understandable.  I totally get it.  My mother took a “walk on the wild side.”  She just needs time to “recover.”  I may hear from her next week.  Who knows?

If you’ve got three kids, taking a trip to the zoo ( or any “cultural” outing…oh, heck…any outing, for that matter) is truly an adventure.  It’s not for the faint of heart.  It’s like traveling to some far off locale…just not with the experience of getting your passport stamped.  At least that’s how it is for us.

Our zoo day went something like this:

6:45 a.m. – Mommy gets four bags packed before boys wake up.

Bag #1 Diaper Bag – Must have diapers, wipes, “baby snacks,”  3 juice sippy cups, change of clothes, extra shoes (trust me on this) and baby Tylenol (just in case)….PLUS must carry extra change of clothes for older two children (just in case…been there – done that – know it’s necessary), AND one gallon size ziplock bag (for soiled clothing…and/or vomit bag)

Bag #2  Mommy’s backpack “purse” –  Thank, goodness that Vera Bradley makes a half-way decent looking bag!  Contains: Wallet, lip balm, sanitizing hand stuff (that Mommy loses and would have come in handy after all three boys spend 45 minutes petting goats at the zoo’s farm), cell phone (that Mommy still doesn’t know how to work properly since Daddy gave her his old Blackjack), zoo map, and hand lotion.

Bags #3 & #4  Camera bag and cooler containing more snacks/juice pouches

Bag #5 is later added to our haul at 8:45 a.m. after we have dressed and picked Grandma up in our minivan.  Bag #5 is Grandma’s purse (which could double as a lethal weapon from it’s mere size and weight)

9:45 a.m. – We arrive at the zoo.  Finally.  It takes us another half hour to start our walk around the zoo because we realize that we need to rent a double stroller to carry all of our crap. After loading it with all of our bags, we estimate that George must walk for most of the zoo outing…totally defeating the purpose of renting the stroller in the first place.

10:15 a.m. – We are looking at animals…giraffes, zebras, polar bears, black bears, panda bears, elephants…then on the the baboons and orangutans.  This is when we spot the herpetarium, or better known as the “Reptile center.”  My boys go nuts!  They begin to chant…”Snakes! Snakes! Snakes!”  So, here we go…inside the dark cave-like building with a huge stroller hauling our stuff…and all three boys running toward the snakes… behind one inch plate glass windows.  My boys have no fear.  They press their little hands up to the glass.  My youngest tries to lick the glass.   With my “quick Mommy reflexes,”  I grab him and manage to get the other two under control.  My mother can’t believe how much they love the reticulated python or the deadly black adder.  My oldest son, Will, wanted his picture taken beside the rattlesnake.  My mother looked like she could faint any minute.

12:00 (High Noon) – It’s lunchtime at the zoo.  We venture off to the main restaurant located in the center of the zoo.  It’s a burger/hot dog kind of eatery, but the line is a mile long.  One whole wall of the restaurant overlooks the monkey arena. Grandma stays with the boys at a table while I order and pick up our food.  She doesn’t realize that it is impossible to expect all three of them to sit quietly while there are monkeys doing a variety of funny things only three feet away.   I tell her to “just keep an eye on them.”  She mouths to me, “Are you crazy?”  I mouth back to her, “Yes, I am.  Just do it.”  By this time, my mother looks as frazzeled as I do at the end of a long day…and it’s only noon.  She’s fading fast.  Once I get our food and distribute it to all three boys and my mother, I noticed that I forgot to order anything for myself.  I’m left to share fries with my youngest child and I eat a bag of Teddy Grahams.  UGH.

12:45 p.m. – We take a train ride around the Zoo Farm.  This little lap around the zoo costs us a whopping $5.00.  At least the kids love it and the “conductor” blows the horn a couple of times.

1:00 p.m. –  We tour the farm.  Of all the boys, my youngest, George is getting really cranky.  Jack and Will don’t want to leave the billy goats.  We spend almost 45 minutes petting the goats (try getting that smell out of your kids clothes…whew!).

Jack suddenly spots a kid with a Snow Cone.   It’s all over.  All three boys want a Snow Cone.

2:15 p.m. – I motion to my mother not to say anything about a Snow Cone.  I motion for her to “zip it and throw away the key.”  She doesn’t get the hint.  Grandma promises to buy each boy a Snow Cone.  I tell her, amongst much objection and whining, that we have a 45 minute ride back home.  Green Snow Cones are not advisable.  Grandma does not understand and buys green Snow Cones.

3:45 p.m. – We have had green Snow Cones.  We are driving home.  Guess what happens next?

Someone gets car sick.

4:15 p.m. – Grandma is dropped off at her house.  She looks shell-shocked.

4:30 p.m. – We are back home.  Mommy runs each boy through the shower in “car wash mode.”  Can’t get green ring from around the mouths.  Kids look like they’ve been sucking lollipops made of antifreeze.  Alas, all three boys are showered and changed.  Fun has had by all. We have pictures to prove it.

I think we had a great time.  Seriously.  Despite the herpetarium, the long lines at the restaurant, and the Green Snow Cones.  It’s just every day stuff for me.  I’m used to it.  Grandma is not.  I do think she was a real trooper today.  She rolled with the punches.  She took a “walk on the wild side.”  I’ve got to give her props for that.  I mean…I was an only child..and a girl.  A girly girl.  I have three wild (and I mean that in the best way possible) boys.  Every day is an adventure for us.

I say let’s have more outings like this. They’re only children once.

Like my oldest says, “LET THE WILD RUMPUS START!!!!”

My boys

My boys

Grandma and grandsons get close to a black bear.

Grandma and grandsons get close to a black bear.

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The day started like any other.   We all went to church, came home, played, napped, etc.  At 2 a.m., Jack came into our bedroom to announce that he was sick.  The exchange went something like this:

Jack:  Mommy?

Mommy:  hmmm?

Jack:  I feel sick. (burping sound then wetness hits Mommy and Daddy…we turn on the light and discover to much horror that we are splattered with vomit.  Great.  Just great.)

Without much warning, Jack threw up.

All over our bed.

All over Mommy.

All over Daddy.

It was vomit of the projectile kind.  If you are a parent, you know what I’m talking about.  It was the kind of thing that rivaled Linda Blair in the Exorcist.

There we were at 2 a.m., cleaning our carpet, cleaning Jack, and cleaning our bed.  Jack later fell asleep.  Mommy and Daddy did not. I think we were too freaked out.

Later today, Jack took a nap and is now feeling better.  You’d think that was the end of that, right?  NOPE.

I picked Will up from school, made him a turkey sandwich, and unloaded the dishwasher while he ate.  Suddenly (without any warning) Will said, “Mommy, I feel sick!”  Of course, only two seconds elapsed before Will had vomited all over the kitchen table, the cabinets…and me.  That makes twice within 24 hours that I was covered in vomit.

It was official.  The stomach virus that I just knew my kids had escaped had made it’s way to my house.  Seven out of sixteen children had been absent from Will’s prekindergarten class on Friday.  I thought we had missed the bug.  Well, no such luck.  This is when I decided that I desparately need a HazMat suit.

I could not be any more serious.  I really, really, really need a government issued HazMat suit!

As a stay-at-home mom to three little boys, I am solely responsible for “sick days.”  As part of the “deal” that my husband and I worked out when I decided to leave the workplace, I was to take care of my children if they could not go to school.  This arrangement was to free up my husband to keep his career going.  Plus, I wanted to be with my children when they got sick.  I never liked the idea of leaving them with someone else when they needed me.  I actually want to care for them, rub their backs, make soup, etc.  I don’t like to be away from them when they look so puny.  Most Mamas feel like this way.  I’m sure of it.

However, wouldn’t it be nice to just put on one of those big, hulking, HazMat suits…pour bleach on the floor… and clean the illnesses away?  You may think I’m obsessive compulsive, but I’m not.  I just know that when you’ve got a virus running rampant, you’ve got to clean…and you’ve got to do it well.  If not, everyone suffers.

I also want one of those suits, because  I really can’t afford to get sick myself.  Who takes care of Mommy when she gets the stomach bug?  Well, there’s no such thing as doctors who make house calls around here, sister.  I’m on my own.  I’ve got to stay healthy.  Therefore, I’m in search of one of these suits, but where to find one?  What would the neighbors say?  Could I go to the grocery store in one of those things?  Could I wear cute shoes with it or would I need to wear matching HazMat boots?

…and I just wonder…would a HazMat suit make me look fat?  hmmmmm.

Mommy prepares to clean up projectile vomit...

Mommy prepares to clean up projectile vomit...

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