The abundant joy one experiences in motherhood is immeasurable. It is a privilege and a gift to love all aspects and qualities of your wonderful, remarkable child.
But vomiting is not one of them.
This past week, the stomach bug hit the school my children attend. Cooties rained down on the heads of elementary school students, creating a storm of nausea in homes across our town only remedied by barfing.
Two of my three offspring fell victim to this virus. My oldest, Chase, escaped infection, mainly because I made him gargle with Purell hand sanitizer. We also locked him in a padded room for three days, which seemed to help our cause.
(Oh, I kid. He totally locked himself in his room in a voluntary manner. Halloween candy, ESPN center and thoughts of spending the $25 he won for the middle school costume contest kept him occupied until sounds of the puking ceased.)
I have been a parent now for twelve years and feel confident in saying that out of all of the viruses that have struck our home, this one was straight from the devil. Evidence supported by the manner in which my son, Chandler’s head spun around twice when trying to rid his nine year old body of the evil bug.
Chandler is a laid back, tenderhearted child who exudes kindness. He is mild mannered and obedient and loving to all. But somehow, the stomach bug transformed our easygoing child into a blonde-headed version of Damien.
Beginning at two o’clock in the morning, Chandler vomited every forty-five minutes, yelling, spitting and hissing incoherently as I held his head over a bucket with one hand and a crucifix with the other. This continued through the night until the sickness slowed enough so that we could exorcise him with large doses of Pepto Bismol.
Within twelve hours, Chandler was back to normal, a picture of health and sweetness that made me forget the evilness that had infiltrated his body. Particularly comforting was that after scanning his entire person, a birthmark of three numbers could not be found.
But we’re making him gargle Holy Water, just in case.