Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pulitzer Material... maybe not.

I wrote and re-wrote this posting several times Monday night as I was on my hands and knees on the bathroom floor, and it would have been a prize winner if I could remember all that was racing through my head. As it turns out, our sweet Erin has shared whatever gastric ailment she had with her brother, Isaac.

After we were all tucked in and sleeping soundly, Isaac bolted from his bed for the bathroom. When I found him he was standing- yes, standing- over the toilet emptying himself of the little bit of dinner he'd consumed. (when did his legs get so long?) As I rushed to hold him and give what Motherly comfort I could, I slipped- bad sign. My tired brain struggled to grasp the meaning of the wet floor as I waded in to get to him. Meanwhile Kate, who had heard him first, was running downstairs to get him a cup of water with which to rinse his mouth.

After he finished I steered him to my own bathroom to get him into the shower. He's quick, but wasn't quite quick enough to avoid soiling his jammies. As he began showering I went back to the scene of the accident to clean up. The smell hit me like a wall as I re-entered the bathroom. Kate very helpfully stood way out in the hallway telling me emphatically to get the air freshener from the bathroom closet- further into the stench. I wadded paper towels over my face and plunged onward, splashing and slipping as I went.

Air freshener sprayed, I grabbed the bottle of concentrated Pine Sol and started flinging it all over the floor, toilet and walls, (walls?!?) As I've already said, I was still in a fog of sleep, aggravated by the adrenaline now surging through my body. Paper towels in hand I rolled up my pajama bottoms above my knees and got down to some serious mopping. As I worked my way through the slurry I started to wonder why in the world it was also all over the walls. Once I had arrived at the toilet and began the cleaning there I saw what happened. He had made it into the bathroom, but not in time to open the lid. Poor baby.

As an infant sleeping in my arms I knew that I would climb mountains and slay giants for this precious child. What I have learned with each of my five darling babies is that I will rarely, if ever, be required to enter burning buildings, lift cars, or dive into swirling waters to rescue my children. More often the heroism required of a mother is accomplished in the smelly, revolting, yet mundane tasks in the course of ordinary days and nights. Mopping up a vomit-coated bathroom in the middle of the night, literally up to one's knees, then cradling the sick child while knowing that I could catch whatever he has, is how I slay giants in our home.

Two days later he is still rather green around the gills and content to stay wrapped in a blanket on the couch. Erin will return to school tomorrow- and begin Track practice- but he may need another day to be completely recovered. Poor baby.


avalarue said...

Oh, Mommy, how well I remember those days! When Murphy graduated to a "big boy bed", I had two twin beds on either side of his room. One night (why is it always at night???) I remember heeding his cry, finding poop all over him and his bed, cleaning him up and stripping the sheets, then placing him into the "clean" bed... only to be awakened about an hour later with poop all over the "clean" bed! He must have spent the rest of the night on the bathroom floor!

I can't imagine how often a mother of five has to rescue her sickie children. That counts for burning buildings at least! Love you all!

Anonymous said...

Barbaranne - I love this - what a great picture of what a mom will do for her child!! Now how can I best get this posted to the MOPS yahoo group? A link to your blog or can I copy and paste the whole thing right into an email?

By the way - I never made it over here when you first started your blog - just got the address again from Karen W. Sounds like things are going so well for the family (just hope they get over this sickness soon!)

Kent and I just returned from Honolulu - I was wondering if Nathaniel was still there. Do you get to go and visit? I highly recommend it!!

Brenda L. from FPC

Barbaranne said...


Yes Nathaniel is still on Oahu, after 18 months in the Iraqi dessert it is a terrific place for him to be. If we'd known you were going he'd have loved to say hi. You know he ran into the Rays at Pearl Harbor entirely by accident!

Thanks for the kind response to the blog. Feel free to link to the post. I was thinking about MOPS the other day. Everybody must be growing so fast!

Anonymous said...

I loved this post! Oh the joys of motherhood....Robbie just got over his GI bug last week, so for me, the memories are recent as well. I had a great laugh with this one!

Kate Kelly said...

Oh mom... I just read your comment on facebook with the link to this post... I couldn't stop laughing the whole way through... Oh the memories...
I Love You and I Miss You... barfing is just not the same with out mommy there to hold your hair back...