Flashback: one week ago. Crispi has appeared for her final visit before she and my stepdad drive their magical rolling house away. The kids are excited. The next day – Friday- Stella and I were set to join the first grade class of her school for an epic field trip to New Orleans to see both the aquarium AND the children’s museum. Ambitious, no? Late that Thursday night, Stella puked.
Y’all, I didn’t think anything was wrong. This has happened before. Because of her medication, Stella often doesn’t eat a thing for lunch. By dinner time she’s starving. She can eat an amazing amount of food. Once or twice she’s overdone it. That particular night, she had eaten almost an entire packet of quinoa and brown rice – a packet designed to serve 4 people. Oh, and there were salmon and green beans, too. I would have likely puked as well.
The next morning, she seemed great. She was excited and energetic. We set off for her school. She spit (maybe threw up a little?) in the grassy area next to my car. I thought it was strange and asked her how she felt. She said she was fine and practically yanked me into the school. I took her at her word.
We made it to the aquarium just fine, and for the first hour or so she had a ball. She paired up with a little friend, and the two girls charged around the place like little hummingbirds. They were everywhere all at once. Then you could see it. It was like a veil came down over Stella’s eyes. She felt sick. I yanked her into one of the restrooms, but it was one of the ones that has the autoflush commodes. Try being a six-year-old, not feeling well, with some lingering sensory issues, trying to puke in a commode with auto flush. It was fucking awful. We spent the rest of the aquarium trip on a bench. She did concede that buying her a toy in the gift shop might make her feel better, and a very nice lady help me score the last dose of Pepto-Bismol for sale in the joint. Stella chewed the pink tablets and then threw them up about 15 minutes later. The children’s museum was no better. We found a corner which served as a reading nook, and she curled up on the floor pillows. That’s where we stayed until it was time to leave.
For what it was worth, we weren’t the only ones. About four other kids became ill as well. It was definitely a virus. Bad news. Stella spent the whole weekend as well as Monday and Tuesday down for the count. It sucked as there were tons of festivals and such we could have done with Crispi. Instead, the couch was the main event. Hopes were dashed further on Monday morning when the Dude started to throw up. Fortunately – I guess – Will had taken Monday and Tuesday off because we were due to go to New Orleans to see Radiohead. Rather than enjoying a couple of days of relaxation or utilizing the time for home-improvement projects, he got to take care of two sick kids. It was just his turn.
Ah, Radiohead. Seeing them in concert has been on my bucket list forever. I’ve always wanted to see them. Honestly, I haven’t been to a single concert since I saw The Cure in 1998. I used to live at concerts. This one was a very different experience. Not only was I was somewhat wracked with guilt for abandoning my sick kids with my mother-in-law, I guess I’m just also that much older. I had no patience for the opening act or the four kids in front of us sneaking a joint. I forgot how bad that shit stinks. I also found myself sitting with my purse clasped on my lap. I felt like Sophia from the Golden Girls. But despite all of that, as well as our nosebleed seats, I am so grateful I got the chance to go and finally see them live. They were absolutely amazing. If they ever come anywhere close to me again, I will definitely go back. And I’ll make sure I get seats that don’t require a Sherpa to find.
The rest of this week has been a blur of work and sick kids. Hell, I even missed a Daisy Scout meeting. I never miss those. And just like last week, the timing couldn’t be worse. This weekend we have a birthday party on the docket as well as several other Easter activities. Honestly, I don’t know how many -if any – we will make. I wouldn’t wish this virus on my worst enemy.
Stella seems completely back to normal, I guess. Her attitude and sass are coming back, if not her appetite. That was one thing that was more startling than anything else: how quiet my house was when my children weren’t feeling well. There was none of this nonsense going on:
Y’all stay healthy.