When I unzipped Rylan from his sleep sack on Friday morning he greeted me with his usual smile. His smile hid the fact that he wasn’t himself and that our very busy work days, and weekend, were about to be steam rolled. I’ll spare you the details but within a few minutes it was clear we had our first real sickness, a stomach virus, on our hands.
So. Much. Laundry.
Fast forward to right now. It is Sunday around 5 p.m. and I am taking a break from catching up on work. The house is silent. Mike is curled up in the fetal position on the couch because the same bug hit him hard this morning. Rylan is taking a much-needed nap. A nap that required I rock him to sleep and gently transfer him to the crib. Something he has needed maybe only once or twice in the early days.
The silver living is that I think we’re finally turning the messy corner. Milk is staying down and he is pushing away the Pedialyte because he wants milk instead. We are seeing big gummy grins and hearing his laughs again. Those energetic squeals have never sounded so amazing.
I’ve learned a lot since about 7:05 a.m. on Friday and while the experience is still raw, I needed to share my thoughts…
- I’m sorry. I am sorry to all my mom friends and co-workers who I didn’t show true sympathy for when their kiddos were sick. I am sorry for not offering to do more, whether that should have been taking on a client assignment or dropping food (or booze) at your doorstep. I am sorry for not being more understanding. I get it now. Even if and when your little one went down for a nap, there is so much to do in a sick house. Laundry, bottles, more laundry – perhaps a 10 minute nap for yourself. Next time, I promise to be a better friend and coworker to you.
- Laugh. There have been a few tears this weekend but those were mostly out of worry for Rylan. The “situations” that I thought would have had me in tears made me laugh. I mean, how can you not? Laugh, grab some Clorox, and laugh some more.
- Call the doctor. Call three times with differing versions of the same question if you want to. Demand to be seen, especially if you are dealing with a new situation on a Friday and want to avoid weekend urgent care. I am so glad we got in Friday afternoon, because not all of our instincts of how to help Rylan were right. As a new parent, you don’t have the answers and the Internet is way too scary to depend on when you Google things like, “4.5 month old can’t stop throwing up.” DO. NOT. GOOGLE.
- Pedialyte. Have it on hand. Not just one bottle, but two or three.
- Patience. Harness all you have and then dig deep to find a whole lot more. Plans got canceled. The house is a disaster. Our normally independent little boy had spans of time where he could not be put down. Have to go to the bathroom? Too bad. But when our hard-fought patience got the cries to stop or a bottle to stay down, nothing felt better. We did something right amidst a crap load of uncertainty. Go us!
I won’t consider our house healed until I know for certain that I miraculously escaped the bug — this time. Perhaps my daily routine of probiotics, Emergen-C and Thieves essential oils made a difference? Only time will tell.
This is the first of countless bugs and curveballs Rylan will throw our way. I get it and am so grateful to have Mike, our families and a slew of friends around us to be there through the messy and scary moments. I appreciate each and every one of you.
Wishing everyone HEALTHY holidays!