Has anyone ever really thought about exactly how hard it is to hold a three-year-old over the toilet for the fifth time, while he’s thrashing about because he’s mad at his stomach for puking again? It’s like fighting with a fire hose. Envision the addition of rag doll syndrome because he’s awake at 3 in the morning and isn’t functioning on any cognitive level, and really, it just gets messy. At some point during this fifth endeavor, I gave up. He was flopping around so ridiculously that it was getting all over the floor anyway, so why bother? Previously in the evening I settled Biggest down in the bathroom (after 3 separate bedding problems, and finally realizing that this wasn’t just a random occurrence, and was a stomach bug instead), and prepared myself to sleep in the hallway. Thankfully, I’m used to sleeping on the floor so I did get a pretty good night’s sleep in spite of the goings-on. Poor Biggest ended up at the toilet every 2 hours, and when he finally stopped puking, he started pooping. I had Pull-Ups leftover from potty training, so three pairs of underwear in, I switched to those. It stopped about noon, but I suspect only because there was nothing left in his system to make an escape.
And now that I’ve given you every little detail of this terrible bug, we actually get to Project: Healthy House. I’m aware that children get ill easily, and kids give each other germs all the time. However, I have come to appreciate how much my mother cleaned the weird things (like walls and windowsills), because that’s exactly what I’m in the middle of. At first I thought maybe it was a bout of something like Rotovirus, but unfortunately that got my head a-whirling, because I managed to work out how it goes from fecal matter to mouth. I did a little mental shiver, paused before the Lysol wipes, and decided that a thorough cleaning of every possible surface of my house with a basic all-purpose cleaner would do. I briefly considered spraying everything with rubbing alcohol, but was able to recognize that I was overreacting.
So. I have spent the last two days doing exactly that. I have washed two tubs full of toys, wiped down walls and door knobs, cleaned Biggest’s train table, aired out all the blankets, and went over every inch of my bathroom with as much soap as it could handle. Oh, and I put all of Biggest’s critters through the wash. Next up is the board books, and at some point I will settle down and just do my usual vacuuming. And I probably should tackle the laundry pile, as it got waaaaaaaay bigger over the weekend.
It also occurred to me that a better hygiene routine is in order. Don’t get me wrong, we all wash our hands, but a couple of things I haven’t overly enforced, and now would be the time to put it in place. Before you get grossed out, I’m going along the lines of brushing teeth twice a day, and cleaning up after lunch. Sadly, with exhaustion and two little boys getting into everything, brushing teeth more than once a day hasn’t really been on my priority list, and neither has brushing hair (it’s so short!). Anyway, we’re already in the middle of working out supper time, so this will work nicely. I’m also going to be picking one bucket of toys a week to give a light wash, which will satisfy my compulsive need to de-germ something.
I’m sincerely hoping that the extra clean and better routine will help us stay healthier. I don’t remember being sick much as a kid, but I do recall a lot of scrubbing on my mom’s part, so it’s likely that I have her random cleanings to thank. I guess I’ve reached the point where I’m passing it on. At least, though it may seem over the top, I am not using anti-bacterial. That counts for something right?
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m taking a moment to enjoy the silence that two children napping has brought. Too bad it’s because they’re sick. Maybe I’ll celebrate the silence anyway.