I wasn’t married. It must have been October 2004. Something in the air stirred, and I got the stomach flu. I think, of all the many reasons, the one reason that sticks out most on why I don’t drink (much) would be the occasional puke factor. I hate puke. Hate it. I mean, seriously, no one loves it, but I mean I H.A.T.E. I.T.

October 2004, I was single, living with a Saint of a Roommate because she, without complaining, cleaned up my projectile vomit when I got sick for a few days before Thanksgiving. It turned into the Thanksgiving Conversation, as most attendees, who travel in very different circles, got The Bug.

Fast forward to parenthood, and with small child you get spit up. It’s suddenly not called vomit or puke anymore. Now it’s spit-up. Why? Because it’s not really puke, is the answer I routinely received. It’s just a little spit-up. Okay, great definition, but as a parent, I now understand.

Levi got through years 1, 2, and 3 (we’re into the 4th) without a drop of puke. I hoped, vainly, that I could get by parenthood without vomit.

Well, this past Friday (not today, a week ago), my hopes were dashed. At 7:30pm to be precise.

Olivia was waiting for our produce order, and our kiddos were gaily playing together, as they often do. Levi had refused, several times, to eat his dinner, and I didn’t worry about it. Our kindly neighbor brought over delicious banana bread, and Levi refused that too! So, that last bit was a little strange, but not uncommon, so I thought nothing of it.

Thirty minutes later, on the kitchen floor erupts the contents (mostly juice) of Levi’s tummy. For the next four hours, we basked in puking every 30 minutes. Saturday started normal, but after Levi’s haircut, it started again. Good parents Peter & Michelle insist on doing the bank errands so Peter can get his new Toolbox Sunday. Levi survived, we created a system. Every half hour, mostly clockwork, and after he woke up from a brief snooze. Puking usually followed a desperate, “Mommy!” Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday faired better, but each day involved at least one round of puke from our little 3 year old. The kiddo learned the pattern quick. He cried, “Mommy!” and Mommy ran, scooped him up and took him to the bathroom. Remember, I hate puke. I am so tired of cleaning it up off the floor, and that poor kiddo didn’t want to run. All I could hear were echoes of my mothers voice, “In the bowl or in the toilet!”

Day cares don’t like sick kids. They have rules. I’m unclear as to how strict the rule is or if its an Oregon State Law. But the rule is 24 hours free and clear before they can return to school. This was bitter-sweet as Levi loves his school. Every morning he wanted to go, but the quick math wouldn’t allow it.

That meant Peter got to stay home with Sick Boy. That meant the whole house got sick by Tuesday.

I think we are on the mend now.

Stomach Flu go away, you’re not welcome anymore!

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