I've had lots of excuses for missing it: either I was hugely pregnant, or I had a baby who screamed whenever I put him down for 6 months, or there was a scheduling conflict on Mondays.
Now I'm no longer pregnant (although my 5-year-old regularly eyes my stomach and asks if there's still a baby in there,) the baby is a happy tasmanian devil of a 10-month old who wants nothing more than to crawl around destroying things, and our schedule has freed up on Mondays.
Out of excuses, to Zumba we went.
It was fairly typical starting out. We got there late and then the baby dumped someone's water bottle all over himself during the first song. Then another kid came over and started stomping in the puddle like it was an audition for Singin' in the Rain.
(This little vignette should just about tell you what it looks like when a bunch of Mormon ladies decide to start a free bring-your-kids-and-they-can-play-in-the-back-of-the-gym Zumba class. There's a reason real gyms have child care.)
After about 20 minutes, I started to feel not quite right. Sort of hot and cold, like before you pass out. I got some water, thinking, "Wow, I must be more out of shape than I thought!"
Then my stomach started feeling weird. I sat fanning myself on a chair in the lobby for a few minutes, had two people ask me if I was pregnant, and then ended up collecting the kids and leaving.
I wasn't sure what was wrong with me, but working out any more was not happening.
Even though I was increasingly feeling like garbage, we had to stop by CVS for formula on the way home, and by the time we were out of there I was convinced I was dying.
(Coincidentally, I was also having a problem with my vision in one eye, and the two occurring together made me wonder if I was having a stroke or a brain aneurysm or something.)
I made it home, staggered through the door, and a blinking light on the answering machine told me I had a message: my son had thrown up at school.
At least it wasn't a brain aneurysm.
The school had been unable to get a hold of me, so they called my sweet friend and emergency contact Jessica to pick him up. He threw up again in her car and then she brought him and the plague back to her house.
I drove over to her house and got him, but we weren't out of the driveway yet before he threw up again. I made a mental note to come back later with 40 gallons of Purell so Jessica could take a bath in it.
The next 12 hours were kind of a blur. I collapsed into bed and hardly got up except to clean up vomit or put people down for naps. I'm not even sure what the younger kids ate for lunch. The 5-year-old handed out something edible from the cupboards, I think.
The well kids were sick-shaming the others, yelling "Mom! Mom! She's trying to sit by me!" because they were afraid of being vomited on.
But it was no use: we were dropping like flies. Every two hours, a new person in the house started retching, and my unanswered texts to my husband became more and more desperate.
Phillip came home to Armageddon, if Armageddon is going to be me in my pajamas with dead eyes cleaning vomit off the couch while someone else is yelling upstairs that the 5-year-old is puking on the iPad.
Had I been Phillip, I might have been sorely tempted to turn around and walk right back out again, but he owed me for the last 6 hours when I was dealing with this alone.
He took charge, making dinner ("How about pancakes? They're pH-neutral!") and putting everybody to bed.
We did copious amounts of laundry. We single-handedly sent the CEO of Bounty's kids to college. We had trouble finding enough bowls to put beside everyone's bed in an emergency.
|Running dangerously low on paper towels...|
By Tuesday morning, the figurative smoke had cleared. The stomach bug had run its course. In all, six of us had been violently ill. Somehow Phillip and my oldest daughter had the good fortune to make it through unscathed.
The kids all stayed home from school (even the not-sick daughter, just in case) and Phillip stayed home from work (quarantining himself in the basement, just in case.) Our to-do list went out the window.
I laid on the couch in the middle of the disaster that was once our living room, cuddling various children who came to me throughout the day. Board games were played. Naps were taken. We stayed in our pajamas for most of the day, living life at a slower pace than I remember ever doing before.
We should do this again sometime when we're not dry heaving.
Edited to add: It's Wednesday. I was about 20 minutes away from hitting 'publish' on this post when my oldest daughter got off the school bus and vomited. So much for good fortune.