It was Mike’s birthday weekend. We had hoped to do dinner and a movie. We had a sitter on reserve and everything. But then Snowmageddon 2017 hit the greater Atlanta area with a hearty warning from the forecasters and a half-hearted hiccup from the ensuing cold front. The result? A foamy upchuck of about an inch-and-a-half of the white stuff — and about a half-a-week of impassable back roads. Facebook became littered with pictures of empty bread aisles and sparse milk coolers, families “sledding” on laundry baskets and garbage can lids (not many folks in these parts have ever purchased an actual sled. The cost/benefit ratio just doesn’t pan out.), and Frosty and Olaf look-alikes flecked with mud and dried bermuda grass (an inch-and-a-half doesn’t really contribute to porcelain-skinned snowpeople).
None of the afore-mentioned photos could be found on our family’s Facebook pages. Instead, we were bundled up beneath blankets and bathrobes battling stomach bugs times two. (Because twins always make sure they double the pleasure and double the fun.)
There was no half-hearted hiccup involved in OUR upchuck. Nope. We had literal, bonafide, bile-filled, food-splattered, smelly stuff. As a result, our milk stayed on its shelf. And our bread – well, we did toast an insane amount of bread, which sadly, quite often sat neglected and slowly hardening on the boys’ Minion and ladybug plates. As far as snowmen, we’ve watched a lot of Frozen. Apparently, Elsa and Ana have a soothing effect on wayward tummies. The boys lay in listless lumps on our laps while Kristin Bell sang “Do You Want to Build A Snowman?” over and over and over, their eyes glazed and their foreheads hot, their appetites absent and their bellies cramped.
They looked wretched. So wretched, that at one point I called big sister the surgeon and Mike called his student’s mom the nurse practitioner. We were worried that the listlessness was bordering on lethargy – with Tate, in particular. He hadn’t said a word all day long. He wouldn’t sit up and he wouldn’t eat. Nor would he leave my side. I had to nap with him three times yesterday just to help him rest more comfortably — and so I could quickly supply the puke bucket in the event of an emergency. Finally, ‘round about three o’clock he strung a sentence together — a forceful “Mommy sleeps with Me” — and my fears subsided. But then new ones quickly took their place. I feared I had created a monster: a pint-sized, possessive sleep dictator with Mommyitis.
I’ve always heard it takes twenty-one days for an action to become a habit, but my youngest cleared that up for me post-haste. Turns out a toddler can develop a habit in a scant twenty-four-hours. Last night, he demanded, “Mommy sleep with ME” and “Daddy sleep with Parker.”
Thus sayeth the toddler.
And because his eyes were purple, sunken orbs of pitifulness, I acquiesced. Probably a big mistake. Huge. I have a feeling that breaking him of this habit is going to be about as easy as finding milk and bread in the South in a snow st…er, hiccup (or a substitute teacher in Bartow County on a sick day – but more on that in a moment).
So today is Day Three of our Snowmageddon and our Flumageddon. It’s Monday. Thankfully, school was cancelled, so no endless hours of sub shopping for me. As the snow and ice slowly melt, the boys slowly improve. They’re still sitting sedentary on our sofas, but they are actively surfing YouTube Kids on their iPads, searching for such riveting toddler favorites as Pez dispensers being dispensed and elevator rides being ridden. Dad is manning the pink plastic puke bucket, and I am penning my blog amidst toast runs and ginger ale refills. Periodically, the unmistakable sounds of poo percolating in a diaper interrupt the Frozen soundtrack. Yes, the vomiting has subsided, but the diapers are still piling up in drifts of unbearable stench. Hopefully the roads will thaw and the trash will run tomorrow – and the boys’ bowels will NOT.
Yes, the streets and the boys are improving, but we’re not out of the woods yet. Because in the South, snow days are about as unpredictable as a bout of the stomach flu. Things can look like they’ve improved on the surface. The sun is out. The coast is clear. You’re cruising along nicely. Then, out of nowhere, those dark, twisty places rear their ugly underbelly and suddenly you’re careening out of control in a slippery riptide of hidden wretchedness.
But I’m confident we’re at the tail end of both… no pun intended.
PS… In between the boys’ bouts of intestinal distress, I did manage to bake up Mike’s favorite birthday cake — carrot. We had a twenty-minute window to celebrate before we were once again swabbing floors and bottoms. Happy Birthday, my handsome husband. I wouldn’t want to do life or twindom — and all of the ensuing madcap mayhem and unbridled awesomeness — without you. ILY