I was going to title this "For Love of Puke," but suddenly decided that just wasn't quite right. Although I still thinks it's quite an attention getter! My poor daughter picked up the Puke Bug from one of her sweet cousins when we babysat them last Thursday. She is such a big helper, and both girls adore her. Grandma Pearl always used to say "Count back three days from when you got sick, then you'll know where you got it from." We didn't go anywhere that day, and the littlest one was sick exactly a week before. I'm getting slightly off subject, but puke reminds me of so many things. I know it sounds disgusting, but bear with me.
One of the things Ellie's getting sick reminded me of is that young children are carriers for longer than adults. If I remember right, when Ellie was about a year old, she got the Puke Bug from her little friend. Her friend's mom had clorox bleached everything before we came over, and we waited a week after she was sick. Sadly, I read shortly after the incident that little ones can carry the bug to others for up to TEN days after they're sick! I remember my poor baby girl truly sick for the very first time. She would not let go of me. She would cling to me and throw up all over my shirt. I finally gave up and covered the front of myself with towels, so I could just change them when she threw up. That little friend "blessed" Ellie with all of her first illnesses.
Puke brings me back to my title "Real Love". When I was a kid in school, I couldn't stand to be around puke, or someone vomiting. I would always feel that I had to cover my nose and get away from the smell, or I would be throwing up next. I also remember when I did get sick at home, how my mother would hold my hair back as I leaned over the toilet. I can't even put into words how comforting Momma holding my hair back was. I felt truly loved and cared for. That was all she could really do for me, but that was more than enough.
Another incidence of vomiting made me realize how much I loved my now husband and know that we could survive anything together. The time was about a year and a half before we got married. We were traveling across the state to attend the wedding of one of his college friends. The friend and his wife would become our friends, but at this point they were more his friends. Anyway, we stopped on the way to get a snack in a drive through, fried mushrooms, mmm...uck! We should have realized the moment we bit into them that something was wrong. They were hot on the outside and cold on the inside. We ate them anyway. On the way back home, we stopped for ice cream cones. Maybe an hour later, or less, I threw up all over my winter coat. I tossed my cookies on the side of the road, then had to hit a restroom on the way. We made it back to his college apartment (he shared it with his sister and her friends), which was half way home. He took my coat to the laundrymat, while I had everything in me coming out both ends. Yes, you guessed it, food poisoning.
Thomas is bigger than me, so my theory is that's why he took longer to get sick. That night, or early the next morning, the food poisoning hit him, too. Luckily one of this roommates was at the apartment. We sent her to the store for saltine crackers, chicken broth, and, I think, gatorade. I was not stuck in the bathroom non-stop by the time the poisoining hit him. So, we each took turns cleaning up each other's puke. I knew I must really love him, because I had never been able to clean up someone else's vomit before.
Which brings us back to my poor baby girl (no, she's not a baby anymore, she's eight, but she'll always be my baby), who is waiting upstairs for me to read to her. She was sick from 5 a.m. Sunday morning till nearly 5 p.m. Sunday evening. I felt bad because her hair is short and I just put barrettes in the front to hold her hair back for her. I rubbed her back, brought her water, wash rags, etc. when she asked for them. We have a method of filling the bedroom trash cans with layers of trash bags (aka Wal-Mart type bags) so that you don't have to run for the bathroom (my kids never make it!), and the puke can be easily removed and the trash can ready for the next time. Anyway, Ellie has been fine until this morning at 4 a.m. and 5 a.m.. She didn't have barrettes in anymore, and I managed to hold the front of her short hair back for her. I hope I gave her as much comfort as my Mommy used to give me.