Pukes of hazard: A cautionary tale of two toddlers and a 24 hour vomiting bug

Parenting and life

A month has passed since this happened.

It has taken me about that long to see the funny side, and to catch up on the missed sleep (that’s a joke, that won’t happen).

Let me tell you a tale. It’s probably best if you’re not eating for this one.

It was a Sunday evening; night six of the big boy bed.

Rather unusually, both Whingelets had been asleep since just past seven and we hadn’t heard a peep out of either of them. After celebrating this fact with the remnants of the previous night’s anniversary prosecco and a bit of TV we were heading to bed for a much needed early night. Weekends take it out of you somewhat.

I was in the bedroom changing into my rather fetching dinosaur pyjamas when I heard a noise.

Upon pausing to listen I realised it was the sound of retching, and it was coming not from my husband in the bathroom, but from the baby monitor. I ran (quite uncharacteristically: I do not run) into the kids’ bedroom and scooped up the big one (no mean feat; she’s in the top bunk) who promptly vomited the contents of her stomach all over her bed, the floor, and of course me.

Big, chunky, smelly, sick with bits of carrot in it, even though she hadn’t eaten carrots.

Covered in toddler puke, I carried her (still spewing) into our bedroom and laid her on a towel whilst my husband whipped the sheets off (using a dustpan and brush to sweep up the larger chunks. Yep, that happened).

It became clear it wasn’t actually the entire contents, because she continued to be sick half hourly until midnight and hourly thereafter.

Her little brother, woken by the commotion, started to cry.

A lot. More so than normal, even. We suspected we knew what was to come and we were not to be disappointed; at 1am we were treated to round two of the vomit express.

The big one is now big enough to be sick into a bucket, bin or other receptacle. The small one doesn’t yet understand the process, and although he’s getting quite good at listening to instructions (and then giggling as he runs away and completely ignores them) this is a bit complex for him.

Previous experience tells me that only thing you can do in this scenario is strip off and stand in the shower while he vomits all over you.

So that is what I did.

Seriously, someone need to tell you about this shit when you are thinking of having kids.

Now, this isn’t our first foray into child vomit as you well know, however it is the first time that we’ve had two children sick on the same day, at the same time.

It was not an experience I’d recommend.

Dealing with a double whammy of sad, sick children is a bit of a military operation. I doff my hat to single parents (and those that might as well be), I have no idea how you do it.

The best tactic when there is an equal adult to children ratio; divide and conquer.

We took one child each and attempted to snatch small amounts of sleep in between each round of puking as and when said pukey child allowed, i.e. were not busying themselves with kicking us repeatedly in the head. Co-“sleeping” with my two is so overrated.

I’ve said it before, having sick kids is the pits.

Awful for them, awful for you.

They don’t understand that it’s temporary; you can’t communicate that to them, and it breaks your heart. Mine certainly don’t have the capacity to sit and stare silently at the TV (or, better still, nap) until it’s over, however you can’t really take them out anywhere or do anything particularly when it’s a mystery bug and you might just pass it around.

And it was a mystery. I can’t say what caused it, only that daddy had cooked them both dinner for the first time in months, and (praises be) we didn’t catch it.

I’m just kidding of course – you’d be hard pressed to get food poisoning from potato waffles and baked beans.

Anyway, they’re OK now.

As they always do, they bounced right back. We never got to the bottom of it, and we probably never will. And now the big one has started pre-school (how is she this old already? I do hope she learns to share) I imagine this is exactly the kind of fun we’ll be having on a fairly regular basis.

Looking forward to it already.

Big one first day of preschool

First day of preschool, aka the germ party


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