Feb 20, 2006

Degrees of Sickness

2/20/2006 — cori

I have three degrees of sickness in this house. Surprisingly, I also have three children. One could deduct that each child represents a unique and amazingly different degree of sickness. Let's begin with the first degree. I like to refer to this one as ‘ Pretend Your Not Sick And Then Throw Up All Over Everything & Everyone’ level.

The subject who fits this category is none other than our very own Bennett. The only warning one receives from this degree of sickness is a nonchalant “Mommy, my tummy kinda hurts.” When a statement like that is voiced out of the mouth of a hypochondriac, it is not given much weight. Bennett gives the same intensity of emotional outcry to a paper cut as he does a broken arm. It’s hard to judge his level of sickness merely from his reaction to it.

Yet, I have noticed a pattern. It has taken me four years, but I believe I have finally hacked into his mainframe and figured out his triggers. He typically gets sick (meaning throw-up) out of the blue. It appears that between 4 -6 hours after uttering the words, “my tummy hurts”, there is invariably a puking episode of some sorts.

He prefers to throw-up all over his pillow and himself. He lays in it until jarred awake. He NEVER makes it to the bathroom. He NEVER cries out. He prefers to take matters into his own hands. This involves going into the bathroom and standing there. After hearing a pitter-patter upstairs at 2 in the morning, we (Chuck) is stirred enough to sleepwalk upstairs and is greeted with the most pleasant aroma. He then spends the next hour cleaning puke from everything and everywhere while I tend to the child (trying all the while to keep my own stomach in check).

The second degree of sickness we have witnessed is the ‘Yell Out And Act Like You Are Dying & Ask For Permission To Leave Your Bed First’ variety. Ever since Gavin was an infant this has been his method of choice. He used to lay in bed and scream for us at the top of his lungs until we came running in there assured that a monster had him in his grip. He would then inform us with utmost panic that he was about to throw up. All the effort and strain he spent yelling for us evidently triggered the ‘throw-up right where you are’ mechanism in his body and we would then be witnesses to the phenomenon. But it wasn’t over after the first bout. He would then feabily stand and try to walk to the bathroom only to have another puking attack in a prominent place in the hallway. He ALWAYS leaves us a trophy on the carpet. Each stain reminds us of a previous bout of illness and leaves us with many stories to reminisce over. Again, this degree of sickness has one prominent feature to it: NEVER make it to the bathroom.

The last and final variety I have had the privilege of observing is the ‘Do Not Under Any Circumstances Let The Puke Leave Your Mouth’ degree. This is the most peculiar to me. My youngest and only girl, Chloe, has chosen this method. When her tiny body begins the convulsions associated with a ‘watch out I’m fixin to puke’ warning, she squeezes her mouth shut as tight as she can. A monkey wrench wouldn’t be able to pry her mouth open. When the episode has passed, she calmly swallows whatever was in her mouth and continues on with her zombie like state. She remains this way until the ‘bug’ has left her system. Then all is well in the world once more.

These entires might come in handy for future spouses. Remember, marriage is “for better or worse, in sickness and in health”. If you are considering marrying one of my children, read this first…you will need to know what you’re getting into. Don’t say I never warned you.

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