*What goes down, must come up*

I’m thinking of renaming the house Just Vomit.

Lori has had a sickness bug for the third time in six weeks.

Being a generous child, she thoughtfully shared her germs with Akasha, and the two of them went into competition mode yesterday evening to see who could fill a bowl most often with bodily fluids, between the hours of 11pm and 6.30am.

As an impartial judge, I really couldn’t call it.

I could smell it. I almost wore it. But when push came to shove, I had to admit to it being a tie.

Discontented at their lack of trophy, they spent the day threatening me with runny bottoms and lolling around on the sofa. The little one finally broke. I caught her attempting ballet moves and impersonating opera. I think it was the retention of the scrambled egg that did it. The older one did an impressive ‘swirling of the scrambled egg around the plate’ then asked to be excused.

I ambushed them with rehydration salts disguised as strawberry juice and just plain water. I defeated the headache, and the runny bottom only once got the better of me.

I’m not surprised by my success. After all, I’ve dealt with this very same issue three times in the last six weeks.

And that’s not including all the experience on my résumé.

Indeed, were I more of a novice, I could, perhaps, by now, be starting to panic about the likeliness of our household harbouring the norovirus.

But we’ve been there. Disinfected the t-shirt. Pushed back the nails with one of those wooden manicure sticks and let soap do its worst. We’ve boil washed the teddies and burned the mattresses – no, sorry, that was scabies. We’ve told the children not to kiss. Not to drink from the same bottle/cup/glass/decanter. Not to eat from the same fork. We’ve shaved heads – no, damn it, that was head lice. We’ve told them not to drink out of the toilet ever again – no, I’m confused, that was a dare (whose consequences could only be remedied with antibiotics).
We informed them: after attending the W.C. they should flush, spray the loo with disinfectant, scrub their hands enthusiastically with soap and a scouring pad, brush their teeth, dry their hands and face, throw away the towel, spray the flusher, spray the sink, spray the whole bathroom, open the window so they can once again breath, and just to be on the safe side, give themselves a full body rub down with that lovely I-kill-99.99999999%-of-germs blue liquid.

The symptoms settled and I thought finally, the neighbours will no longer threaten to report me for my new daily ritualistic bonfire. I can go back to using the barbecue to cook meat. And my pharmacist will stop asking me if I have an issue with disinfectant.

Then those geniuses decided to share a sandwich…

My ears rang to the tune, “But you never said, don’t share a sandwich…”

And my answer to that ladies and gents?



40 thoughts on “*What goes down, must come up*”

  1. What is up in your household, dearest Sarah? Your poor kids. Poor you! How’s the Hubs doing?
    Sending over fresh air, oranges, DVDs, tissues, fresh towels, my washing machine, hot tea, mints, and lots and lots of hugs. Shared hugs. To give you resistantimmuneschtuffs.
    Hang in there, it will pass once it’s spring!
    PS. Nothing like vodka in the morning. It disinfects like a charm 😉

    1. The hubs is getting there. It’s one of those bugs that gets attached to you. He still deserted us after two days at home though…

      I am so looking forward to spring and to your parcel. 😉

  2. Even though I heard this story yesterday, straight from the pack horse’s mouth, it is still hilarious. That’s easy to say from the other side of the Channel, of course 🙂 Maybe you should be feeding the vodka to the kids? They’ll still be sick, but they might as well enjoy it.

      1. Lol. Poor kiddies!

        I felt so sorry for you when I read this post. I hope the little ones get better and STAY BETTER soon! 😦 You could all do with a break.

      2. We definitely do need a break. The girls are fit again. Now my son is ill and I’m not feeling too good either. I think I’m psychologically damaged after seeing all that vomit.

  3. I’m sitting up in bed, Suffering from a virus picked up from my son, who got it from his 1yr old daughter, who brought it back from her first week at nursery. When I read this post I burst out laughing and spat tea all over my iPad! (Clearly So thanks for dragging me back from the brink – I love your style and sense of humour

    1. I’m really glad I brought you back from the brink!!

      Yes, those first nursery weeks are the worst – they don’t just bring home soggy gluings and exotic words.

  4. Hi Sarsm,

    I was just passing by and need to acknowledge your very innovative style of writing and the turn of phrases you use. I thoroughly enjoyed your narrative and hope to come back for more.



  5. Sarsm, I certainly hope everyone feels better soon. I hope the Vodka keeps your immune system in tact and fighting hard for you. Vomit is one of the worst smells there is, I think.

    1. It is one of the worst smells, you’re right. And I can still smell it. My son’s started up now.

      The good news is my husband still has a stuffed nose so he’s quite useful at the moment. 😉

  6. How hideous. I used to threaten my kids that if they vomited they’d have to clear it up themselves… I don’t think I actually ever made them do it in fact…

    Vodka is an excellent disinfectant.

    1. The good news is, they hadn’t bothered tidying their room, thus saving the carpet when the little one missed not only the bowl but also the bed. Instead the stinky mess landed on a pile of I-can-just-be-thrown-in-the-washing-machine dirty laundry. Phew!!

      I’m definitely going to take some parenting tips from your book. 😉

  7. You have had one rough, tough winter! You deserve an easy spring where you just get to glide. I am wishing one for you. Despite it all, your humor is intact. Better days ahead!

    1. I’m not sure if it’s my sense of humour – some might say I’ve gone completely mad.

      It’s not the worse winter we’ve had to date. But there’s still time! I am so looking forward to spring.

  8. Is it okay to say ‘better you than me?’ – no because that sounds horribly selfish and rude. But… while I am extremely sympathetic, I’m still glad it’s not my house. You poor, poor thing.

    Alcohol kills anything (vodka is my choice too) and if nothing else it will make you sleep and not care about the mess for at least a small section of time.

  9. I think you should rename your house “The Barfing Grounds.” I didn’t know you could catch the same stomach bug several times, so maybe there are mutations of the same bug. I suggest you get rid of everyone’s toothbrushes, same thing with a bad cold/upper respiratory infection. They are breeding ground for all kinds of germs you put back in your mouth twice a day.

    1. The norovirus is one you can catch over and over it’s a really evil virus. It’s quite common in large families. You may have heard of it, it’s the one you always hear of on cruise ships. We had almost 3 years ago and it took me THREE weeks to eradicate it. I think they picked it up and school and that played a part. I finally got rid of it at the beginning of the summer holidays.

      I used to regularly wash toothbrushes in the dishwasher, but now we have electric toothbrushes as advised by our dentist. (3 kids have permanent braces and the dentist says it’s easier for them to keep them clean, and I have a bad habit of brushing too hard supposedly, and am damaging my teeth/gums!!).

      I’ve changed the heads of the kids brushes though, just in case.

      I think Lori has been really unfortunate and had 3 different bugs, because each time the symptoms were very different. Poor soul.

      Rei still has his cold. I’m going to take your advice and change his toothbrush head too. Thanks!!

  10. Ah, nothing like a chuckle to get me going in the morning. I’m just sorry it was at your expense. I know exactly where you are coming from with the vomit stench. My lovely son gets migraines so bad that he vomits with them. About 4 years ago when he was waking up with them *every* week and couldn’t get to the toilet before he was sick. Fortunately, it was just a case of bundle everything up and put it in the washing machine. If he’s sick over anything now I make him clean it up – horrible mummy! On the plus side, he tries very hard to get to the toilet or a potty now 😛

    I hope it all gets better for you soon. Roll on spring.

    1. The stench is bad. I’m not good with it at all. I remember once when I was at school, aged around 6, we were sat on the carpet at school, listening to a story. The girl next to me got my attention, she wanted me to tell the teacher because she was being sick in her lap. I couldn’t tell the teacher anything as I was too busy imitating her!!

      I’m so happy we live in the days of washing machines!! Ours is huge and you can actually put a duvet in it, which is a massive bonus.

      I think it’s important that they try to get to the bowl/loo. No one wants to clean up sick. Our two in the middle are pretty good at making it on time, but the eldest and the youngest (age 5) don’t always! I think the problem with the eldest is she is rarely sick.

      I hope your sons migraines have improved.

  11. Himself and I have an agreement: … I do blood and he does guts.

    I could happily watch open heart surgery and am fine with blood, but one whiff or sound of someone barfing and my stomach follows suit. If I try and clean up I end up adding double, clearly the nursing profession was never even remotely on the cards for me.

    Himself can handle the blurking without batting an eyelid but isn’t crash hot on dealing with gushing bloody noses (Little Mr has them fire hose style and it scares the heck out of Himself.)
    Luckily for me our kids throw up very seldom and Himself works from home so is usually on hand to bring a bucket bedside…
    …the kids learned the hard way that coming to Mama if their stomachs are about to revolt is not actually in their best interests, as I quickly become more of a hindrance than a help.

    If they can’t get to a bowl of any sort in time I advise them to grab the nearest cotton clothes to hand… it’s easier to soak and wash than entire douvets. Otherwise, steer towards wooden floors or lino, (easier to clean than the carpet.)

    I hope you all get well VERY soon… we are just getting over the cough from hell… it just doesn’t quit and we are all really sick of hacking and coughing day and night. I have antibacterial hand wash gel in a spritz bottle and pounce on the kids regularly with it because I know they don’t wash their hands nearly enough after sneezing and coughing bouts.

    Get the kids to double (or triple or quadruple) their hand washing… it does help a LOT against spreading germs around the family.


    1. Guess what? I just wrote a lengthy reply to this and my blog lost it. Luckily, I had copied it. 😉

      I guess I’ll be one of the ones writing to WP support.

      1. I’m OK with bleeding noses or little cuts. But I’m rubbish with open wounds. Especially when the child is clearly suffering. It takes a lot for me to keep myself together with ‘hanging limb injuries’. If there’s no other responsible person around, I deal with it. But if there’s another adult who can cope around, I’m a blubbery mess.
        Last year, we were merrily throwing apples in the juicer and my then 4yo just put her hand in. No warning. There was so much blood… I thought at first she’d lost the tops of several fingers and they were in the juicer. My eldest daughter called an ambulance (she was hysterical – we’d both been standing directly next to the little one). Then my other daughter, who only saw enough blood that could be described as a blood bath and hysteria entered the room. I told her to go quickly and get our neighbour.(I was holding the small one and trying to stem the blood flow, so I had my hands full). She went to our neighbour and got her German mixed up and accidentally said to her that Akasha had been ‘slit open’. My neighbour was almost sick before she arrived. When my poor neighbour entered, I lost the plot. The ambulance men really had to calm me down – I was crying more than the injured party!!! Luckily, there was very little long term damage. We spent several weeks going back and forward to the hospital but her fingers look great now and she has feeling everywhere too.

        We only have carpet in the bedrooms, but of course that’s where they are mostly sick!!!

        We have that cough here too!! We’ve had it for weeks – it takes ages to let go. Despite cough medicine, decongestant, honey, nasal showers, inhalations.

        What freaks me out too is when you see them cough,then touch the door handle/light switch/tap.

        I hope you too, are all feeling better soon.

    1. They can just shrug it off can’t they?

      The 5yo was soooo sick, but by midday the next day she was almost completely fit. The 13yo took an extra day to recover.

      I’ve no chance!! 😉

      I’m glad you’re feeling better.

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