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Tummy Troubles

Very rarely does my family get ill. It could be because we eat well, sleep deep and play hard. It could be from the fact that we don’t sit still long enough for the germs to catch us.

But most likely it stems from the wee years of preschool and kindergarten where all the kidlets are Petri dishes of experimental bodily fluids.

There are a strict number of times when you must accept the germs passed to you there, and you are honor bound to bring them home and share with your loved ones.

Preferably by projectile vomiting at their feet.

After enough years go by, your immunity is like body armor. The germs can only reach you through your armpits and that’s where most of them die.

Children can go to sleep with their little halos in place and then sit up at 2am, looking puzzled, and launch missiles across the bedroom, sometimes taking in an amazing amount of collateral damage.

If one kid was sick, everyone else’s bedrooms went into lockdown for a week, with air defense shields firmly in place.

You only want to clean that mess once. Maybe never. Maybe you just wrap everything up in the bed sheets and place it, dripping, into the nearest neighborhood dumpster.

(Sorry homeless dude.)

I became extremely good at noticing signs of imminent launching from my children.

I mean, I was pro.

Not because it was another “fun mommy challenge” but because before taking this seriously, I had a child fill a tent (not a sleeping bag; a tent) with semi-digested fishy crackers in the middle of the night in the middle of a camping trip in the middle of the woods.

Sometimes you just have to walk away from your mistakes.

We gently zipped the tent door shut to keep fumes from destroying surrounding wildlife, and slept in the car.

Fast forward to the time we were camping at the beach in our tent trailer. It was late at night, everyone dreaming to the peaceful sounds of the ocean. The Red Alert System went off in my head and I woke up, immediately sending out sonar pings, seeking the danger.

One small child sighed gently in his sleep.

Without skipping a beat and still in my jammies, I scooped up the suspect and swiftly carried him outside.

Face out. The shrubbery was glad to get the fertilizer.

The time we were all eating in the cafeteria and I saw a faintly furrowed brow on my little princess? One minute Hubby was talking to me, and the very next I had snatched her up (face OUT people) and dashed her outside to the nearest trashcan.

It’s very convenient when those don’t have lids. Just sayin.

It’s easier when you’re home of course.

I have to share an idea from that came along much too late for me, but could be helpful for you.

She suggests packing a new beach bucket with: a plastic beach shovel, a small inflatable air mattress (like for the pool), two beach towels, small colorful cups and straws, dry crackers, anti-nausea medication, and doctor/pharmacy info.

Set up the air mattress with towels as sheets. Use the bucket to catch the mess as an alternative to touching a toilet. Use the shovel to scoop up misses. Use the fun cups as incentives to stay hydrated until the bug passes. These items can be rinsed and tossed into a dishwasher or laundry. Or are so cheap, you should have no qualms about tossing them into that dumpster we discussed earlier.

Once the child is settled you can focus on cleaning up the mess…because you never ever want to leave this till daylight. Am I right?

I’m so sorry for your interrupted sleep. I know you’ll have black circles and bags under your eyes tomorrow.

But look at your child.

I don’t know about yours, but mine felt so much better after they were sick that they enjoyed all the fuss and watching me clean up behind them.

They wondered aloud who was going to barf next and placed bets on when.

One even looked sweetly into my sleep-deprived face and asked what was for breakfast.

That one was my Hubby.

Published inLiving Larger


  1. Anonymous

    These are the stories all women dreaming of those adorable cute little babies should read BEFORE they have children. I think you’ve earned an honorary degree in “that projectile stuff” as a mother to five and a hubby to boot:D!

    • Alas! Those adorable cute little babies blow up at both ends on a regular basis. Good thing it’s temporary! And a mighty good thing they’re so cute! 😉

  2. Kiki Dulaney

    Perfect, Jolie! I’m sure you’ve had your share!

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