As a former high school coach I used to cover used to say, “There ain’t nothing worse . . .” That’s the best way to describe kids being sick in the middle of the night. (He was actually talking about playing his team’s biggest rival, but that’s another story).
And yes, there really ain’t nothing worse than sick kids in the middle of the night. And I was reminded of that just a couple of nights ago.
It always starts with that terrible call in the middle of the night, “Daaaaaad!” You’re hoping it’s a dream, but it usually never is (but really, if that’s your dream, is your life really any better?). I’d already been warned on this night, though. At bed time I got the rundown – “Dad, I don’t feel well, sore throat, headache . . .” and then the ominous “What if I need to throw up tonight?” Eeeeeeeek! And the answer “Could you quietly get out of bed, go to the bathroom, clean up any mess, and then get back in bed” just doesn’t seem to work.
So when I got the call last night, it wasn’t a terrible surprise. The thing that always amazes me is that kids, while they’re sort of awake during all this, they’re also sort of asleep. It doesn’t seem to affect their sleep routine at all. But me, I’m pretty much wide awake for a while, and the next day I’m doing the Zombie Walk through all of my routines.
But you do get some interesting conversations sometimes. Like last night, when he was asked if he needed anything, my 9-year-old replied, “No, I’ve already got 8 dogs in the fire.”
I have no idea exactly what that meant, but I think it meant I’m already busy/overwhelmed – and can you kindly leave me alone. How can you not like an expression like that? It’s already one of my favorites.
(On a side note, when my daughter was that age, she had an expression. Whenever I would tell her something more than once, she would reply, “You’ve said it a hundred time, and I’ve heard you a hundred times.” I thought that was funny, but I also kind of resented it because I always made a mental note to myself to never tell her anything more than 56 times!)
So there we were, middle of the night, my son sick, and I realized we had no medicine. So I made the midnight run to Wal-Mart. There’s always something interesting about a trip to Wal-Mart in the middle of the night. I always feel like I’m wandering through a post-apocalyptic world, what with all the empty aisles and no waiting to check out. And I always think to myself, “I really need to consider doing ALL of my shopping at this time of night,” which, thankfully, I never follow through on. As I checked out, I picked up a mandatory Sprite; I think it’s a law that when kids throw up they have to drink it. I’m not sure it makes kids better, but the thinking, I think, is that if they continue to throw up, the mess is clear and so much easier to clean up.
Back at the house, Ahhhh. It felt good. Sleep and healing would be here soon.
It turned out not soon enough. As I gave my son some medicine, he asked how long it would take to work. About 5 minutes or so I said, hoping to calm him down.
FIVE MINUTES! Ooohhhhhh. I can’t wait that long!!!!!
Darn. I’d forgotten I needed to convert my ADULT TIME timing into KID TIME. A fatal error.
Plus, I’d also forgotten I was dealing with someone who already had 8 dogs in the fire.