He had a high fever when he went to bed, but he still managed to successfully sleep through the night. I checked on him several times before I went to bed myself.
The next morning, still in the 5 am’s, I heard him coming for me. I heard his hoarse cough grow louder as he made his way from his bedroom to mine.
“I snuggle with you mama!” he said as I led him to the couch where the ‘secondary bed for sick kids’ was located.
He was so hot. Like throw the fleece blankets off the balcony kind of hot. Turn on the fans, open the windows, or fry an egg on his forehead kind of hot.
We lay there for awhile until the 6 am’s and I’m sure I fell asleep, even though my legs were hanging off the edge of the love seat, and my boy’s little body was taking up more than his allotted 50% of the couch.
“I have some cereal!” he announced when his brothers started emerging from the bedroom one by one.
I poured him a small bowl, but I was suspicious of an actual hearty appetite.
My suspicion was accurate. He barely touched it. Maybe a bite or two. He just kept asking for more and more water, and he kept coughing a hearty juicy sounding cough.
Poor toddlers. They don’t have a clue about the mysterious substance called phlegm that is desperately trying to work its way outside of the body. “I’ll just push it down with water!” His brain must have been telling him.
“Hold me mama!” He cried.
I was already holding my breakfast in one hand, and my coffee in the other…
“Let’s go sit down for a minute.” I said as I picked him up.
As we walked towards the couch, my boy gave his final phlegm removal cough which then resulted in a boatload of barf pouring from his mouth all over himself, and all over me.
It ran down my neck, my back, my couch, my floor, my pants, and my left foot.
The three other boys who were calmly eating their breakfast at the table a few feet away all turned to look at our horror scene. One yelled, “Ewwwww!” and took off for his bedroom. One stopped mid bite and stared with a gaping mouth, and one gave a “Ha-ha!” and pointed.
“Go get Dad!!!” I screamed.
Dad was still asleep, because this whole episode of ‘eat breakfast and barf all over creation’ was taking place long before the sun was up.
He came. I showered. He cleaned. I bathed the screaming toddler. I scrubbed, he wiped. I mopped, he took apart the couch. He gathered the garbage, I threw out the decimated throw pillow because I just couldn’t even stand to deal with it ever again.
We instantly flew into ‘clean up the mass mess together’ mode. We’d been in that place so many times before, that place of super gross. But we love our kids. And that is why we always carry on together, doing all of the things that need to be done.
How a tiny little body like that can produce so much of a mess, I’ll never understand.
A good while later, after the crisis had dissipated, my husband came looking for his breakfast. “Well that was fun…” He said as he entered the kitchen.
He went to the stovetop and looked inside the pot sitting on the burner.
“Oh wow, I see you made oatmeal.”
I looked down at the last few bites in the bowl in front of me. I shuddered and pushed it away.
Yes, that dear man was staring at his breakfast that was disgustingly reminiscent of the mess we had just cleaned up together… yuck.
“I think today I’m going to need to go with some toast instead…” He said.
“Toast. Yes please.” Let’s make all of the toast… for all of the breakfasts, until the end of time.