Saturday, August 15, 2009

I need to "de-brief"

I need to get it off my chest, get it out in the open, and then move on...

Yes, I'm talking about the 10 days I just spent in the company of a family of 4 children.
And anyone who thinks that spending 24/7 with four kids is a piece of cake, needs their head examined, even more than I do.
Which I do.

Oh it was good... and I enjoyed most of it thoroughly, but it wasn't a walk in the park either.
Parts of it were so traumatic, that I'm thinking off applying for "hazardous duty pay."
Or Sainthood.
One of the other.
But since I'm not Catholic, maybe that one's a reach... eh?

Now see... take the third night, for example.

Dinner went swimmingly, with burgers and potato salad, green salad and ice cream for dessert.
The 2nd oldest kind of picked at his food, but he ate most of it and seemed to like it all just fine... and there were no problems.
Until 9:45.

At 9:45, the oldest came and knocked on my bedroom door, saying "brother's been sick".
So I drag my tired-arse little self out of bed, throw on a robe and go down the hall to see what's up.
Halfway down the hallway, the stench hits me, and I swear... the smell was so strong that it was pushing me backwards.

And when I entered that room, just for a minute there, I was transported back to my college days and the memories of several frat parties I attended. (under duress, mind you)
Vomit everywhere.
Because younger brother is nothing, if not an "equal opportunity" spewer.
Not only his bed was christened... but 3/4 of his brothers as well.
As well as an entire box of Legos... and the Wiggles poster, 5 foot up on the wall.

Okay, deep breath... I can do this - and "do it" I did.

Everything was cleaned up, kid in fresh jammies and then tucked back in his nice clean, crisp sheets.

Now off to the laundry, to get started on 2 full sets of bedding.
Two top sheets, two bottom sheets, 2 thick blankets, 2 bedspreads and a set of very yucky jammies.
Oh, and towels and rags, as well as a by now, very nasty teddy bear that had also been in the line of ermmm... fire.
So at 10:30 at night, I'm doing washing. ( I had had a grand total of 20 minutes sleep before they woke me - max!)

At 3:30am, I'm still doing washing.
Because as you probably know, if you have kids, chucked-up-upon sheets and blankets and bedspreads can't simply be thrown in the washer.
Scraping and shaking, and more scraping is involved first...
So for a couple of hours there, I had a distinct fragrance of Eau-de-vomit lingering about my person.

At 3:45, said kid did it again! And failed to use the bucket that I had provided, as a way to save the bedding and carpet - as well as my sanity.

Bless the mother, who as a gift for my reliability and trust-worthiness, gave me a brand-new dryer when she dropped her children off.

Which at first, I thought was a wonderfully thoughtful gift.
Then I thought " well, she just didn't want to pack 10 changes of clothes for each of her 4 children, so a $300+ dryer must have been her way of avoiding packing huge bags, and hiring a U-Haul to get it all here."

Then my next (and final) thought was: "She KNEW this was gonna happen, and the woman just decided not to tell me that her 2nd oldest was an Olympic-caliber cookies-tosser! That's the real reason for the dryer!!!"

Which looking back over the many years I have cared for this family, made me realize that this wasn't the first time this kid has made me go through this kind of thing.
I just forgot.
Or I had had years of "lucky-ness" and thought that he had outgrown it.

So, at 5am I was still up and washing bedding and jammies.
And what time do I usually get up, boys and girls?
Yep... you got it.

So here I was, tired and smelling like Eau-de-Vomit... and I had to start a new day.
Which meant I had to put in a further 15-16 hours, without the chance to lay my head down.

But I survived.
I survived by not giving a rats arse, and by just going through the motions.
I survived by, when being told (in an extremely whiny voice) "Taaaater, Sally hit meeee!" simply saying back:
"Well just kill her and get it over with.
At least there will be one less mouth to feed, and less mess for me to clean up at the end of the day."

And when a chorus of little voices said "Tater, the cat is on the bench, licking the cheese", I just replied:
"Oh it's just cat spit. A little cat-spit never hurt anyone... and beside, cats have stuff in their spit
that helps to break down the emzymes in cheese - so you won't get constipated, okay?"

Which I really think is frowned upon.
In child-care circles anyway.

The next 7 days weren't bad, and at least there were no repeat-performances, but still...

The kids are gone now and I have the next 9 days to myself, but I wonder if I need to get counselling for what I'm sure is post-traumatic-stress?

The smell of vomit still lingers in my nose... and I'm tempted to see if I can pluck every nose hair in my poor traumatized nostrils out...
Just to get rid of the the ever-lingering fragrance of *Eau-de-Spew*...

Yep... I deserve a medal, alright.

I also deserve to have my head examined.


Marjie said...

I think this is the point where I would be spraying any old cheap-ass perfume up my nose!

Reddirt Woman said...

I will be voting for pts syndrome and and having your head examined. But then I'm the one that said, "God was good when I was young and stupid that I didn't get preggers and have a kid." Whereupon my friend Carol said, "No... He was good to the child that you would have had." I don't have a lot of patience with children that are bratty in behavior. I also react badly to throw up and crappy diapers. I have a very light gag reflex.

You are one hell-uv-a woman to deal with all that puking.

And you need your head examined.

Helen gag...gag...gaaaaag.

Kurichan said... are an amazing woman, Tater....

Hopefully days off and all the wonders of Costco will help with the trauma and bring a smile to your face!

Nancy M. said...

I'm happy to hear you survived! I would have definitely cried! You're a lot stronger than me. Although, I think you're right and that we do forget after a while because I don't remember all this the last time!

I hope you have a great time at Costco and get lots of wonderful goodies at great prices!

Homestay Mama said...

Whew! I don't know how you do it/did it! You deserve a medal alright! Make it a GOLD medal!

Narelle Nettelbeck said...

In this job I think it's a very fine line between needing our heads read and deserving a medal!!!

Have a fabulous week off :)

Terry said...

Oh my gosh
where to start :)
Well first off since you must have a medal for surviving this horrible nightmare how about a great big one so those kids can see you thrive on victory ,
secondly their Mama should be paying all your shrinks bills to help you deal with your Post Stress Syndrome
and honey if you ain't got it the rest of us gals have it for ya after this crazy adventure :)
Let me see where was I oh yeah
Once again you are the most amazing
,strongest ,self controled woman I have come across.
I'm just saying most of us would have thrown the kids out with the bathwater to get away from that awful smell .
I am so glad it is over !!!!!!
Not nearly as much as you ,but I am happy for you that it ended.
God bless you and give you rest and may the Lord himself blow through with a breath of fresh clean air to make it more comfortable for you to rest.
Have an awesome day.
Big hugs
Happy Trails

Jan Mader said...

I'd have been puking too...can't help myself.

I did find one thing that helped...put some Vicks under your nose (or any other menthol stuff). It's better than nothing.

Hang in there Erma!

Robynn's Ravings said...

Oh my good glory, St. Katherine. I can barely gag through cleaning up after my own when need be. Hasn't said child been taught to hurl into a bag, a bucket, his own car, whatever? Once can catch anyone unprepared, I guess, but twice? When necessary items have been supplied? And the mother not telling you he has this propensity? Yes, she deserves to be slapped with a hefty bill for hazard pay.

I'm thrilled you are still alive, though smelly and smelling, and have escaped the vomitorium!!! Welcome back!


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