It is a rule. I don't know where it is written, but it's a rule.
If your husband's away, all you-know-what is going to break out at your house.
Just count on it. It's as sure as the sun rising in the morning. Or your child throwing up at night.
Ahh, that was our home during Chris' recent trip.
We had gone through our nightly ritual. I bathed them, read their devotional, read their bedtime story, tucked them in and kissed them on their sweet-smelling heads.
Then I retired to my recliner and plopped myself down, ready for some peace and quiet.
Not two minutes later, I heard Lily Baker screaming. I ran in her bedroom. And it was everywhere.
All over her, all over her pjs, all over her sheets. So I grabbed her and tried to get her to the bathroom. That's when she went all projectile on me and it was now also all over her floor.
I surveyed the damage and for a split second wondered, "Where do I start???"
After a quick prayer (something like "Lord, please take over!") I started with her. I got her cleaned up. Then I stripped her bed, rinsed her sheets and put them in the washing machine. Then I started to clean the carpet and I couldn't find any carpet cleaner! After rummaging through the cabinets, I finally found some. And as I scrubbed her carpets, I vaguely remember wanting to strangle Chris for not being here.
Now let me digress and give my shout out to single parents and military spouses: You are amazing! Seriously, you are my heroes. I don't know how you do it. My one bad night doesn't even compare to what you do day in and day out.
Still, I wanted to cry.
We finally got back in bed, and thirty minutes later she did it again. And I had to change her sheets. Again.
Oh I forgot - in the midst of this, Ann Catherine woke up and was standing at Lily Baker's door crying. I'm scrubbing it out of the carpet and saying, "Ann Catherine, DON'T come in here!" which I'm sure made it worse for her, but I didn't want her anywhere near what was going on.
Once I got Lily Baker's bed ready again, I climbed in bed with her because the fear of my girls throwing up as they are laying down in bed is much worse than my fear of getting their stomach virus. And about each hour until 2am she got sick. Finally, she stopped.
Then she woke up at 4:30 crying because she was thirsty. And this went on until about 6am.
Luckily, after 2am she never got sick again. And so far, AC and I have been spared.
The next afternoon, I washed what felt like the 15th load of laundry while she got some much needed rest. While I put clean sheets back on her bed in my quiet house, I thought: How many times did my mother go through this when we were little? How many times did she clean up Lord knows what, wash loads of sick-stained laundry and crawl in bed with sick children?
And most of all, did I ever realize it?
I do now. Now that I'm a mom, I am so appreciative of all she did for us. Things we never noticed. Things my girls don't notice now either.
But they will one day.
In the meantime, I let Chris know that I would be leaving for a week when he got home. Of course, I didn't.
But a girl can dream, can't she?!