We made it 4.5 years of parenting without encountering the horrors of the dreaded Stomach Flu, so I really can't complain, but when it hit, it hit HARD.
Night one: Hazel wakes up horrendously sick. She recognizes her lunch in the mess and spends the rest of the night recounting how her "noms came back!" and that it hurt and made her cry. Over the course of the (very long) night, we went through every bed sheet, mattress pad, towel, blanket, and set of pajamas in the house. Cadence somehow manages to sleep through everything, even when James had to physically relocate her to change sheets while Hazel was shrieking bloody murder.
Day one: It's clear that we can't drag a nauseous Hazel on the subway, so James takes Cadence to school and we arrange a playdate with a classmate for the afternoon so he can collect her after he's done with class. Cadence is ecstatic that she gets to go to school with just Baba and that she'll get to play, and bounds off in an awesome mood. I stay home with the poor sick little baby. You know what's NOT home? Running water. The building turned it off. I had just enough warning to fill all the teapots and pitchers and fill the tub to use for cleaning things up, but all that laundry we'd amassed the night before had to be put on hold...and I neglected to stop up the bathtub drain as we did during the hurricane, so by the time the water came back on, the tub was almost completely empty. Luckily we make it through, and Hazel seems to improve by evening. I get a text from Cadence's friend's mom saying no rush to pick her up 'cause they're having fun, and decide we've weathered the worst of the storm and start with the post-sickness deep cleanse. Hazel and I finally emerge from the shower scrubbed and fresh, and discover a voicemail on my phone. We listen to it together; it's James, reporting that he's on his way to get Cadence, who evidently just threw up a couple times at her friend's home. "Oh, no!" Hazels declares, meaningfully, "poor jie jie! Jie jie come home, Stay."
Night Two: James and Cadence, armed with some borrowed clothes and a disposable tupperware container, embark on a long and nauseating taxi ride home. They arrive home sometime after 7:30, smelly and unhappy, and we get them washed off and start prepping for bed. James is scheduled to host some friends for a guy's night this evening, and now it's too late to cancel. My noble plan of getting the girls into bed before they arrive doesn't stand a chance, and the guys (who are, thankfully, all lovely people who are totally understanding of a little girl's plight) are greeted by a pale 4 year old huddled under a blanket occasionally wretching into a silver mixing bowl while I scramble to get some food into the now-hyper 20 month old with a new lease on life, who is insisting on rearranging furniture as James tries to clean a little bit for his friends. I finally get everyone down, and spend a few hours tending to Cadence as she tries to get some rest between bouts of sickness...I will say, it is easier dealing with her illness since she's older and can ask for the bowl in advance, but the poor dear seems to be a bit more affronted by the experience, having amassed a bit more dignity over the years to be lost in the betrayal of her belly. There was much more emotional fallout, if fewer sheet changes. Until, that is, Hazel vomits in her sleep again. Since I foolishly thought she was done with that, she wasn't on a bed of towels and we are back to changing sheets, this time moving a queasy and definitely not sleeping Cadence around as little and as gingerly as possible to do so. Oi. I spend the rest of the night fussing over my two poor sick girls, a maniac with a big metal bowl and a pack of wetwipes.
Day Two: In the morning, after Hazel bounces awake and right onto Cadence's tummy, Cadence stretches, smiles, and responds to my inquiry into how she's feeling with a jovial "good enough to get my own breakfast this morning!" And they're off. A bit weak, a bit fussy, and they both crashed into nap-land about an hour ago, but I think, knock on wood, we may have survived this round. (as long as James and I don't get simultaneously sick while these two rebound into CRAZY HAPPY HEALTHY KID-dom.)