We’re only 3 days in and I’m already tired of this year. When will we at last be over this blessed vomit bug? For more on that, today’s post comes courtesy of my husband, Lance, from an email he wrote to a friend early this a.m.:
After working outside all day IN THE FUCKING BLIZZARD, I am very tired. I really need to go to bed. My darling little two year old (Ed.: 20 month old) is in the bed, asleep. It’s 9 o’clock, I really have to go to sleep. Marie is up at the kitchen table reading. Marie loves to read. She is reading Longbourn, a novel by Jo Baker. The book is an imagining of the servants of the Bennet family, of Pride & Prejudice. Marie is all about Pride & Prejudice. (I think the English have gotten quite enough mileage out of that particular book, and at this point I am quite sick of Mr. Fucking Darcy). Marie says, “Don’t you wake that baby!” Of course, the baby wakes as soon as I am in bed. She starts to cry. Dammit all! We all know that the baby will not stop crying until Marie brings her breasts to bed, but Marie is angry. Marie is fuming. I can FEEL her in the kitchen, fuming. She is going to finish this chapter, no matter what, and Lance will just have to suffer the consequences. His fault anyway. (Ed.: Damn straight.) After twenty minutes, Marie comes to bed. Georgia stops crying. Blessed Jesus, now I can sleep.
An hour or so later, Marie leaps out of bed. Aidan is in the kitchen, crying. I get up. Georgia starts crying. Aidan has vomited all over everything in his room. His bed, the clothes, the toys, the books, the floor. His brother Vincent is in the bed next to him, blissfully unaware. I switch to clean mode. I throw out the vomit toys, I bag the vomit cloths. I clean the vomit floor. I spray disinfectant until the room smells of chlorine like the pool at the Y. Marie puts the little boy in the tub. Washes him up, gets him a bucket, puts him on the sofa. Aidan continues to vomit, the little girl continues to cry. Marie says something snarky to me, she is still mad about being interrupted from her literary commune with Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. I snap back, nearly insensible with exhaustion. Outside, it is four degrees and there is a blizzard raging. There, I am done. Everything is clean, the boy is almost asleep on the sofa, the little girl has given up and has curled up asleep on my side of the bed. It is then that there is another cry from the boys’ room; Vincent has now vomited all over his bed.
I look at Marie, Marie looks at me, we both say “What the fuck?” at the same time. She again takes charge of the victim, marching him off to the bathroom. I again start to clean the boys’ room. The first time I cleaned, I used a flashlight, because there is no light in the boys’ room. There is no light in the boys’ room because the little bastards have broken every light that I have placed in there. It gets hit with footballs, frisbees, knocked to the floor, or deliberately dismantled into its composite components. This time I take a light from the kitchen and put it in the boys’ room, the better to illuminate the vomit. One again, there is vomit everywhere. On toys, and books, which I throw away. (One must be merciless.) On clothes, which I put in trash bags and add to the large pile by the door. I start to move the toy chest when a corner catches the light cord sending the light crashing to the floor, shattering the lightbulb and sending little shards of glass into the puddle of vomit. “Are you fucking kidding me?” Marie is laughing at this point. I go and get another lightbulb from a light in the living room. I carefully remove the broken bulb from the socket without cutting myself. At least that goes right. I put gloves on and mop the mess with paper towels, she goes to get the vacuum. It is now midnight (Ed.: well past midnight, closer to 1 a.m., actually). We have new neighbors in the apartment downstairs. I turn on the vacuum, hoping that the neighbors will forgive us. Again I spray the floor with disinfectant. The boys are in the living room taking turns vomiting into buckets which Marie carts to the bathroom and cleans.
Finally, I am done with the room. I have put new sheets on Vincent’s bed and he has moved back in. I unplug the light and go to the kitchen. I try to unscrew the lightbulb so I can put it back in the living room. It slips out of my hand and shatters all over the kitchen floor. We both are laughing. What else can you do? I get the vacuum and again vacuum up the shards. The little girl wakes up screaming, Marie takes her breasts to bed and the screaming stops. I muse that Mr. Darcy would have removed himself to the pub and have had the servants take care of all this. I muse that Mr. Darcy is a wuss.
Fin. Please heaven, fin.
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