Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Diary of an omniturnal mom

The fog

It's Day 13 of Poo-pocolypse 2011. We have a good 24 hours and then more, um, undesirable bodily fluids.

And the baby won't stay asleep for more than 3 or 4 hours at a time. And he's still teething. And mommy is pretty sure that she's been feeding him after last-call (midnight), though she doesn't actually remember feeding him.

A fog has settled on her brain. But she at least has the clarity of mind to call the advice nurse. Nurse Know-it-all very conveniently calls back just as mommy sits down to nurse the baby for his nap.

Mommy has a conversation with the advice nurse that goes something like this:

Nurse: You need to put the kids on a diet of clear liquids. Jell-O, Gatorade, Popsicles.

Mommy: OK. (Do these items come un-colored? Or does she mean clear as in "not chunky?")

Nurse: You may want to stay away from sugar. That can make the diarrhea worse.

Mommy: OK (But Jell-O, Gatorade and Popsicles have sugar in them. And the sugar-free versions are full of aspartame and lack calories. Mommy is so confused.)

Nurse: Sometimes you parents put them back on cheeseburgers and cake as soon as they start feeling better.

(Because that's exactly what we did first thing Sunday morning after he puked the night before. Cheeseburgers and cake for breakfast.)

Mommy particularly appreciates being referred to as "you parents" but lacks the mental capacity to come back with any stinging remark. Still, hours later, she's got nothing. Instead she just says ...


Nurse: Then start them on the B.R.A.T diet after 24 hours of this.

Mom: Uh-huh. OK. (Won't my kids be starving and weaker that they already are after all this?)

It's naptime. She doesn't care that putting the older two down for naps will ensure that they stay up later. Mommy takes her sister's suggestion and locks the kids in their rooms for quiet time and takes a short nap. The telephone wakes her and it's the receptionist from her doctor's office.

"Honey, you just missed your kids' appointments."

Mommy's brain doesn't work anymore. She thought the appointments were for the next day. In fact, she was so sure of this that she didn't check the message or the e-mail reminder from her doctor's office.

Mommy doesn't even know what day it is anymore. She's convinced that it's actually Thursday and the next day is Parents Morning Out. This is the second time in a week that she has missed something in her schedule. And today, she forget to bring a shoebox for Danny to decorate at preschool. Luckily, his teacher had an extra one.

Her husband comes home and finds her sprawled on the coach in a stupor.

"I'm hanging on by a very thin thread here," she says. He later tells her to just keep the kids fed and from hurting themselves and ignore the rest. Sounds easy enough, she thinks. And, hey, he didn't say anything about keeping them from hurting each other, so she can just hang up the referee whistle, right?

Mommy then starts to cry when she tells her husband how the 4 year old no longer wants or needs her help in the bathroom. He told her to go away this afternoon when she asked if he needed any help wiping his bottom. That's right, mommy is actually sad that her son doesn't want her to wipe his bottom. She thinks, "I pick the strangest things to get verklempt over."

Clearly, the fog is quite thick.

She mindlessly goes to the store and buys Gatorade, Jell-O and Popsicles. And a candy bar for herself which she inhales on the way home despite it being almost dinner time.

The kids have two Popiscles and some Jell-O for dinner. Then some Gatorade. Then some more Jell-O before bed. They're thrilled. All mommy can think about is red dye and chemicals and the tantrums when they find out that Popsicles and Jell-O will not be a regular dinner. She realizes, though, that the potassium broth recipe in her health food cookbook would not go over quite so well.

And besides, with a mental fog this deep, handling anything sharp or hot would be a dangerous proposition indeed. Even making Jell-O with boiling water was risky.

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