By 11:30 PM, the house was immaculate. All surfaces had been decontaminated, plants watered, rugs vacuumed, floors mopped ... and every single clothing and/or linen item was washed, dried and put neatly away. I even managed to write a few overdue thank you notes and start knitting a baby blanket for our good friends, the Higgins.
The last thing I remember is sitting in the kitchen and reveling at all of my accomplishments. I certainly don't remember falling asleep with my head on the table, but when I woke up two hours later with a huge slobber puddle beneath my cheek, I heard Charlie moaning that he needed a gun and someone to please put him out of his misery.
Sunday, I woke up with a burst of energy and took off for the store to stock up on
By Sunday night, Charlie was starting to complain he wasn't feeling well ... at about the same time our kids made a miraculous recovery. There was a window of opportunity, approximately 8 minutes 30 seconds, where both Charlie and I were unconscious and the children had free run of the house. During that time, they went from three lethargic lumps - to three wobbling destructo machines.
Fortunately, today, the kids seem to be on the mend.
Unfortunately, today, Charlie is unable to move.
What I find extremely interesting is that when faced with the reality I was the only capable person in the house to care for our three children ... I stepped up to the challenge remarkably well. But when I thought Charlie had recovered, my stamina was instantly shot and I couldn't get off the couch. Now that I know Charlie is once again, completely out of commission, I have found it in myself to DIG DEEP.
Although, I don't know how much deeper I can dig before I start drooling.
I've decided it's a whole lot easier to take care of a sick husband and three sick toddlers, than to take care of a sick husband and three healthy toddlers - while you are also trying to work (as in, "career work", not to be confused with "house work" which I do all day long).
Some might think this sounds crazy, but it's true.
When they are all sick - at least I can prop them on the couch and see everyone at once. But when only 25% of the platoon is sick - and scattered through different parts of the house - it's insanity. Charlie is in the bedroom and since he is hardly able to stand and can barely talk above a whisper, he'll call me on my cell phone. "Hi. Jen. I need Jell-O and Kleenex."
To which I'll reply "Hi. Charlie. I need Tahiti and vodka."
Last week - I had planned to work today while Charlie looked after the kids. Because Monday was suppose to be "my" day, I took the liberty to set up several important calls. But because the only thing Charlie is able to look after today, is the inside of his eyelids, I'm trying to keep three toddlers constructively entertained while I field conference calls.
This is no easy task.
Today, even our kids are tired of watching "Finding Nemo" so instead of knowing that they are safely occupied, I've got my phone to one ear, while the other ear is straining to hear what everyone is up to, as they roam through the house.
It's a good thing when I hear them jabbering. This means they are playing with things that I've approved for a 2-year old.
It's a bad thing when I don't hear anything at all. This means they are trying to pull down the 5-gallon humidifier, full of water, that is perched on top of the linen cabinet. Or, trying to open a can of paint.
I've had to explain to everyone that I talk to that I have 2-year old triplets who are just getting over the stomach flu and I am taking care of my husband who is currently in bed with the stomach flu. Otherwise, I'm certain people would think I'm crazy for interjecting our conversation with sentences like:
"I'm sorry. You must wear your diaper ... it has to stay on your body."
Or ... "Please don't chew your brother's ear."
Or ... "Please don't use your cheese stick to draw on our nice Ethan Allen dining room table. Cheese is for eating."
Or ... "You can pick your nose. But your sister doesn't like it when you try to pick her nose."
Or ... "What are you eating?! OH MY GOD!! Are those matches?!"
It's incredible to me that thus far, I've dodged this bullet. It's also incredible to me that I didn't get sick with the last virus the kids and Charlie had, either. I thought I was sick - but I soon learned the "virus" I had was the kind that takes 9-months to resolve. There is a lot of truth in the statement "Just when you think you see the light at the end of the tunnel, you realize it's an oncoming train." But seriously ... when you consider that I catch every single cold that comes down the track, I'm astonished that these viruses have been passing me by.
At the risk of cursing myself, I'm hopeful God has spared me, once again.
We've decided, however, our couch has not been spared. We'll be getting a new one - of the leather / stain, liquid, vomit repellent / variety - soon.
(By note to my riled up cousin Margaret: the $75.00 co-pay was for the Emergency Room. When we take the kids to see their pediatrician, it's only a $15.00 co-pay. Our pedi recommended that we go straight to the ER because that's probably where he'd send them if they did need IV's. After hearing Carolyn sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" much of the car ride home from the hospital - I know I made the right decision to turn around. I can just imagine the kids singing nursery songs while they're being examined and I'm trying to convince the doctor they are terribly sick. You don't need to write to the Govenator. At least not yet.)