Thursday night, as we concluded our "math session" Elizabeth told me that her brain hated her and that's why it couldn't understand numbers. Then, she pointed to her stomach and said that she had a tummy ache and her belly hated her, too. I held her in my arms and told her that her brain was a wonderful brain and her belly was a wonderful belly and she was just tired and if she went to sleep she'd feel so much better in the morning.
Alas, two hours later, as I was preparing to go to bed, I heard little footsteps come running down the hall and go straight in to the bathroom. I stopped what I was doing and ran in to the bathroom to see what was going on, and there was my little Elizabeth, kneeling in front of the toilet, sick to her stomach. My poor little one was so, so sick.
"SEE!" She cried, "I told you my tummy hated me!"
There have been very few moments in my motherhood experience when I've felt as badly as I did that night, sitting on the bathroom floor, rubbing my little girl's petite back while repeating over and over again, "I'm so sorry, love. I am so, so sorry."
Tears were in my eyes as I thought about the night's events. I pushed her too hard on her numbers. I should have stopped when I saw that she wasn't getting them. I never should have told her "Open your mind!" She was sick and it was undoubtedly a result of the stress I'd caused.
This was entirely my fault.
The only good thing that I'd done that night, fortuitously, was scrub the toilet that she shares with her three siblings until it sparkled. Because the only worse thing than seeing my little girl so sick, would have been seeing her so sick on a toilet as filthy as the one I'd just cleaned 30 minutes, prior.
Despite the fact that my daughter was in a terrible state, she looked up at me and said, "I love you, Mom. You're the best mom in the whole world." I shook my head and said, "I certainly don't feel like the best mom in the world, today." She put her head back down and said, "Well, you're the best mom to ME, every day."
What did I ever do to deserve such a wonderful child?
Once I cleaned Elizabeth up and returned her to bed, I got myself ready for bed and climbed in - praying that she would have a peaceful night. But then, just as I'm about to slip from the awake world in to that wonderful black world of slumber, I hear coughing, followed by a SPLAT!
I fly out of bed and am in the girls' room before I'm even fully conscious.
Carolyn had been sick to her stomach before she made it out of bed.
The sight that met my eyes stunned me and I stood for several seconds wondering, how do I even begin to clean this up? When Charlie joined me, we both asked, simultaneously, "Why does this always happen in the middle of the night?" followed by, "Why haven't we bought a pressure washer, yet? And if we did - could we use it for THIS?"
Although she'd just been violently ill, Carolyn sprang out of bed. "Mom! Dad!" she excitedly exclaimed. "Can you believe it?! I totally missed throwing up on my Pillow Pet!!"
Gosh, that's awesome love! Although, it's really too bad you also missed throwing up on your sister, the rug, the wall, the linens (sheets, blankets, comforter) and the 50 stuffed animals you insist on dragging in to bed with you every night.
Why yes, come to think of it, I did say those things out loud...
On the upside, recognizing that this was indeed a virus, I felt a little better about Elizabeth.
On the downside, as of this writing, the stomach flu is still sweeping through our house and Charlie has been double-fisting Emergen-C to boost his immune system since Friday.