Tuesday, December 21, 2010

VomitFest 2010: 10 Truths About Stomach Bugs

It's the sound that strikes fear into the hearts of mothers everywhere. It's the dreaded (cough) (cough) SPLAT. It can only mean one thing. The VomitFest has begun.

It's been quite awhile since we've had a full-fledged VomitFest. The last few times that my kids have been sick it was isolated to one or two of them or the mystery puke was of unknown origin. This week that all changed. I have had to brush up on my techniques for dealing with throw up and I have made a few critical mistakes. I'm sharing my experience with the hope that it will save one of you from suffering too much when the VomitFest hits your house. (And eventually, someday, in all likelihood, it will.)

10 Truths About Stomach Bugs

1. If only one child has vomited, you have 2 choices: Immediately quarantine and pray that nobody else has been exposed, or let everyone play together and get it all over with at once. If you have a large family, the stomach bug will spread like wildfire anyway, so you are out of luck. (Oh, and twins really do share everything.)

2. Assume ill until proven otherwise. That sweet, cuddly toddler on your lap seems so harmless. Until he blows. Always assume that vomit can happen at any time, without notice, because in young children it will.

3. IKEA has barf buckets (ok, they're really wastebaskets) for under $2 each. Buy as many as you can fit in your car. Stash them throughout the house, even in locations where you would not expect vomit-such as your dining room.

4. Do not assume that anyone under the age of 10 will actually vomit into the barf bucket. Although you have better odds of an 8-year old getting to the bathroom than, say, a 4-year old, that is not always the case. And said 8-year old may not even hit the bucket. I like to cover the hallway with old towels just in case.

5. Most children will run for Mommy when vomit is imminent, even if Daddy is sleeping 2 feet away. That would be why there was a mess on both sides of my bed. And why one of my children flew down the stairs and hurled on the carpet in a futile attempt to actually hurl on me.

6. If there is any remote possibility that a stomach bug may attack, do NOT feed your family collard greens for dinner. Don't do it. Trust me. Soups and homemade applesauce are much safer choices.

7. Bac-out Stain & Odor Eliminator is your best friend. Buy it in bulk. They make an awesome carpet cleaning solution too and I use it in my Bissell carpet cleaner instead of the chemical carpet cleaning solutions.

8. Keep your cabinets stocked with Morning Wellness Tea to combat queasiness. Make sure you have a huge box of Emergen-C to rehydrate later. You'll need it.

9. It ain't over till it's over. Even if your kids insist that they are not sick, do not let them eat a full meal if they have just vomited. It will come back to haunt you later. Literally. That whole "small sip of fluids every 15 minutes" thing was written for a reason.

10. Finally, do not ever take your children out of the house, until you are completely certain the threat of vomit has passed. Don't even go for a quick ride in the van to run an errand. Unless you like cleaning carseats.

There will be no pictures included with this post. For obvious reasons.

P.S.- One of my recent posts is going to be featured on the front page of BlogHer tomorrow. Go check it out!
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