Monday night, just as I was falling asleep, Alex started fussing upstairs. I did what any good wife would have done after being on her own for two weeks: I pretended to be asleep and waited for Justin to go upstairs and deal with it. Eventually, he made his way upstairs and stayed with the baby for half an hour. Every now and then, I would hear fussing, but, I figured Justin had it coming. Eventually he made his way downstairs and stopped in our bedroom door. The conversation went a little something like this:
“Hon, I hate to wake you, (Really?! Then don’t!) but Alex has thrown up twice. I’ve pulled the sheets off his bed. He probably needs to sleep down here.”
“Oh, poor baby! Are you feeling sick? Come see Mommy. We’ll make you feel better.”
“Is he going to sleep down here? Maybe I’ll sleep upstairs with Rob to give you more room.”
Please, please tell me he was kidding, you implore? No. I can’t. Up he headed to sleep with the healthy child, while I snuggled with the baby. Eventually, Alex put his head on my chest. And threw up all over me. Miraculously, the sheets stayed clean. I changed and got back in bed, sure that nothing was left in Alex’s stomach. I was wrong. Minutes later, he sat up quickly and looked at me funny. I managed to haul him over the side of the bed just before he threw up again. My patience was gone as I called Justin to find a towel for me. After yelling his name five times, he stumbled down the stairs to find a towel. The second conversation went a little like this:
“You do not get to sleep upstairs with the healthy child while I get puked on all night. Get in bed and be miserable with me.”
Except he wasn’t miserable with me. He was asleep within a minute and snoring within two. I may have kicked him. More than once. Which may have prompted him to get shoot up out of bed, asking me what in the world I wanted. I’m sure it wasn’t one of my finer moments, and whatever I said in the passion of the moment resulted in Justin taking Alex upstairs to sleep. I’m a smart woman, and I value my sleep, so I didn’t argue.
Five minutes later, I heard coughing and crying. I shot upstairs, expecting to head into the guest room. No. Justin had taken the sick child to sleep in the same bed as the healthy child, and there was vomit all over the bed. Off Robbie went down to our bed, and off Alex went to the bathtub. Now, I’ll be honest. I didn’t do laundry over the weekend, and Alex was out of pajamas. I found a not-so-dirty pair in my laundry basket and got the child dressed in his fourth pair of pajamas for the night.
Hoping there was no way he would throw up for a sixth time – but not confident in my odds – I put Alex in the crib with a towel under him. I sent Justin downstairs with Robbie and headed into the guest room to sleep. Within minutes, I heard Alex get sick again (thank goodness for the towel!). I picked him up to soothe him and earned the opportunity to change into my third pair of pajamas.
Surely this was it, right? Kind of. Twenty minutes later, just as I was really about to sleep (it was only 12:45 at this point), I heard screaming from Alex’s room. A diaper change later, and I was just sure things were winding down. They weren’t. Mere moments after my head hit the pillow, there were even worse cries coming from Alex. This time, he required a full change. For the fifth time. Unfortunately, we only had two choices for the poor boy. Dress pants and a button down or pajama bottoms with no shirt. I opted for pajama pants and no shirt, thinking I could just wipe him down in the event of an eleventh emergency.
Being out of sheets, I took Alex back to the guest room to sleep with me. We curled up, ready for a few hours of sleep. I’m not sure when it happened, but, at some point, the sweet boy leaned over and kissed me on my forehead. That, right there, made everything right in the world. Well, that and the two-hour delay the next morning.