When the shit goes down

8 Nov

It’s been a great day for expulsions in our house. I was woken five times in the night by the baby. A bad case of diarrhoea, still unexplained, though I think he’s getting more teeth. Of course I feel sorry for him, but by the third nappy change in as many hours, I began to wonder where my ‘help’ had disappeared off to, until I realised that a) we are too poor to have a nanny, and b) my husband often sleeps through these broken nights, saying in the morning, “God, you should have woken me. Come to think of it though I’m blind without my contacts in, so I’d be no good at changing nappies anyway.” I want to hit him. I also remind him that he owns two pairs of glasses and my ‘innate’ motherly skills don’t stretch to seeing in the dark.

I thought the baby shit was bad enough and then, without any warning, there was the other kids’ vomit. Minutes after going back to sleep from the nappy changing marathon I heard screams from my eldest on the landing – “Mum, I’m going to throw up now!” – before she projectile vomited all over the carpet. All I could think was, “Please not the fucking carpet. If you could have just moved forward another couple of metres you would have hit the bathroom floor. Vinyl is so much easier to clean.”

The middle child struck about an hour later, only five minutes before the eldest’s second vomiting episode, but before the baby’s fifth diarrhoea episode. I suppose he was thoughtful enough not to clash with the others. Seeing as I rarely bake, I’ve found a good use for the bicarbonate of soda, sprinkling it onto any area of carpet that seems to have been hit by the vomit tsunami, to eradicate any lingering smell. As for the baby shit, I’ve found my husband’s glasses so he’s on duty tonight.

To top it all off I’ve started my period again. When I told my husband he said, “Thanks for that. Next time I’ll tell you when I’ve done a poo.” I probably didn’t need to share my news, but it’s been such a long time since I’ve had to buy Tampax and I’m kind of sad about it. Periods are just bloody inconvenient, and I greeted the return of mine in much the same way I would have welcomed back a not very good friend who had gone on a round the world trip and then knocked on my door one day and said, “Surprise. I decided not to stay that extra year.” My instant thought would be “Damn, I thought I’d lost you forever.”

Still, as my mother would say, better out than in, which in my mind can be taken any way you want. Which is why, if the kids are still sick tomorrow, I’m leaving my lovely husband on duty in this stinking house and heading out for some fresh air.


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