Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: SICK (05/09/19)
- TITLE: And the Night Goes On
By Francy Judge
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Sitting across from my three-year-old son at the dinner table, I tilted my head, like our Yorkie when she is trying to understand what we’re saying. “Does Andrew look a little green?” I asked my husband.
He glanced up from his pasta. “He looks fine. If he was sick, he wouldn’t have eaten his dinner.”
The plate still had a mound of squiggly noodles, his favorite. He ate about half.
His five-year-old brother, Stephen, continued his car noises in between mouthfuls. He looked fine. Sounded fine.
“Andrew, do you feel ok?”
“My tummy hurts.” He scrunched his little nose and pushed the plate away as if it were his enemy or a serving of his most hated vegetable, broccoli.
Pale skin with a green hue isn’t cute, especially on a three-year-old. By now I knew what was coming. You know what’s coming. Ooh, the dread…wondering if there is any way to prevent the inevitable.
“Let’s get you ready for bed.” No argument, or begging to read “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” for the billionth time. This was not good.
“Do you think you might throw up now?
“No.” His eyes looked glossy, filling up with tears. And filling my eyes with tears too.
“Okay. You’ll be fine. Just need to sleep and you’ll wake up and feel like Superman.” Was I lying to my little boy? I slid his blond bangs to the side and kissed his forehead.
I turned off the lights and went to bed, not to sleep much, only listen. Counting cricket chirps eventually forced my eyes closed until three in the morning. Then the song of groans began with an exploding gaahh, intermingled with coughing and a splashing sound. Was I dreaming?
“Please, let this not be as bad as it sounds.”
It was worse.
Backtrack to when Stephen was two and we got him the adorable Little Tikes car shaped bed. He loved it, and Andrew loved getting it when his brother moved up to a regular bed. But this day, I regretted that purchase.
I ran to Andrew’s room when I realized this was not a dream. Too late. He was hunched over, gagging in between exploding vomit everywhere. Ev-er-y-where! Stepping over the peach-colored pond, I scooped him up to bring to the bathroom for a wash down. The worst part is that he couldn’t go back to bed until I cleaned the mess. Not something to put off until tomorrow.
Aside from the pond, which was hard enough to mop, chunks of thrown-up noodles and glop filled every crevice of the adorable car bed. And I couldn’t complain that this is the worst thing moms have to do while Andrew was crying in the bathroom.
It took about an hour to get it scrubbed and ready with fresh sheets.
Finally, we were all back to sleep at five in the morning…until I heard the groaning song coming from Stephen’s room.
It was a long night, but the storm of sickness ended in twenty-four hours.
I’m thankful God doesn’t give us more than we can handle each day. He didn’t tell me this is nothing—just wait until a hurricane destroys your home and you are staying in a small space of two rooms and have five sick kids throwing up in their pastel colored Easter bowls. Some things I’d rather not know ahead of time. Thank you, Lord.
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