|That is a great puke bucket. (morguefile.com)|
How do you handle the stomach flu when you have children? Seriously, is there any way you can be warned on what to do when the kids start vomiting?
I remember a time in my life when I could count on one hand the number of times I had thrown up. Now there are weeks where I need a calculator.
When you find out you are pregnant people say, "Congratulations!" What they should really say is, "I hope you have a strong stomach because VERY soon you will be surrounded by bodily fluids. Oh- and congratulations!"
It must be flu season everywhere. All over Facebook everybody is posting about their vomiting kids. As of last Thursday my house is no exception. I suddenly realized that I now have a vast body of knowledge when it comes to puke and I would love nothing more than to share it with you while it is fresh on my mind.
Rule 1) Men cannot handle vomit.
I realize it sounds like I am being sexist. There MAY be men who can handle puke, I just didn't happen to marry one. I realized this when I was pregnant with our first baby and I had the morning sickness. When I would head for the toilet he would first: A) Try to talk me out of it and then B) Run from the room with his hand over his mouth telling me in a muffled voice that I would have to clean that up myself.
It's OK. He is good at other stuff. But I seriously don't know how a man who got through countless gross anatomy labs and cadaver labs cannot handle puke.
Rule 2) The key is to breathe through your mouth.
The reason I never puke when the kids puke is because I refuse to smell it. When it comes up I start mouth breathing. If you can't smell it, it can't make you sick.
So- mouth breathe. Don't smell. Turn your face away if you need to but don't let the vomiting kid see you look distressed. Remember- Mom has got everything under control. Puke is no big deal.
Rule 3) Rub the back.
There isn't much you can do once someone you love starts spewing. The only things I have found are the gentle back rub and softly muttering, "good job, it's OK." I know people say you shouldn't praise your children unnecessarily, but I still praise them when they puke in the bucket and not on the floor or sheets. And everybody needs to be comforted if they are vomiting.
Rule 4) Keep up on the laundry.
I used to think that finishing the laundry was a sure fire way to have somebody get a flu or food poisoning. But then I had it happen when the laundry was overwhelming.
Do not tempt the universe. Stay up on the laundry and even though it will suck to wash all those extra towels, it won't make you cry if you did a load the day before.
Rule 5) For the love of all that is holy, keep some bleach in your house!
I am pretty big into vinegar and natural cleaners and essential oils and all that jazz. But for freaks sake DO NOT GET RID OF ALL THE CHEMICALS. I can guarantee that you will one day have a contagious, virus filled mess that cannot be stopped by vinegar alone.
I am so very glad that somebody invented bleach and that it is still sold over the counter. It makes me feel so clean. (Please don't tell me that bleach melts skin and causes cancer. You should see what I cleaned up an hour ago.)
Rule 6) You are NOT allowed to get sick too.
Oh, didn't anybody mention that? Yeah, it was in the fine print. Mom is not allowed to get the pukes. And if she does she just has to pretend that it didn't happen. I find that mind over matter works well. Even if I feel like hell I just keep telling myself that I am NOT sick. I don't have time to get sick. There are towels to wash. I AM NOT GETTING SICK.
Rule 7) Keep a bucket on hand at ALL TIMES.
I swear it- my daughter came out of her room the other day, said she felt nauseous, and I had an empty Tupperware under her before the puke hit the floor.
That was the moment I realized that I had FINALLY ARRIVED.
Still trying to figure out how I can work that into a resume...
Anyway- a sick kid goes to bed with a bucket. They walk with a bucket. Their best friend is a bucket until they have proven themselves trustworthy to be bucket free once more.
Mastering this rule will save you hours of work.
Maybe you thought you were going to get lots of natural remedies in this post- some homeopathics that magically cure the puke. My hubby is a big fan of apple cider vinegar. (It helps everything, by the way.) But I am of the mind that sometimes when people start puking you just better hold on, grab a bucket and a bottle of bleach, and try to find the humor in it.
I'm rooting for you.