On Tuesday evening, the youngest vomited all over. I bathed her. And then she did it again. And again. Fever-less, she relaxed and quickly fell asleep. It seemed an isolated incident, and Wednesday passed, and Halloween went off according to Boctor family tradition - pumpkin carving, trick or treating, visiting with cousins and grandparents.
Friday morning I couldn't finish my coffee. Strange, I thought, maybe a stray bout of morning sickness is upon me. I knew someone was coming in a couple hours to watch the kids so I could attend the All Saints Day Mass, so I rushed around, tidying, folding laundry, cleaning the kitchen and the bathroom. By the time I was scheduled to leave, I felt awful, but stubbornly I clung to the day's plan. Leaving the kids with a sitter in the middle of the day is the height of luxury for this lady, and I wasn't about to desist.
I gritted my teeth through Mass, and cut my errands short. Everything hurt, and the nausea was reaching a level that couldn't be ignored. When I pulled in the driveway, I noticed that my husband was home, and it was only early afternoon. And I knew.
In short (is this tale too far gone to use that expression?), by that evening all but one member of the family was in the throes of vomiting and other forms of gastrointestinal turmoil. Even the one member who had received the flu shot. Most especially that member, actually.
So that's what this family did all weekend. Lay around and moan, timidly consuming ginger ale and crackers, fearful of the possible backlash. Clean up bodily fluids, and comfort crying children, alternating between moments of heroic virtue (which begs the question, is it really heroic if it lasts only a moment?), and utter exhaustion and despair.
As I began to feel better yesterday, the last man (child) fell, and a new round started. Still, the night passed peacefully, and this morning the original victim came to snuggle in bed with me. As I was peacefully sinking back into my dreams, I heard the weekend's haunting anthem - a sharp intake of breath, followed by a guttural gag. It's going to be a long week.