If you think for one second that stomach bug season has come and gone, please do let me know where you get your drugs because you’re obviously hallucinating, and I want some.
Sure, the stomach bug has a peak season. We all have a peak season. Mine might have come and gone in middle school, but I DIGRESS.
When this literal shit-show hits your household, you might as well have moved to a different universe. A terrible alternate universe called YOUR LIFE IS ALL ABOUT BARF NOW.
It’s a lonely and crazy-making place where time has stopped, everyone is possessed by an alien, and no one will visit you.
Also, OMG it’s SO GROSS. Gross enough to make you question exactly how unconditionally you love your kids.
Like, maybe you love them unconditionally, but with some conditions? For instance, do I love my kids when they’re draped across my body, panting on my face with steamy barf-breath?
I’m no doctor, but after our family’s last game of pass-the-stomach-bug, I’ve made a short list of tips I hope will help with recovery.
1) Be very, very careful about re-introducing food.
After 24 hours of purging, your child will decide he’s hungry. He’ll say something like: Hey! I feel better! I want dumplings!
And you — loving caregiver that you are — will want him to have those dumplings. After listening to his little body make retching baby bunny noises, you’ll want him to have ALL the dumplings.
SNAP OUT OF IT. Do not — I repeat, DO NOT — give him dumplings.
Unless, of course, you really want to see said dumplings again. Later. On the floor.
2) Continue to be very, very careful about re-introducing food.
When, after 48 hours of stomach bug hell, your child says: Hey! I feel better! I want a smoothie!
Do not reply: OKAY, here! Have a giant smoothie!
Listen to me: you are whacked on sleep-deprivation, so unless you’re making yourself a Barf Island margarita, STEP AWAY FROM THE BLENDER.
3) Water. Give the children water.
When your child complains that it’s hard to walk, try not to freak out that some horrifying paralysis is taking hold of your precious baby.
Instead, try to remember that muscle aches are commonly caused by dehydration.
Yes. Call the doctor, for sure.
But also calmly recall: you witnessed your kid vomit up half her freaking body weight, which — science tells us — is mostly made up of water. You know, like the earth. Except it’s your kid’s body.
So, give the child some WATER already.
4) Once the acute vomit phase is over, definitely DO give your child gatorade and popsicles.
Yeah yeah, blah blah. PIPE DOWN ABOUT THE SUGAR.
At this point, the kid really needs a sugar-electrolyte mixer. Not unlike when you ran that half-marathon. Except this time it’s your kid who ran a barf marathon, and no one’s getting a free tee-shirt.
If your little boo eats a popsicle and can’t keep it down, at least it can be easily caught in a bucket when she un-eats it.
5) Don’t starve your own damn self in effort to avoid barfing up your salad, knowing you’ll inevitably get the bug.
First of all, WHY ARE YOU ONLY EATING SALAD? Are you still alive? Ok then. Enjoy life!
Second of all, even if you don’t have food in your belly, YOU WILL STILL THROW UP. It’s called DRY HEAVING. It’s just like in college, except you’re not drunk and no one’s there to hold your hair back.
Nope. No. None of this anticipatory can’t eat/might throw up baloney. Have a taco already. Have an ice-cold Corona. Put a lime in it. You earned this.
And if you go down, go down like the F*CKING CHAMPION you are.