Ladybugs and vomiting bugs

This is the cake we should have been eating yesterday at Matilda’s fourth birthday party. This is the cake that I slaved over, icing at 10pm on Saturday night instead of drooling over Rob Lowe in re-runs of The West Wing. This is the cake that was going to provide the wow factor to my little one’s dress-up fairy party, causing mums to ooh and aaah with my cleverness. Instead… I spent much of Sunday mopping up Matilda’s vomit.

So instead of carving up a ladybug I was mopping up after a vomiting bug. The worst part of it all wasn’t the actual vomit, although that was bad enough, but the fact that the vomit arrived five minutes before her party guests were scheduled to arrive. She had been looking forward to her fairy party for weeks and was very, very excited. She had helped send out the invitations to her friends and family. She was involved with the food preparation – all things pink – and chose her cake from the book of kids party cakes. She was looking forward to it desperately. Until the vomit arrived.

And that wasn’t the first time this week I’ve manned the mop bucket either.

On Thursday it was middle child DJ (5) who unloaded the contents of his stomach all over the dinner table just as I carefully placed a well-planned healthy and nutritious meal in front of my family*.

After DJ got cleaned up he crawled into bed and was a shivering, sweaty mess for the rest of the evening, with an alarmingly high temperature. I mopped his brow and tended to him throughout the night* and hoped this was a just a 24-hour thing.

He stayed home Friday but was right as rain by Saturday. Phew! There’s nothing worse, for a mother, than tending to sick children with the added adrenalin element of never knowing when they’ll projectile vomit all over you.

Which is what happened to hubby on Sunday. It was five minutes to 10am, the designated party hour. As we surveyed the sparkling clean and tidy house that I had slaved over for days (more Felicity-speak. Really, barely more than 12 hours and the “sparkling clean and tidy” was on the surface only. Open a cuboard door and two weeks worth of folding would crush you to death) Matilda mentioned she had a sore tummy and walked over to hubby for a hug and just as she reached him she opened her mouth and unloaded her breakfast of scrambled eggs and orange juice. All over the floor. With hubby providing the human splashback, shielding my leather armchair with his body beautifully. Thanks hon! You really took one for the team there.

As hubby picked her up, he rushed past me holding the perfect recepticle for future vomit – a bucket – and dashed for the bathroom, only to have her vomit two more times down the hallway. Oh goody.

They made it into the shower, naturally, after the vomitron was depleted. Why do you never get them to the shower before the vomitron is exhausted?

Anyhoo, at that point it was unavoidable. We had to cancel the party. On Brisbane’s northside Sunday morning, little girls in pink fairy wings were getting some very upsetting news. Because as every parent knows, nothing comes between a little girl and her fairy wings for a dress-up party. They love dressing up. The more outrageous the costume, the better. And little girls don’t have a sense of appropriateness. Matilda routinely wears her princess costumes to school drop-off. Every costume’s mandatory element is wings. It’s not a costume without wings. Matilda has two sets of wings. Her friend Hannah has three I think, or maybe four. Anyway, there were tears and wails all over town as disappointment crushed fairy/princess dreams all over town.

Matilda in her much-beloved Disney princess costume.

This is the costume Matilda would have worn. This is the costume she was given for her birthday on Wednesday. She hasn’t taken it off since Wednesday. She loves this costume. At the time I thought $16 was way too much for a costume, but even if she never wears it again, she’s had top value from this ghastly pink Disney-licensed creation. Please note the death-trap plastic mules on her feet. She adores these plastic monstrosities. We have hardwood floors. Walking is a major biomechanical feat in these shoes. Walking without falling down is impossible. *sigh*

And the next worst part (after cancelling the party being the worst part) was watching her throughout the afternoon, bright as a button, laughing and running around. She wasn’t even sick!! We could have had the bloody party after all!! Grrrrr.

There’s always an up side and the major up side to this entire debacle was the resulting clean and tidy house that didn’t get trashed by 13 children at a child’s birthday party. Thirteen children hopped up on sugar, salt and fat can trash a house quicker than a chocolate addict can inhale a family block of fruit n nut (which, for the record, takes about three minutes, give or take). So I did spend a fair bit of time wandering around the house on Sunday revelling in the unprecedented cleanliness of my house.

Now the only thing left to navigate are the tricky waters of the sequel party event. We promised her we would have the party next weekend but the problem with that is that, as often happens this time of year, many of her guests are tied up with other commitments. Also, to be brutally honest, I don’t have it in me to gear up for another four-year-old girl’s party. It’s exhausting.

*To translate Felicity-speak simply look at the most unbelievable facts in any given blog post and assume the opposite. For example, when I wrote “well-planned, healthy and nutritious meal” you could safely assume it was a last-minute, slap-dash meal of homemade sausage rolls without any side serving of salad or vegies or any redeeming features whatsoever. When I wrote “I mopped his brow and tended to him throughout the night”, you could assume that I jumped into my own bed and fell into a deep sleep for about eight hours without giving my sick son a second thought.

Have you ever crushed a little girl’s dreams like this? Any tips on how we might negotiate away this mess? All advice welcome!

2 comments for “Ladybugs and vomiting bugs

  1. Peta
    November 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    I think this calls for a big play date at a park… The girls can still dress up, but siblings can also come along. Everyone could bring a plate of food to share (or you could put on a sausage sizzle), and make it an “open house” type party… Due to the unforeseen cancellation of Mathilda’s party we will be at (chosen park) on (chosen date) from (this time) to (that time). If you’re available, please feel to drop by for a super fun play in the park!!! You could even choose a park that you wouldn’t normally go to, or have always wanted to try. John Goss Reserve on Maundrell Tce at Chermside is good. So is Kalinga Park at Nundah/Wooloowin??? And kids are always happiest when at the park! So hopefully, it will be enough to brighten her spirit and celebrate her special birthday!

    • November 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm

      Peta, that’s an awesome idea! Thanks so much. Actually, might even go to a park we haven’t been to in ages, the Enchanted Forest Park at Ashgrove. An appropriate theme, I think. 🙂

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