We've had a long-incubating stomach virus circulating through our family. Last week #3 spent several middle-of-the-night hours vomiting. Eight days later, #2 was doing the same thing. Unfortunately for them, their bedroom is so messy that I wouldn't let them stay in their beds to sleep through the sickness. So far, they've been able to contain everything to a bowl: a portable kind or the porcelain kind. However, I dread the idea of washing stuffed animals, clothes, shoes, and who-knows-what else is strewn in their room. So until their room is picked up, they get to sleep on bedding on the floor, thus reducing the amount of items I'll have to clean should someone spew too quickly.
Yesterday, ten minutes before his ride was coming to pick him up for school, #5 decided his stomach wasn't feeling good and he'd better stay home with #2. Not wanting to send a potentially eruptive Kindergartner to school, I kept him home. I think he liked the idea of being pampered in his "illness" more than anything. He spent the day watching TV with #2, and then had a miraculous recovery about the time that #4's friend came to play after school. The rest of his afternoon was filled with running around outside. (Isn't it too early for him to figure out hooky?)
After friends left and he enjoyed seconds of dinner, he decided being sick might be fun again. When I did my rounds of turning off lights and tucking sleeping kids in bed before going to my own, I discovered #5 was missing. First I checked the usual places. He wasn't in his bed, his sisters' beds, under their beds, or buried in blankets on their floors. Then I went through the unusual places: the coffee table blanket box in the family room, the laundry room, behind couches, and in the tee pee and cardboard fort that were furnished with blankets and cushions out on the back deck. (I did accidentally smack a cat in the face while I was blindly patting blankets down in the dark out there. The cat was smart enough to know that a quick smack in the face was worth cuddling in blankets all night.) Still no #5.
At this point, I felt a twinge of panic and asked Kent to come help me look for him. Kent checked all the places I had, as well as the hiding places in the playroom. Then #1, who was up reading, asked if we had checked the bathtub. Eureka! There he was!
Apparently, #3 had told him he couldn't sleep on carpet if he was feeling sick, so #5 came up with a spot that he knew would be easily cleaned. What a brilliant solution! I'll be using the bathtub again for future vomiters. If they don't wake up in time, I can simply rinse everything down the drain.
By the way, he never did throw up. Maybe the virus will hit him for real next week and he can sleep in the tub again then.