“Mom, my stomach hurts,” says my eight-year-old son at 5:30 a.m. this morning. “I woke up and my stomach was just hurting really bad.”
“Okay honey, just lay down with me,” I whispered.
Five minutes later.
“It still hurts.”
“Okay, well, if it’s the flu it’s going to hurt.”
“Mom, can I try to throw up?”
“Um, yeah, go to the bathroom and give it a shot.” I wonder if he’s faking it? I’m not getting out of bed just yet.
I listen to him fail at the attempt to gag himself to throw up. Which makes me laugh. He’s faking it.
He comes back in to lay down.
Five minutes pass.
“How should I sleep? On my stomach? Or on my back?”
“Well, I like to lie on my side when my tummy hurts, and curl up in the fetal position?”
“Okay. Where do I put my hands?” Really? Wait, he doesn’t realize what the fetal position is…
Now, I’m really dying inside. At this point I realize he is not faking it because of the amount of his tossing and turning to try and get comfortable. Mind you, this isn’t your average whiny kid. This kid is tough and has only had the stomach flu one time when he was one. He has no recollection on how to have the flu successfully. For me growing up, the flu was coming twice a year–it was as sure to show up as was Christmas and Halloween. Even when Vance was one and throwing up, he just puked and kept on playing, whereas I would lay and think I was going to die at any given moment. I was a professional when it came to having the stomach flu.
“I put my hands in prayer position and put them under my face. Just like I’m laying now.”
He sat up to look at me, just to make sure he was getting all the right notes, so he wouldn’t fail his flu.
Twenty minutes later.
“Can I try and go to the bathroom?”
I walk him in, and grab the metal garbarge can.
“I’m going to put this on your side of the bed, just in case you need to throw up.”
When he comes back into the room he asks, “Well, how will I know if I need to throw up?”
“Oh honey, you will know, trust me.”
“Then what do I do?”
“You sit up as quick as possible when you feel it coming, and stick your head into that garbage can. And don’t miss. K?”
“You can stay home today honey.”
(To be continued….I’m going back to bed.)