September 23rd, 2008


i had an accidental three day weekend. not for the weak of stomach.

saturday, oliver got up at 4:20am. we tried and tried and tried to get him to go back to sleep. around 5:30 or 6:30, we gave up and turned on the tv for him. i was in a rotten mood from it.

we went to the little gym and then back home for an early lunch. oliver's school was having an anniversary picnic with bounce houses from 11-3 and we thought we should get there first thing because had we napped first, we might've never made it.

in the parking lot, we noticed oliver had passed out. brian smushed his cheeks with one hand and shook his face from side to side a couple of times. he wasn't budging. we got back in the car and it occurred to me to ask brian to make sure oliver was still alive. he was.

we drove to target and brian ran in for toilet paper and burritos, which sounds like an unsettling combination. we ran by the house to drop everything off and then went back to the school. it had been over an hour and that was enough sleep to bring oliver back to the living.

we skipped quickly through fellowship hall and lingered just long enough to see some old photos of past students. and then we experienced failure trying to get him in the toddler bounce house. he showed unending interest in the other two bounce houses and we spent most of our time following him in circles while he pointed at the children inside or sliding back out and chirped indecipherable exclamations. we mistook this as an indicator that he might like to visit the toddler bounce house after all and we failed two more times, once with me inside myself. we tried to let him play on the toddler play structure, but his first trip up ended with him coming out of a rather steep tube slide upside down and his second trip up put him in the middle of some older kids debating over whether or not someone had peed up there. i didn't purchase a save-galveston beer, but just handed over a $20 bill instead.

i did not get to nap.

later that evening, i went to darren's along with two of our dining room chairs. paul has promised to look at the foam which has disintegrated into a fine, rust-colored powder. i received two baggies of cookies in exchange. they have been quickly disappearing. darren and i went to the angelika to watch chris and don: a love story and then i made my triumphant return to the grapevine after being kicked out last memorial day with oliver. that bartender was absent.

sunday, we lazed about the house and finally managed to gather ourselves up after waking oliver from his lengthy nap. i had the brilliant idea of going for beer and pretzels at the ginger man and, as soon as we pulled into the parking lot and got out of the car, i had the more brilliant idea of going a couple more blocks to dream cafe for an early dinner. due to heat restraints, we hadn't been since oliver's birthday in june.

poor oliver fell and scraped both knees on our way up the sidewalk. this just after not looking quite so much like we've recently thrown him down a flight of stairs. one day, he got two mosquito bites that looked like he'd had a run in with a snake. a day later, i picked him up from school and noticed he had a bruise on the other cheek. a day later, oliver ran to brian and threw his head into brian's super pointy shoulder and gave himself a little bit of a black eye. it hurts to touch brian.

we were the only patrons on the patio and oliver toodled around the playground a little bit, but seemed lackluster. he came over and sat at the table with us, which was a little odd. we ordered a little bowl of spaghetti for him and hand picked the cheese off. he had eaten maybe five bowties and two fries when, out of absolutely nowhere, he opened his mouth and soundlessly deposited what i thought was a prepackaged indian dinner on to the table. brian and i were stunned. i think we just kind of sat there staring with our chins grazing the table. and then, two seconds later, he did it again and it was all down on his lap and the ground.

we sort of stood up this point and said "what the hell?" and kind of looked around confused and unsure how to clean this mess up and searched our mental etiquette books for how to escape this without seeming crass and ill-mannered. our youthful waiter showed up and we asked for some napkins and maybe a plastic bag. he returned with the napkins and one of those black plastic dirty dish buckets and all i could think was how someone somewhere back in the restaurant was going to have to empty that thing back out, but our waiter assured us it was okay and we began scooping. the waiter kind of hung back and sort of did that dance where you feel like you should stay, but your feet keep trying to run and he explained how he doesn't have much of a stomach for this sort of thing and apologized.

he ran away to get a towel for oliver's face so that he could avoid further discomfort, poor guy.

oliver acted like he was peachy keen and went off to explore the fountain while i, get this, FINISHED MY BURGER. dealing with cat puke on an every-other-day basis has really given me a strong stomach.

i suppose it was around this time that we started realizing the reason oliver had pooped something like six times in 12 hours over the course of the previous night meant that he had diarrhea. you would think we would've caught on, but he already has poop like diarrhea... it just usually doesn't wrap itself around the outside of the crotch of his diaper like it's some kind of magical liquid poo snake.

we arrived home and i dropped the boys off so i could run to whole foods. my paranoia began kicking in and i decided i was going to crap my pants in the bulk bin aisle or throw up in the banana bleachers and i hurried up as much as i could. just in case.

back home, everyone was cool like nothing had ever happened. my paranoia continued and i went horizontal on the couch. just in case.

we got oliver down for bed and started up aguirre: the wrath of god on the old dvd player and i passed out approximately five minutes and 32 seconds in. things are a little fuzzy after that, but i think oliver woke up and i woke up all startled and decided i had liqui-poop while brian was changing oliver's liqui-poop and i was thinking "oh god! i can't throw up!" because i have always really hated throwing up and then, i could hear oliver throwing up and brian saying "don't swallow it... just let it out!" and i reckon it went all over heaven and earth and oliver was upset and it upset me because i was tied to the toilet and couldn't try to make him feel less scared.

brian got him back to bed and i went back to the couch and eventually back to the bathroom and tried thinking ahead by making one of my patented bath towel-puke pallets on the floor and, at some point, slept on it awhile. oliver was up and down one or two more times with the puking and pooping and i always managed to be tethered to the bathroom with my own problems.

then, at approximately 5:20am, it finally happened. i puked violently and prolifically and wished i hadn't finished that burger and that i hadn't eaten whatever it was that was coming back up that had previously had a skin on it and praying for it to stop. during my post-puke high, i emailed work for a sick day and moved on to the couch.

i never would puke again on that monday, but the nausea stuck around and sprouted some rather uncomfortable body aches and a headache. oliver got up, happy as a clam and sucked down a bunch of hempmilk and cereal. he started watching tv and i could sense a decline as he curled up with me and grew more and more still. i asked brian for a plastic bowl. just in case. and i thought "good god. please do not let this child throw up on me" as i was still not in a good place myself. and then he threw up all over the couch and my arm and i caught a little in the bowl and then all over the floor. and brian removed the couch cover and i spent the rest of the day and night on the pony towel, which is kind of deluxe, really.

i think oliver pulled that trick one more time, without my arm being in the way. and then he was hunky dory, like nothing had ever happened, while i writhed and whined on the couch the better part of the day, too afraid to take tylenol. too afraid to drink water. too afraid to try childbirth without drugs if i couldn't get through this without considerable whining and tears.

today, i barely remember the illness, except when i receive the stabbing pains in my ribs and gullet. or when i see the train wreck that the kitchen has become during my absence.

i pray that this is not an indicator of my life to come as mother of a kid in communal care.