Friday, April 16, 2010

You Can't Stop The Gastro.

Ivy had a great time camping, even though she fell in the river (but got plucked out straight away, I'm assured), got stung by a bee (we already knew she wasn't allergic, I'm assured) and stepped in her own poo (provoking an tearful existential crisis, Ivy-style: 'But why, Daddy? Why did I tread in my poo? Why?')
So the second inaugural Daddy/Daughter camping trip was a big, fun success.

Keith had to leave for three days in Canberra the morning after they got home, so I decided to go to Mum and Dad's for the night, just for some company. Poor Nanna and Pop. Not only did Pop have the joy of granddaughter logic: 'How old are you, Pop?' 'Well, I'll be seventy next year.' 'Oh, so you will be dead soon,'
...but we also brought the pox into their home.

Ivy went down first, then twelve hours later, I was visited by - let me put this politely- the Good Fairy Chuckenshit. Although, throwing up violently into Mum's toilet, I was thankful that I wasn't staring down the pit of our composting dunny.

Oh, misery.

By about midnight, the performance aspect was finished and I was left with the cotton-woolish, weepy aftermath. But if you check your Parenting Manuals, I believe you'll find (Chaper 2, subset A) Mum Must Carry On, Even When Horribly, Miserably Sick. It's reiterated later(chapters 4, 7, 12, 22 and Afterword) as Suck It Up, You Chose Parenthood, Remember? Remember?

Ted woke up, over and over, calling for his bear and his dummy, so I staggered to his bedside like a haggard jack-in-the-box until he decided that he was getting out - no arguments. I had to take him into the double bed with Ivy and I, where I spent one of my most miserable nights of all time (and yes, I've lived with a colicky newborn.)

Friends, if you own a tiny violin, now is the time to produce it, and to play a mournful tune as I tell you how I tossed and turned all night, next to small, spreadeagled, peaceful children. My back was killing me, because of the sick three-year-old I'd had to carry everywhere the whole day. By 5am - violin crescendo, now: I felt like I could hold down enough food to make a pill cushion for the painkillers I needed to get through the morning.

Meanwhile, in Canberra, Keith had been incubating the same horrible bug, but he had to sit in his hotel room, stomach roiling, and write a grant application to deadline. The next day, with no food in him, he still managed to play soccer. (Nothing will stop him from playing soccer.) He only lasted ten minutes, and he pulled his hamstring...

but he scored a goal.

He limped home, I drove a terrible two hours from Nanna's, and we got out the Get Better Box, which contains a Thomas t-shirt with healing powers, a favourite book, and a pack of jelly to be made up in the special Jelly Bears bowls.

In any case, we've made it through the other side. A family bout of gastro reminds me of the old saying about hitting yourself in the head with a hammer: it's almost worth it, because it feels so good when it's over.

ps- and the camera is home! Life is looking up.


  1. Crackerjacks. Or yackerjacks. Gastro and small kids is not the most fun I've had either.

    Way back when, Noah was 2.5 and Scouty was a wee babe in my belly, Noah was struck down with gastro. It was woeful. But what was even more woeful was the fact that I was leaving the next day to go on a girls trip to Melbourne with my Mum and sisters. I was fun. Until the second day when my incubated awesomeness reared it's very ugly head. I spent my Melbourne trip in bed. And in the bathroom.

    Gastro. It's very inconvenient.

  2. I'm so sorry for your nightmare gastro experience but it did provide me with a few minutes of amusement, not at your expense though! We have had similar situations here, with all seven of us crook at the same time, fighting for the dunny. As my kids would say OMG. You version of this was so well written and hilarious. Hope all is well now, have a great (spew free) weekend xo

  3. My violin's cracking the crescendo from the four seasons (spring) for you.

  4. Oh man. That sucks dogs balls. I've had gastro only once in my lifetime and all I can say it thank god the toilet and the sink were right next to each other. 'Nuff said.

    But that aside I'm glad your people are home safe and survived the great outdoors and all of it's rivers, bees and poos.

    Hope you rest up and all feel better soon. I feel for your poor back carrying a 3 year old. I'm in enough pain with a 6 week old I can only imagine... And I feel PB's cold coming on. I'm going back to read those chapters I must have missed.

  5. Welcome home, Ivy! (And Keith. And camera.)

  6. holy crap. Hell. on. earth. Pissing pants ( not in a gastro way) over the small violin though... glad its all over and so glad the camera is home.... and writing a funding proposal is painful at the best of times- i don't know who had the worst deal- and the hammy- bummer- if he is anything like mine he will milk that for all its worth... and I mean that in the nicest possible way...ahem..

  7. "stop the gastro stop the gastro"
    "I really don't like it"
    "stop the gastro stop the gastro"

    Now I can't remember the name of the song I am trying to write....

    I lourve the way we can all relate - my story involves a boat, a lover, a broken toilet and a BIG mess.


Thanks for talking to me. I don't got cooties. Oh, except for when I got cooties.