You would think that cleaning up vomit would take away my late-night sweet cravings. You'd be wrong.
84 minutes ago, I was driving home from a book discussion group, thinking about the topics discussed of the Founding Fathers and the balance of powers in government, and thinking about how much I wanted to eat something sweet when I arrived home. I knew I shouldn't have anything, particularly since I had a little leftover birthday cake after lunch and I am trying to maintain my weight loss at the moment. Still, I was considering the vanilla ice cream in the freezer or the chocolate in the high cupboard.
When I got home, I found my three younger kids sleeping peacefully. Jared was watching a World Cup game and getting ready to leave for a late night indoor soccer game. The two older boys hadn't arrived home yet from Cub Scout camp. I contemplated that I would pay the bills and fold some laundry and maybe even have time for my fun book before Jared got home from soccer. The evening stretched out deliciously in front of me and I even forgot about the sugar calling me from the kitchen.
Then, within moments, my dream was shattered. From the girls' bedroom we heard screaming. (I am learning recently that girls really like to scream more than boys do.) I rushed in to find both girls hysterical and vomit (Bronwen's) on the floor by the door. I tried to comfort and clean up Bronwen while Jared tried to clean up the floor and comfort the traumatized baby sister while Bronwen wailed on. Just then, the big boys bounded in, anxious to tell us all about their adventures at camp and to eat at this late hour.
It was time for Jared to leave or his team would have to forfeit their game. I held the crying baby, asked the boys to get ready for bed and just skip a shower because Bronwen was in the bathtub, and rifled through the loads of clean clothes on my bed looking for some pajamas for Bronwen to wear. No luck. Where were they? Meanwhile, Bronwen wailed from the bathtub that she's cold and wants to get out. Finally I found something that would work for her and got her out as I discovered another puddle of vomit that Jared had missed. The baby had to go back in the crib to avoid having her play in it, which only made her sob all the more. A few minutes later, Bronwen was dressed for bed and the puke was cleaned up, but Bronwen wanted me to cuddle her. Margaret was still crying, and the boys wanted something to eat.
I told Bronwen that I couldn't cuddle her, I needed to help Meggie calm down and feed her brothers. She says plaintively, "but Mommy, I need your help," and I can't say no. Instead, I tell her I'll be right back. I ran out to the kitchen and helped the boys find some leftovers to warm up. Ian wandered out, groggy-eyed, and announced that he felt like throwing up. Fantastic. Kimball announced that his goldfish is dead. This was not the time to find me full of sympathy or helpfulness when it comes to a goldfish. Luckily, he seemed to need neither.
I got Meggie calmed down as long as I was holding her, sent Ian back to bed with a throw-up bowl, left Kimball and Henry to eat, and went back to Bronwen's room. She was sucking her thumb and trying to sleep, but still wanted me to cuddle her. I tried to sit by her and stroke her back while still holding the baby, but neither girl was interested in sharing me and I finally left the room with the baby, hoping Bronwen would fall asleep quickly.
This all went on for another 20 minutes or so. At 10:00 pm when all but Henry are in bed, I look at the clock and realize that I'll be lucky to load the dishwasher before Jared gets back, let alone pay the bills and fold the laundry or read my book.
Instead, I remember my sugar craving from earlier and find a chunk of milk chocolate in the high cupboard, which I have with a spoonful of this heavenly stuff. As I eat, I wonder how I can do so after so recently cleaning up after Bronwen's sickness. Then I decide to write a blog post instead of doing any of the work I need to do. There goes another 25 minutes!
Gotta go. Ian just threw up. Something tells me it's going to be a long night.