One thing I’ve learned in my years of tackling NaBloPoMo is that you have to seize the moment; when inspiration strikes, you’ve got to at least get something on the screen, because honestly it is damn hard to think of things to write about every single day for a month. You’ve also got to snatch any moments of solitude you can, because quiet space to write is a rare commodity in a house full of kids.
It’s now 5AM on Monday. I’ve been up for an hour. Michael woke me tossing & turning; he’s a restless sleeper so I’ve gotten pretty good about only swimming part way up out of sleep when he starts flopping around. He does this one maneouvre where he levitates his entire body up off the bed, spins in mid-air (stealing the covers as he goes) and then lands again with a crash and a huff. It used to wake me up completely, but these days I just yank the covers back and burrow down.
This time, though, he flopped around for a while before bolting to the bathroom, and without getting too graphic let me just say that a mom and childcare provider will go from sort-of-awake-and-drifting to wide-awake-and-ready-to-run in 3 seconds flat if she hears vomiting.
Now, I realize that when another adult is sick, there isn’t a whole lot I can do to assist. At least there are no sheets to change, or tears to dry. A sick adult does their thing and goes back to bed.
What I can do, though, and what I did do, is lie in bed thinking of all the surfaces that are now covered with plague.
I’ll have to clean the toilet today. Oh, wait, that’s water running. Better do the sink and taps too, I guess. Lights are on! Which ones? Light switches will need a wipe-down. He’s going to the kitchen. More light switches. Getting a drink of water… hmm… cupboard door handle, tap… oh, back to the bathroom…
The poor man was violently ill for nearly half an hour, and by the time he crawled sadly back into bed I was wrapped in my fuzzy bathrobe and ready to spring into action, like one of those moms in Lysol commercials.
“Did I wake you up?”
“Well, yes. But it’s OK. You going to be alright? Any fever?” (Here’s where I checked him for fever because I just cannot help myself; no fever at all, so that’s good).
“I just feel terrible. Where are you going?”
“Don’t take this the wrong way, babe, but I’m going to disinfect every surface you touched. Then I’m going to the living room. Call me if you need anything.”
This is an actual conversation that actually happened at 4:30AM.
The crazy thing is that I did then go through the house, wiping everything down. I cleaned the bathroom and sprayed all the door handles and switchplates. I went to the kitchen and for once blessed his propensity for leaving cupboard doors open, because I knew exactly which handle he’d touched. I couldn’t just leave it until a more reasonable hour, because Harry gets up every morning before 6AM and heads for first the bathroom, then the kitchen. If I didn’t get it all disinfected before sunup, there would really be no point, so ta-da! I’m a lunatic.
Now, how long do you figure I have before the virus spreads?