Oh yay, the child has the stomach flu. It’s a bit like mining oil, a surprise can pop up when you least expect it.

You might figure something’s wrong when the child just squirms around the living room and doesn’t even want candy. But nothing is wrong, the child says, and continues squirming. I’m not going to the bathroom, I’m not sick. Of course that sentence is finished with barfing on the floor right in the middle of the living room. Splash, pink goo on the hardwood floor. Sploosh, another serving on top of the beautiful plush armchair, irrecoverable.

Before you have time to say stomach flu, the child has already ran over the goo itself and dived into bed. Your bed, of course. And off the bed. That scares the cat, and she runs through the barf. Everyone is screaming, most of all the one who has to clean it all. Three rolls of paper towels, some all purpose cleaning solution, and a lot of tears, until it’s time for the next sploosh. Wave goodbye for the relaxing night at home with Frasier on tv and a mug of mulled wine.

And then start the negotiations. You have a meeting tomorrow morning, I have one in the afternoon, last time you were away for three days, I was away only two, it’s your turn to stay at home and take care of it all. When you think about, this is all your fault anyway, at least I tell the kids to wash their hands when they come home from school and daycare. You never do. Think about that for a moment.

Finally, the treatment of the sick has turned into a silent treatment, and the very tired cleaners of all things nasty both drop on the bed, back to back, without remembering, that at one point of the day, there were teeny tiny feet covered in goo, on this exact pillow.

Photo by Oliver Hale.

— Editors

The writer of this story is a member of the Mom of Finland community.

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