in the trenches

TIS THE SEASON LADIES. The season for cocktail dresses, work party whoopsies, glittery shoes, evening spent laughing gaily by the stone fireplace of the hottest new hotty hot bar, over hot toddies while a hot remix of "Here Comes Santa Claus" makes you feel both festive and a little slutty...

wait

sorry

no

that was four years ago.

Tis still a season. But tis a bit of a different season now. Tis the season for shivering on the bathroom floor with Chicken, who has been barfing every 15 minutes since midnight; for begging strangers on Facebook to bring you apple juice, for waking up on December 22nd and being like FUCK are you kidding me? We finally stop hurling chunks and we've only got 3 days to slam together, like, the most magical Christmas ever?

That season.

Norovirus pretty much bent us over (the toilet, and occasionally a mixing bowl with a plastic bag in it) a couple of weeks ago. It robbed us of a full week of Christmas cheer, and gave us only slightly looser pants in exchange (that was actually pretty thoughtful of you, Norovirus. Thx.)

The advice will come later.

For now I just want to take you inside the mind of a woman who hasn't slept for a week, who has spent more time exposed to germ-filled human milkshake spatter than an East African aid worker (too soon? I don't know. I made the "yeeeeeuuuuu" face, like, as I was typing it.

that's the one
the one
that brings
all the boys
to the yard
where there is a car
waiting to take them
far
far away
from that face


Comedy is meant to make people uncomfortable. But does it make people uncomfortable or just make me an insensitive dick to try to crack wise on the deaths of thousands and thousands of people? Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. So that wasn't an answer tho. You know what's more important than an answer? Asking the question. That's a great point.


For now I just want to take you inside the world of a woman whose husband is off, out of the state, prancing around, gallivanting really at his Grandpa's funeral (pretty sure I'm a piece of actual shit) while her two young children take turns expelling hot liquids of varying levels of viscosity and chunk. And then, THEN, when they are both feeling spritely as ponies in May once again, cabin-crazy and ready to breathe the air of free men, THEN that woman falls ill herself and spends 24 hours begging the children to be still and quiet. So she could focus on begging for a merciful death.

Come down the Rabbit Hole, my precious.


13 Things I Thought or Said 
The Week Norovirus Made Me Its Bitch

1. Kids, I'm not going to be nice. I  don't have any nice in me. Today, nobody is going to be happy. Accept it. You're going to have to settle for being clean, fed, medicated, and tended to. I will meet your basic needs, and I won't make a stink about it, but make no mistake: you remember that song about the day the music died? Yeah. That's today.

2. I was like, "Oh I slept from 12-2:30 and then from 3:30-6 am. So, yeah, two 2.5-hour stretches." But then I was like (in the voice of Chandler Bing) no. No, no! NO.

We are not calling 2.5 hours a "stretch." A STRETCH is 3 hours AT LEAST. I had two 2.5-hour "episodes." Or perhaps "snippets." "Nibbles." "Glimpses." "Whimpers." "Pulse Maintainers," perhaps, although only technically.

3. Sick quiet kids are so much better than healthy whiny kids.

4. I packed a car bag, to be prepared for en-route-to-the-urgent-care pooptastrophes:

- three fresh outfits for Buster
- three fresh outfits for Chicken
- two fresh outfits for me
- three trash bags
- a new package of wipes
- 10 diapers
- two binkies
- two bottles of water
- six towels
- ten cloth diapers

I put the bag in the car. And then I thought, "I'm pretty sure that was it for me today. I'm pretty sure that was my win."

5. OK so you have to make a choice, Katie. You can either:
a) Stop typing right now and wash that greezy hair
b) Commit, and start developing next year's Halloween costume as The Revenant.

damn k
pace yourself
cuz
add a beard
and you're basically there
today
right now
and you have like
11 months to go

6. There will be no vomit or poop in this car seat. Not today.

7. GOD I wish the bathroom door wasn't stuck closed and the landlord wasn't coming to fix it literally any minute, because if that weren't the case I would be curled up on the couch in one of Ryan's hoodies, discovering a totally organic, operatic performance of "exhaustion." Like, if Shatner did exhaustion, except in Kabuki. As it is, I have like, exactly enough self-respect in the tanks to wear actual clothes and be both upright and conscious for the landlord.

8. Today is not the day to start a book.

9. There's something freeing about having a really sick baby. You can say, 
"Oh, you want to sleep in your muddy jeans, Chicken? 
In the oversized chair, with all the cushions removed so you're basically sleeping on springs covered in thin cotton? 
MAZEL TOV! 
Go with God."

10. WHY IS THERE SO MUCH CARPET IN THIS HOUSE and other things that cannot be laundered or bleached.

11. In my head: CHICKEN. FOR FUCK'S SAKE. GET A GRIP, and UNLATCH FROM MY FUCKING LEGS. Seriously. All I am doing right now is going into the other room to ladle diarrhea out of your brother's diaper. I don't want you playing "tiger jump" while I'm doing that. I refuse to try to imagine the spatter. It's too easy to picture. Did you know, my love, that the last ten minutes was a record-breaking streak of consecutive seconds in which I wanted to flip you off? 600 TIMES, my brain was like, "yep, bird him." AND I DIDN'T EVEN DO IT ONCE. That's how much I love you. You're welcome.

Out of my mouth: Chicken, my love? Your brother has a really sick diaper that I need to change, and I need to do that without you so I can make sure you don't get poop on your body. I'm going to clean your brother, and then I'll come back and check on you, okay? I see that you're worried, and I want to come help you feel safe and calm. But I have to clean this poop up first. Ok? OK. I'm going to peel you off my body now. OK? Ready?

12. I wonder how much coffee a person can drink before they start to pee Via dust.

13. "Luckily we all got sick on different days. Wait, no, not luckily. That was the worst part. Someone was barfing for a week straight."


OK, so now onto the advice portion of the post. They all ended up being 3 words long. Crazy how that happens, right? I can't take credit. Poetry arrived in search of me.

Ask for help.
Accept offered help.
Fuck the dishes.
Bleach kills Norovirus.
Popsicles and saltines.
Screen time good.
This shall pass.
All the towels.
Okay to cry.
Stop crying now.
Time to bleach
Everything you own
Including your contacts
TRUE STORY THO
NOT TRUE STORY
DON'T BLEACH ANYTHING
THAT GOES IN
YOUR EYES DUDE
THAT SHIT BURNS
Also there will
Probably be some
Long-lasting side effects
To bleaching your
contact lenses. FYI.

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