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Yellow Farmhouse; white rocking chair

By Kayleigh Rahn
It was 7 a.m. on a Wednesday when it hit our house.

I consider us the lucky ones, though. Nora had reached the seasoned age of 2 years, 4 months, and 10 days before we were forced to face it. However, our time was up.

The punies had hit.

Batten down the hatches, friends, it’s going to be a rough one.

By 7:30 a.m. I’d called off work, and we’d settled in for a few minutes of snuggles before Nora’s first-ever upset tummy experience transpired.

I have no idea how we ended up there, but as I was catching my breath I realized we made our way to the bathroom. Not in time, course. But poor sweet Nora had no idea what was happening to her or how to react. In an effort to direct the chaos I was shouting directions at her that were not breaking through. She was flailing and turning her head in every direction except toward the appropriate receptacle.

By the end of the ordeal we both needed not only new clothing but a bath and a shower as well. However, I quickly realized a mom’s survival mode while a kid is sick has no room for frivolous notions such as three consecutive minutes under running warm water.

Once the initial shock had worn I moved into action in the only way I knew how. Do what Mom did for me. So, I put a sheet on the couch, grabbed a pillow from her bed, ran a wash cloth under cool water and prepped a bucket. All the makings for a sick day, at least that was how my Mom did it in the Zyskowski household of yesteryear.

After Round 2 of the punies, I noticed her torso was beginning to break out in small red hives, so we set out for the walk-in clinic. I know there are many different varieties of Mamas in this world; however, my Mama mode fully supports Western medicine and all it has to offer. I know that doesn’t work for every Mom on the planet, but it works for us.

We’d successfully checked in, as she snuggled into my lap and finally fell asleep.

However, as quickly as I felt her body relax into my arms, she was up.

Here came Round 3.

And it was a doozy… All down the front of my shirt.

I froze and looked around the waiting room panicked with my jaw hanging open.

Of course, I brought spare clothes for Nora, but why, oh why, didn’t I think of my self.

Every other person stared blankly back at me over their medical masks as I gathered our bag and made a move for the bathroom.

We needed running water STAT.

However, in the name of a hands-free bathroom experience, the faucet was automatic, meaning there was no way for an exhausted desperate mother to keep the water running to rinse out a shirt or two. Green-faced Nora refused to stand on her own feet, so I was left attempting to keep the facet running to splash water on her face while balancing her on my hip. The result was nothing but tears.

Finally, I admitted defeat to the touchless faucet.

However, while I did my best to clean up the catastrophe in the restroom, just outside the door in the waiting room, unbeknownst to us, our name was being called to head back to a room. I can only imagine this transpired in sitcom fashion with the nurse retreating behind the waiting room door as we exited the restroom door. One just missing the other.

We sat down and waited. And waited. And finally, after our counterparts in the waiting room had turned over twice, I asked.

Sure enough we’d missed our name; they apologized; Nora was sleeping.

Soon after, we were in and out and quickly on our way home with an antibiotic in hand (for an ear infection, no less).

The day continued on with a few more upset tummy experiences, a couple bites of applesauce and eventually rest for both of us. I was never so grateful for encouraging texts from my Mom and finally to see William come through the door after work.

After several hours of snuggles and a few struggles to get her medicine down, in two days time, our wild Nora was back.

We survived the stomach bug, of course, no worse for the wear.

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