Yesterday, Phoebe decided she wanted to go to school with Lucy. Instead of stopping short of the door and waving her big sister good-bye in the usual drop-off fashion, she followed her inside and attempted to join the classroom activities already in progress. It was very cute. Until I informed her that it was time to go, then it was not cute at all. It was shrieking and kicking me in the belly and smacking me in the face, tossing her over my shoulder and marching her to the van fireman-style NOT CUTE. There was nothing cute about the car seat battle that followed. Or the way she took all varieties of food and beverage in her mouth and then spit them back out on the table and floor at lunch time, snack time and dinner time. Or the nude-in she staged for the remainder of the day. Or the toilet paper roll, toothpaste tube, pair of shoes and bowl of fruit she destroyed.
It was cute, however, when she fell asleep early as I read stories before bedtime.
Later that night, as Dave and I chatted on the phone, I told him, “I don’t know what’s gotten into her, but I hope it gets out.” (Foreshawdowing!!!)
This morning, fresh from the shower, I greeted Phoebe who was stirring in my bed. She sat up and lunged at me, arms wide and gave me the hug I’d been longing for since The Meanness had taken her over yesterday.
“Oh, I love you, Bee!”
She pulled away to look at my face and then she hugged me again. “Yove you, too, Mama!”
Once again she pulled away and I smiled at her. She vomited on my chin and chest.
After a stunned moment, I took us both to the bathroom to clean up when she said, “Uh oh! Poop!”
The smell hit about ten seconds later.
I finished cleaning up the vomit, took her out of her footie pajamas and directed her to her room, where the diapers and wipes are, and then I noticed it – the diarrhea spurting out of the sides of her diaper, like a sprinkler, all over the only carpeted room in the house. I’m not sure where she was storing it as I cannot comprehend how that amount of excrement could come from someone so small. It was like a clown car of feces, it just kept coming and coming. I threw a towel on the ground and asked her to stand on it to catch the rest. Once things seemed to slow down, I wipe her down and plopped her in the tub while I gave the carpet a cursory scrub – we still had to get the big girls to school, so I knew I’d have to do a better job later. (Yay!)
Somehow, we managed to get everyone clean, dressed, fed and to school on time. Phoebe has been the picture of health and sweetness ever since.
The moral of this story? There isn’t one. It’s just one of those tales of survival where the victory lies in being able to tell it.