Twas the night before Monday, when all through my roost, all creatures stopped stirring once punishments were introduced.
The laundry still hung on the clothesline with care, forgotten by Mama who’d been summoned elsewhere.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds, the fun of the weekend still fresh in their heads.
And Papa in his boxers, and I in my sweats, had just settled down, blind to stomach upsets.
When across the baby monitor, there arose such a clatter, I sat straight up, my husband exclaimed “What the @*&%# is the matter?!”
Away to the girls bedroom, I ran like a flash, found an old trashcan , delivered bedside with a crash.
Moonlight through the window enveloped the room, suggesting serenity and not impending doom.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a trail of puke flying straight through the air.
My littlest daughter, by day – lively and quick, had succumb to infection and wound up quite sick.
More rapid than eagles her expulsions came. I tried to give directions but she missed the can all the same.
On blankets, on pillows , on dolly and teddy. My sweat-shirt, her nightgown, it persisted, fast and steady .
From the top of the bed, to the top of the wall?!, how to wash away, wash away, wash away it all?
As dry heaves took over, my husband walked in with a sigh. She soon finished vomiting and began to cry.
Off to the bathroom, we walked smelling sour, my husband grabbed paper towels and began to scour.
And then in a twinkling, I suspected more to come, when after a cry from the boy’s room, my husband took off in a run.
As I threw back my head, an expletive muttered, a long night we were in for, the week’s plans now shattered.
Redressed in clean PJ’s and laid back in her bed, I thought of helping my husband, but ducked under my covers instead.
“He made it to the toilet” was all he expressed, before snuggling beside me and trying to get fresh.
“Go away!”, I recoiled, “Fat chance in hell ! Who knows when they’ll be up again! There’s no way to tell!”
With a shrug of his shoulders, he pulled sheets round his head, and soon gave me to know, I had nothing to dread.
I awoke to a child standing quietly bedside, with a pail in his hand, his needs plainly implied.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work and filled up the pail, then zonked out with a jerk.
And laying his finger up inside his nose, I tried cleaning his face with my stained bedtime clothes.
Many hours later, this cycle twice repeated, I hoped finally our jobs as nursemaids was completed.
A virus so merciless, had made me it’s slave. The sleep that we needed would remain elusive ’til the grave.
Too soon I make out the sun through eyes tired and bleary, as my husband exclaimed “There’s no rest for the weary.”