Since then I have had every close encounter of the gross kind you
can imagine. I'm immune to it now. My husband apparently has not
been exposed to it enough to gain that immunity. He still gags at
the thought of a dirty diaper. He still thinks he can save himself
if one of the kids gets a stomach virus.
There is a difference
between a 3-year-old getting sick and a teenager getting sick.
Little ones are quiet but have a problem with logistics. Teenagers
are loud, but at least they have learned when to head for the
I had two of my teenagers with me on an out-of-town trip last
week. My son was going to compete in a tournament, and my daughter
decided to come along for the ride. She regretted that decision
within hours of arriving at our hotel.
It was just before we turned in for the night that my son said
the infamous words: "I don't feel so good."
Every mom in the world knows what that means. I assessed the
situation. One hotel room, two beds and one toilet. My daughter
would share my bed. My son would take the bed closest to the
bathroom. Most likely, he would be in and out of it all night. It
would be rough, but we could deal with it, I thought.
That was until we heard the first few rounds. It sounded like he
was trying to give birth to a baby whale. My daughter looked at me,
eyes begging me to do something about this nightmare.
My idea of "roughing it" is having to use a fork to stir my tea.
This was going to be more than rough. In fact, I was sure that my
daughter and I would be in the same shape by morning if I didn't get
us out of there.
[to top of second column]
Just after midnight, I shuffled down to the front desk in my
pajamas and asked for another room close to the first one. They had
one right next door. I would still hear my son's "contractions," but
at least the sound would be muted. I sighed. This trip had just cost
me double and my son didn't even go to the tournament.
When I came back to the nightmare room, my son was heaving in the
bathroom and my daughter was sitting up in bed with a look of panic.
"I thought you were going to leave me here!" she wailed.
I installed her in the room next door and spent a restless night
listening to my son trying to eject his innards.
By morning, he was still not over it. Checkout time was 11
o'clock. I couldn't drive home with him like that. He needed rest
and I needed a nap. At 10:30, I was back at the front desk to
request another day in the second room. My costs had tripled. At 11,
I texted my husband to tell him why we would not be coming home that
"Take your time," he texted. I could hear the earnestness in
those three words. He had some advice for me, too: "Use hand
sanitizer and Lysol. Make him take a shower before you come home.
Can you wash his clothes?"
I texted back, "No. No laundry facilities."
If texts could beg, this one did: "Can you burn them?"
[By LAURA SNYDER]
Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated
columnist, author and speaker. You can reach her at
or visit www.lauraonlife.com
for more info.