Getting food poisoning is pretty rotten. Pretty stinking rotten.

Getting food poisoning with 3 kids under 4 makes you wish you were the dude that froze to death that Rose dropped into the ocean at the end of Titanic.


When I woke up yesterday, I did not feel the need to cross the pearly gates and meet my Maker. I just wanted to get through the day like any other Mother. But as I made my coffee and contemplated breakfast for the girls, I felt and unfamiliar churn in my stomach that told me a toilet needed to be CLOSE by.

And that was all she wrote…

mommy down

Thus started one of the most heroic days of my life. Heroic because to be here writing about it means I survived it and anyone that can do that is a hero!

So after my first trip to the bathroom, the words Mommy Down, Mommy Down! echoing in my aching head, I crawl back to the couch and attempt to get into any position that allows me not to feel nauseous but still parent the kids. After finally adjusting to a nice, comfy, warm position, covering my shivering body with 3 fleece blankets and closing my eyes to the bright light flowing in the windows I hear “Mama, I need some milk.”

“In a minute.”

“Maaa- ammmaa – I need meeeuuulllkkkk.”

“In a minute honey, Mommy’s sick.”

“You sick Mama?”

“Yes baby.”

“Mama, I need milk.”


“Mama – come on. Come on mama, I need meeuullkk.”.

This is not going to end ever. Like… ever.

So, with one eye open, shivering from head to toe, trying to maintain enough strength to also hit to toilet should upchucking arise again, I limp pathetically to the fridge and retrieve requested milk.

“Katie, do you want some milk?”


“No, thank you.” Sorry – habit.

“No, thank you.”

Megan is happily chewing on something that, I am sure on a good day, I would disapprove of. But today – today I just don’t care. Chew away honey – enjoy your day off.

Yep, that demand was too much – off to the potty I sprint like a snail with a broken tail. Barely making it, I hear “Mooooooom” from the other room and chalk it up to pure delirium. Surly, even as young as they are, the understand a mercy killing. Surly.

“Moooooooommmm – I need miiiillllkkkk.”

Guess not. Remind me not to be surprised when they hold her back in Kindergarten.

“Katie, honey, Mommy’s sick. I’ll be there in a minute.”


“Katie.” By the way, your warning voice take a serious beating when you reverse the natural progression of nutrition. I am pretty sure I sounded like a whoopee cushion on the tail end of its fart.

“Katie, I will be there in a minute. Mommy’s…” excuse me “sick.”


Oh my heaven’s to Betsy! I am going to have to put her on the corner with a sign that reads “Free to a good home” if she does not get a clue!

Around the corner pops her head, “Mom, are you sick?”

Brilliant – I tell you – I raised her myself!

“Yes, Katie, I am sick.”

“Whatchoo doing?”

“Getting sick honey, its nothing to worry about.”

“Mommy, so you need a Doctor? Do you need surgery?”


“No, honey, I am fine.”

“I need milk.”

We are very proud.

“I’ll be there in a minute.”

And I do, I pull my sorry, limp, drained, ample behind off the floor and drag myself to the fridge for the milk that she did not want that she now needs so desperately.

Because that is what Mom’s do. We sacrifice. Our bodies first, our brains second and our sick days. I am not sure when we regain any of these lost treasure, I’ll let you know.

Megan still chewing on unknown substance? Check.

Back to the couch.

Ahhhhh – peace…

“Waaaa – aaaaaaaa”

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! Dear Lord have mercy on me! Seriously – is this some sort of test? Because I’d really rather take 9th grade TAKS if you don’t mind.

“Waaaaaaa -aaaaaaaaa”

Apparently, He minds.

Not knowing where I even got the strength, I hoist a screaming Megan onto the couch, check for bleeding, scratches, bruising or any other cause of her crying and find none. I concur she needs milk. Boob in mouth, she settles. Oh thank you sweet Jesus. Plus, her little body provides extra warmth under my 3 blankets and that’s just an added bonus all for me.

And so the days ticks by, second by second. Every time I look at the clock, I remind myself to check the batteries because a day can not go that slowly. It just can’t. It’s cosmically impossible.

Between TV shows, milk, crackers, cheese and bananas, I manage to maintain the children until about 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Phew- 2 more hours and my Husband, knowing I need medical attention, drugs and possibly to be turned to prevent bed sores, will be home, full of energy, to take over.

The phone rings.

“How are you feeling.”

“Like death.”

“OK – well. I’ll be a little late but not too much. Like maybe 8.”


“How are the girls.”


“OK – I’ll call you. Sorry.”

Uh huh – not as sorry as your going to be when I get to the knife block!

Oh, who am I kidding? Even if I could get there, I’d never have the strength to do anything more than give him an annoying paper cut and then I would just spend the rest of my life looking at an imaginary scar while he tells everyone at parties that I tried to stab him.

So I mutter a few unflattering names under by breath. Well, I think they were words.

“Mooooommm. I need more Snurfs.”

Snurf? What the snot is a Snurf?

“Mommy, SNURFS!”

Oh, wait… Smurfs…. got it.

I think she has seen this episode 87 times today. Mustering the energy for Mommy Guilt. Nope- not there.

“Mama – get up. Mama – get up and play with me.”

Oh, there it is.

“Mamaaaaaaaaa – come on. Come on. Come on!!!”

“Mama – taaaaakkkkeeee meeeeee. Take me Mama! Taaaaakkkkeeee meeee!”

Determined little stinker, isn’t she?

“Mooooommm – SNURFS!”

Oh yea -that too!


Calgon – let me drink you and perish in your bubbles of relaxation!

I change the channel, I play puzzles until another toy is coaxed into her attention span, and I throw the baby an Oreo. Really? You’re questioning my Mothering NOW??

I head to the couch…

“Mommyyyyy – nooooo – don’t lay dooowwwnnnn. Nooooo. Mommy – get uppppppp. Get uppppppp.”

Dagger, heart, ouch.

“I want my Dadddeeeeeeeee!”

Dagger, HIS heart, yep!

I don’t know how I did it. It must be my built in Mommy super – powers, but I did manage 3 cranky, bored, tired kids for the next 4 hours. While sporadically dry heaving. While dying. While shivering. While attempting some sort of comfort.

When the husband gets home, he tries to trump my heroic efforts with happy meals and oreos.

But nope, not even after he made me drink Pepto, rubbed pain reliever on my back, handed me a bottle of Tylenol AND water, and tucked me safely into my warm bed not to wake until morning, he could not do it.

No one can trump my Hero status today… No one!

Read Mommy’s Don’t Get Sick Days too!

Originally Published June 3, 2010

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