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I am sure I looked like the walking dead heading into church yesterday morning. Ok, maybe I didn’t look it, but I kind of felt like it…Vincent the Christmas Virus was a few weeks late – had made visits to friends in the blogsphere facebook, and so on…and he visited Little Guy this weekend. Don’t know the song?

“Vincent the Christmas Virus
He’s the one that’ll keep you up all night
He’s the festive parasite
Vincent the Christmas Virus
He’s the gift that keeps on giving all night long.” – Arrogant Worms

It was Sunday, midnight – the “witching hour” and I heard a strange, gargled cough…Hubby’s feet hit the floor before mine (I find it reassuring that this recent half-centenarian can still move with catlike agility if he needs to…). Little Guy had projectile vomited in his sleep. Hubby & I moved with precision – while I mopped up the kid and sent him to my bed (fingers crossed there wouldn’t be a repeat performance there), Hubby ran for a plastic bowl. While Hubby stripped the bed and took the soiled bedding downstairs, I made up with the bed with fresh linens. It was remarkable! When Big Guy was little and vomited, Hubby retreated, gagging, to another floor of the house, lest he also start to vomit. I always told him that if he did, he’d have to clean it up himself. But now, having raised this boy from infancy, Hubby is “all growed up”.

With our child safely tucked safely in his own bed once again, bowl close at hand, we took turns burning washing our hands before crawling into our separate beds. I snuggled into a new (cold) spot in my bed in an attempt to avoid contagion. At 1:00 a.m., we were at it again. We switched tasks, and I threw some bedding in the washer. Big Guy was visiting for the weekend, sleeping next to the laundry room…but I knew he was already awake. I was certain the sound of the washer was less intrusive than the noxious fumes emanating from the bed sheets. I curled up back in bed with the door open and my Mommy Brain on high alert.

Little Guy tiptoed to the bathroom at 1:30. I wondered if Hubby was lying stiffly in bed, holding his breath and straining to hear that all-too-familiar sound. It was like playing chicken from our separate bedrooms…I won! Hubby got up, just in time for Round 3. I tucked Little Guy back in and tried to stifle the voice in my head that kept reminding me that I was helping lead worship in the morning and I needed to get to sleep. Since Big Guy was home, Hubby & I decided that I would take Big Guy with me in the morning to replace Hubby in the sound booth…Big Guy just didn’t know it yet.

At 2:30, there arose such a clatter, that Hubby sprang from his bed (with the gracefulness of a gazelle) to see what was the matter…it was a sheet of ice falling off the front awning onto the concrete and iron below.

The room had the greying aura of early morning when my eyes flit open. I could heard a couple of gentle coughs from Little Guy, as though his throat was dry, followed by a muffled, “muppet”esque chicken ba-caw” sound. I glanced at the clock – 5:00 a.m. – and mentally calculated that I had now had 3 hours of broken sleep. I slipped into his room to find Little Guy kneeling over an empty bowl. “I’m ok” he said, as he laid down again. I asked if he wanted a sip of water and I stroked his head. He assured me he was really okay. I moved his bowl, and it was wet on the rim. Eew! I was about to leave to wash my hands with acid, when I asked him “where’s your bed buddy?” He didn’t know. As I scanned the surface of his bed (I already had one wet hand and I don’t like surprises), my eyes, having adjusted to the dim light, perceived a brown shape that was not like the others (his sheets had pound puppies on it). Round 4! Little Guy insisted he only needed a towel and he could sleep on it. By that time, Hubby was conscious again and hearing the word “towel”, came to investigate. Repeat steps…only this time, the pile of soiled bedding went in the tub. Neither of us was in any shape to make it down 2 flights of stairs…and back up.

I stumbled out the door early, respectably dressed (no make up though…too dangerous. I might put an eye out…), and headed to the church. Big Guy and I only made one stop – for “caffeine”. The morning went well, except I question the Pastor’s judgment (every time) for asking me to speak in public (it’s even worse when I’ve had less than 4 hours of sleep…).

Little Guy, I’m happy to say, was happily playing video games with Daddy when I stumbled home, another large caffeine-filled hot drink in hand. I needed it – there were 2 pillowcases, 2 mattress covers, two and a half set of sheets, three blankets, two comforters, and a partridge in a pear tree an assorted pile of facecloths, towels…and one precious bed buddy…waiting to be washed.

Thank you, Vincent, for another “memorable” night!