Who knew changing a diaper would make me happy?
Last Monday, Peter called me at work and told me to come home. Philip had thrown up three times in the previous hour or so. Right after I arrived home, he threw up again. I lost count after that. I don’t know how many loads of laundry we did, but the washer and dryer were running for most of the day. I started to recognize the signs of impending upchuck, but I still couldn’t steer Philip to the toilet or a bucket. I just had to grab a towel or cloth and hope for the best. Philip threw up on pillows, his cloths, my clothes, blankets and even his talking dog toy.
On Tuesday, I thought he was improving. His vomiting had seemed to stop, but Philip was clearly not feeling well. He drank very little and had no appetite. He slept for most of the day. I was excited when he hadn’t thrown up in 12 hours and ate half a Saltine. Shortly before bedtime though, he whimpered and threw up again. The only consolation was that he slept through the night.
I returned to work on Wednesday. Philip slept most of the day again. When he was up he drank very little compared to his usual enthusiastic slurping of milk and juice. Both Peter and I noticed that we weren’t have to change his diapers as often. So I was frustrated when he spit up once in the evening, but pleased that he managed to keep down a few crackers and some juice after this. Having slept most of the day, he stayed up very late. I was there with him trying to encourage him to drink and watching out for vomit.
When I got up on Thursday, I didn’t feel well. I chalked it up to nervousness over Philip, news about a new job and exhaustion from several nights with limited sleep. A couple of hours after sitting at work, I knew from the ache of my stomach that it wasn’t lack of sleep. I raced to the bathroom and threw up. I drove home and, like Philip had on Monday, spent the day throwing up, barely making it into the house. Philip, meanwhile,was spending most of his time laying down and sleeping. In fact, he insisted on going back into his crib several times that day. His diaper changes were still few and far between. And then he threw up again that evening.
On Friday, I knew how Philip had felt on Tuesday. I was drained. I ended up spending most of the morning asleep. When both Philip and I got up that afternoon, he began showing interest in his toys again. He ate and drank more. I thought we had finally made it past this stomach but-until Philip stood up in front of the tv and threw up on the carpet.
That was the last time though. By Saturday, Philip wanted to go outside for a walk. He only went to his crib for a single nap. He ate steadily throughout the day and drank more than he had for most of the week.
And by Sunday, I was happy to be changing diapers. The reappearance of color in his cheeks, the return of smiles and giggles, the insistence on getting out every single toy in his cabinet to play with and all the wet diapers were a sign that Philip had recovered. Amazingly enough, the hungry little boy was eating foods he hadn’t been willing to try in months.
After a diaper change, of course.