Today, I’m adding to the list. Since both Terror Toddlers are sick right now, that’s mainly what I’m looking at.
You’ve been warned.
1. Leather furniture. Yes, I know it’s damn expensive, but follow me on this one: babies, toddlers, and kids of all ages, are walking biological waste accidents waiting to happen. Or rather, not waiting. And that, my friends, is exactly why leather furniture is a God send. Babies are notorious for letting bodily fluids fly from either end, without warning. Toddlers? Pretty much a continuation, but with a twist: they’re now mobile. The mess now has greater range. A puking toddler is pretty much exactly like one of those machine gun sprinklers. They vomit, turn a bit, vomit some more, turn a bit…you get the picture. They seem to go for both distance, and maximum area covered. Moving them is futile. All you can do is hopefully stand back out of the splatter zone, and wait for them to finish. (Interestingly enough, my toddlers aren’t the slightest bit phased about puking. They puke, and are ready to play again.) Leather means wiping it down, and all is well. Fabric? Scotch Guard my ass. And even steam cleaning…oh good grief. The smell of hot, steamy, cooked puke permeates everything, plus now your couch is too wet to sit on. May as well burn that shit, because the smell is never coming out.
2. Keep a sick kit. Fever reducer meds, ginger ale, crackers. Trust me on this, you don’t want to be caught without the Holy Trinity when it comes to having sick kids in the house, because it never fails, when you don’t have these things in the house, your spouse will be at work, and you’ll be faced with the option of dragging feverish, miserable, possibly puking kids to the store. I’ve been known to stash it in my closet, so nobody scarfs it down when I’m not looking.
3. There is no crib known to man that is an easy clean up. They’re designed to be the worst freaking things possible to have to scrub out. Short of hauling them outside (assuming you can get them through the doorway) and taking a hose to the freaking things, there is simply no tips or tricks that make it any less a back-breaking event. The temptation to just set them on fire, along with any fabric couches, is overwhelming, but resist it.
4. When dealing with a sick kid in the middle of the night, divide and conquer is your best bet. One parent scoop and bathe child, while the other deals with making their bed/crib and surrounding area fit for human habitation again. A HAZMAT suit and a pressure washer would be handy. For those with a super sensitive sense of smell, a dab of vanilla extract under your nose can help. When I was in health care, Vicks Vaporub was a recommendation, but I found it too strong, to the point of feeling like I’d shoved cotton up my nose, and lit it on fire. Sure, I couldn’t smell anything but the Vicks, but I couldn’t feel anything but my nose on fire, and couldn’t see anything for the tears, so, definitely not a ‘win’ situation. Oh, and speaking of cleaning? Rubber gloves are a good thing, ‘kay? Even Wolf, who normally scorns such things, was grateful for them, when having to clean up after sick kidlets.
5. Keep an extra mop bucket handy. This one is mainly for older kids, who have the ability to aim when sick. We only have one bathroom, and depending on where the sick kid is, may be a flight of stairs away. Having an extra ‘chuck bucket’ can make the difference between scrubbing floors or not.
Honestly, when the kids are sick, I wish for a house full of disposable everything, made out of ‘easily hosed down’ materials, and drains in the floor. Or a full jerry can, a match, and an understanding fire chief, insurance company, and police force, that truly understands that when you have sick kids, spreading their ick all over the house, sometimes fire is really the most reasonable, most efficient, answer.
I suspect any parent with children, who have transformed into biohazards, would understand.
But, since burning down houses is generally frowned upon, I’m just going to tape a sign declaring ‘Unclean’ and ‘Quarantine’ on the door, and pray for the best.