Stone Soup for Five: How To Stay Healthy When Your Whole Entire Family is Sick

How To Stay Healthy When Your Whole Entire Family is Sick

Two of my boys woke up with an ugly vomiting virus this morning and both raced to the toilet right after one another.  (One missed... which means I clean it up, and then feel sick... but is it sick from me really having the virus or sick from cleaning up sick?) 

Vomit time always moves me quickly into Vomit Preparation Mode.  This is a crucial part of our family life when it occurs, so I thought you might want to see how this all works.

V.P.M. for Beginners

1.  Bleach!  It's your friend! Bleach everything in the bathroom.  Scrub the toilet, the floor, the walls, the sink, handles, doorknobs, everything.  Then wipe with disinfecting wipes.  Be sure to wash your hands for twenty minutes finishing with a good slosh of hand sanitizer.  This step is crucial only because if you do get sick, you'll get to throw up in a bleach smelling toilet... because if you have boys, you don't want your face there without bleach first. Ever.

You now have roughly 4 to 12 hours before you get sick.  Don't waste time yet.

(I recommend reading the rest of the post, while letting the video below play.  It adds a sense of ADVENTURE! EXCITEMENT! URGENCY!)

2.  Drive to the nearest grocery store and stock up on sick food:  Chicken noodle soup, sprite or 7up, saltines, and apple juice.  Be sure to plan something for lunch or dinner that tastes the same coming back up as it does going down.  Good options:  Cream of wheat, apple juice, toast, oatmeal, maybe eggs--if you're brave.  For the next 12-24 hours avoid at all costs chili, pizza, tomato based products or anything with strong flavor.  Those items are cruel and unforgiving.  Wash and disinfect your hands again and convince yourself that gnawing feeling in your stomach is just sympathy pain.

You now have about 2-10 hours before getting sick.  Still need to keep moving. 

3. Bleach the entire bathroom floor (and depending on where your kids missed the toilet--steam clean the carpets) Keep a Costco sized pack of sanitizing wipes next to the bathroom sink, toilet, bathroom door, living room, dining room, and kitchen.  Wipe something every time you walk past.

Remove any towels that your sickies might wipe their faces on.  Put paper towels and paper cups in the bathroom.  Wipe everything again with disinfecting wipes.  Wash your hands again while singing the ABC song.

Down to 1-9 hours before zero hour. Try not to think back to every straw or cup you've shared in the last 24-48 hours with your now sick child.  Or every kiss or touch or hand hold.  You're fine.  Just fine.

3.  If you're still healthy and happen to be behind on laundry, because who isn't, throw in a load of towels and some bleach for good measure.  You'll need lots of those.  Put one under the head of every sick person and in a 3 foot radius around them, or line the entire bedroom/living room with layers of them...and down the hall to the bathroom.  Disinfect all doorknobs and light switches.  Wash your hands again and gloop on the sanitizer.  You're not sick.  It's just in your head.  You're doing excellent! (take a handful of vitamin C and maybe a multi-vitamin... and if you have them, eat an orange while gulping airborne.)

Down to getting sick at any time or up to 8 hours from now... or not, because you just took VITAMINS! Maybe eat some blueberries too!  Antioxidants and all that.

4. Check on your sick kid(s).  Are they able to hold down any 7up or apple juice yet? Give them about a tablespoon's worth and wait.  Armed with a bucket.  Work on your ninja reflexes while applying hand sanitizer.  Maybe take a shower at this point, or at least wash up to your elbows.

5.  This next step is crucial, so if you are still not sick, sit up and pay attention to this one.  Have you ever gotten sick after eating something? And after you throw it up you feel sick every time you smell it again?  Ya.  So here's the deal.  Eat something that you love, but know is really bad for you.  My sister and I thought of this quite a while ago and it works!  If you're addicted to McDonald's fries, go and get some and hork those fries down.... anything that you know you need to quit eating and just can't seem to.  Donughts?  Pizza?

This works in two ways.  One, if you get sick, you'll never want to eat them again and you win!  Two, if you don't, hey it was a tasty treat and you tried, right?

At this point you're a ticking time bomb, it's time to hunker down.

6.  It's important to figure out what TV show you're going to watch an entire season of while flat on the couch.  I don't recommend any cooking shows... The Pioneer Woman and the flu DO NOT MIX.  A good option is any trilogy or set of movies you have.  Last time we did a Harry Potterthon.  Lord of the Rings is good too, less food scenes in LotR, but more blood.  It's kind of a wash either way.  Stack the DVDs near the player, locate all necessary remotes (and disinfect them) and grab a couple books that you've meant to read for the last year or so and some pillows and throw blankets, and your cell phone, because if you're sick on the couch, you'll need plenty of posts to social media.

7.  Set up your station with the DVDs, remotes, books, a throw up bucket or bowl, towels, tissues, and disinfecting wipes.  If your sick kids are in the living room, plan on a lot of together time with a lot of bleach and Lysol fragrance added to your day.  Make a note to look into the essential oils everyone but you seems to know a lot about.  And wonder if it really does work to slice an onion in half and set them randomly through the house.

But, whatever.  You're fine.  Excellent, in fact.  Moms can't get sick, you have immunity!


  1. Oh, mercy. This made me laugh so much! I wish I'd thought of #5! This was my month of March. Everyone had a 5-day virus about 2 days apart. We were not thoughtful enough to get it over with all at once - oh, no. 4 weeks of somebody moaning/throwing up/sprinting for the commode. My 3 and 6 year old boys now know that sometimes you need to sit on the toilet AND hold a bucket because two things can happen at the same time! I was the last to get it (that mommy immunity couldn't through 3 bouts!) and just stayed in my room so I had my personal bathroom all to myself. :)

    Thanks for the laugh.


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