I'm pretty sure I had food poisoning this weekend, and I'm pretty sure the Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco from Taco Bell was the culprit.
Saturday night I heard Rollie come around to Jeff's side of the bed, and Jeff, who for some reason transforms into a giant softy when he's awakened from a dead sleep, lugged Rollie between us on the bed. I rolled out of bed, fully intending to usher Rollie back to his room, when suddenly my guts started churning and my mouth flooded with saliva. And because I'm a mom and didn't want to alarm anyone, I hurried across the house and genuflected at the foot of the porcelain throne in the kids' bathroom, where I could vomit in peace.
I spent the next, oh, twelve hours or so curled up in a fetal position on my bed, drifting in and out of consciousness, occasionally awakened by one of my children pulling on my face as Jeff hovered somewhere above, asking if I needed anything. And at some point that afternoon I made it to the couch and wrapped myself in a blanket cocoon, grunting when addressed, and emerging from the covers every hour or so to sip some ginger ale.
As I languished in delirious self-pity, I couldn't help but eavesdrop on the activity around me. And what I heard was familiar, and pretty darn funny....
Jeff: Rollie, get off the coffee table.
Jeff: Because I said so. Get. Down.
Rollie: But Dadda, I'm trying to reach my motorcycle.
Jeff: No, no, Baby Elsa, don't chew on that remote.
Rollie: What's Baby Elsa doing?
Jeff: Rollie, I said get down.
Rollie: Dadda, there's an alligator coming!
Jeff: I can't play alligator right now--I'm trying to start dinner.
Rollie: Dadda, come on! He's coming!
Jeff: Baby Elsa, what are you chewing on now?
Rollie: She's got Ollie's food in her mouth.
Ollie: Roof! Roof!
Jeff: Just a minute, Ollie!
Rollie: Ollie wants to go potty, Dadda.
Jeff: He'll have to wait a second. Come here, Elsa.
Rollie: Dadda, the alligator!
Ollie: Bark! Bark! Bark!
Jeff: Elsa, get that out of your mouth! Rollie, stop pulling on me, please.
Rollie: Ollie really wants to go potty, Dadda.
Jeff: Too bad.
Then I hear the sound of a pot boiling over and Ollie scratching at the door. And Jeff swearing under his breath. And while I really do feel like I'm about to die, a part of me can't but feel a tiny bit smug that Jeff, Mr. Calm, Cool, Eternally Composed himself, is having a little trouble keeping up with the chaos that is pretty standard in my afternoons. Maybe it was time for Mr. Yardstick to make an appearance.
I managed to sit upright at the table and feed Elsa about two macaroni noodles before she began her food-flinging antics. Since the sound of wet noodles hitting tile wasn't exactly making me feel less nauseated, I retreated back to the couch while Jeff cleaned the kitchen and herded the kids into the bathroom. And while I heard giggles and splashing and warnings echo from down the hall, I pulled the blankets more tightly around me, watched the Superbowl pregame show and thought, Wow. I got to sleep in, laze around all day, didn't have to lift a finger, and now I can spend the next three hours watching football and drinking non-diet soda.
Food poisoning really isn't that bad.