Friday, March 31, 2006

Gas and Tummy Troubles

As I mentioned earlier Rebecca is under the weather.

Yesterday morning she ate very little of her breakfast. I wasn’t too worried, because kids are sometimes that way. She was eager to see Aunt Meryl for lunch and happily bounced about in anticipation of pancakes and eggs for lunch. I puttered about, composing a post and collecting library books. Normally we go to story time at the library before meeting Meryl for lunch.

When I was ready to round up the kids and go to the library I found Rebecca curled up on the couch, fast asleep.

This was not a good sign.

However, I needed to drop off the books and Max was ready to go. So I scooped up my sleepy little girl and brought her to the car. As I buckled her up I noticed her forehead ws a bit hot. I thought to myself maybe she shouldn’t go story time. I’ll just hold her in my lap and send Max in by himself.

When we got to the library I decided we would not be joining Meryl for lunch. Rebecca was clearly in distress, twisting about in her seat and unable to get comfortable. Max was devastated by the news. He wanted lunch with Aunt Meryl and he did not understand why we were going home instead. I called Meryl to tell her we would not be coming, as I was finishing our call Rebecca cried out and vomited. I quickly hung up and comforted Rebecca. She was in tears. I cleaned her up as best I could with the stash of wipes I keep in the van.

Once she had somewhat settled down, we headed back home. At this point Max had forgotten his disappointment and was very concerned about his sister. He told me he wanted her to feel better.

We almost made it home when she let loose again.

I pulled into the garage and then unbuckled Rebecca and ushered her inside. She wanted and needed a bath and clean clothes. Once she was cleaned up I tucked her into bed. She slept for the next few hours.

I then had a fun job of laundry and cleaning off a car seat. Unfortunately, I am very experienced in removing the washable parts of a car seat and cleaning them in the washer. I got the machine started and then tended Max. The hard plastic shell of the seat would wait until later. I also had a few calls to make. It was my turn to drive the soccer car pool, but there was no way I was going to drive an ill child around. All I need is for her to get sick and possibly trigger another child. And who would want their healthy child to ride around with a sick one.

It all got sorted out in the end. Another mom would cover and she would even pick up Jake.

Once the boys got home from school I sent Jake upstairs to change for soccer and then gave out snacks to the three boys. Rebecca at this point had moved downstairs, but was not hungry.

At dinner time I originally did not set a place for little Miss Rebecca. But she perked up when Larry came home and she wanted to join us. She only drank her milk and I think she ate one green bean. As we ate we did have one moment of excitement.

Nate noticed a man was rooting about beneath the window and excitedly pointed out the “meter reader” to us. I was puzzled over the gentleman’s location. That was not where the electrical meter was, but near the gas meter. As the man straightened up to leave I waved. He waved back and then informed us that we had no gas. Apparently we had no natural gas since 2:00 pm. The gas company was sending people round to turn off all the gas and it would be turned back on later once the problem was resolved.


At first I thought it was not a problem. It was not a laundry night and I had already taken care of the car seat wash. If we were conservative with our hot water Larry and I would be able to take lukewarm showers in the morning. The downstairs furnace runs on gas, but upstairs we have a heat pump with electric backup. It might be a bit cool downstairs in the morning, but not too bad.

An hour later Rebecca got sick again, she was on the couch and I had just picked her up to cuddle her for a bit. She was not too bad, but I got covered.

When she was done I carried her back upstairs. Using a couple of washcloths I cleaned us both up. Another bath for her was out of the question. It would drastically reduce our available supply of hot water. I do not drink coffee in the morning, I take a shower. A lukewarm shower in the morning would be better than no shower at all. Once we were cleaned up I put her in her jammies and myself in sweats. Then I tucked her into bed.

The rest of the evening was uneventful. I called up the gas company and found out that a contractor had broken one of the 6 inch supply pipes and 500 homes were without gas. They would be by in the morning to turn on the gas and relight any pilot lights. I would need to be home to let in the gas man.

So guess what happens in the morning?

The school bus never showed up. I got to drag a sick child to school (while desperately hoping she doesn’t get sick) and drop off the boys, meanwhile praying that the gas man doesn’t come to the house while I’m gone. I called the gas company and told them my sad little story and that the garage would be open (the water heater is in the garage). On my way back from school I saw our bus just heading towards the school. Who knows what happened.

As I pulled into the driveway I saw the gas man at my neighbor’s. I left the car in the driveway and went inside with Max and Rebecca. Just as I was grabbing a few things from the car Meryl called my cell phone. We chatted for a bit and when she realized I was home see called back on our landline (and yes, we do spend a lot of time on the phone together). At one point during her call back I noticed the gas man was gone from my neighbor’s house, but not at mine. This resulted in a cascade of choice words from yours truly. Meryl got off the line so I could call the gas company.

A few hours later the gas man returned and I can now run the washer and the dishwasher.

Rebecca seems to be feeling better. She still wants to curl up on the couch, but the few things I have given her are staying down. Today she will be on the BRAT diet (although my version substitutes toast for tea). So far she has had water, a bit of applesauce, a few bites of dry toast and some rice. Tonight we will have pasta for dinner with challah, a gentle diet for an iffy tummy.

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