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Tiny House, Sick Kids

I feel like we've been pretty lucky so far when it comes to kids' illnesses. We've definitely dealt with our fair share of colds, especially since Sweetheart was born. (There's something about having multiple kids that exponentially multiplies the germs entering the home!) But we've more or less escaped the icky stomach viruses that I've heard described in gory detail by other parents.

Until now, that is.

It all started about a week ago. An hour after I put Sweetheart to bed, I heard her crying over the monitor. I waited a couple of minutes to see if she'd put herself back to sleep, and when she didn't, I went in to check on her. She had vomited all over herself and her bed, and the relaxing evening I had been anticipating evaporated before my eyes.

I brought Sweetheart out to the living room and we dozed out there together as she vomited off and on all night long. She could keep nothing down, and my primary task for the next few days was simply to keep her from becoming too dehydrated while her body fought off whatever virus she had caught.

It's bad enough dealing with this kind of illness in a regular sized home, but doing so in a small house was a challenge I had not anticipated.

The laundry was non-stop as we went through all of our clean towels and blankets and pajamas for Sweetheart in a matter of hours. Having limited storage space means that we have fewer towels and blankets than most families probably do, so it was a constant race to do laundry before the next time Sweetheart got sick. Since we don't have laundry facilities in our tiny house, I was continually running back and forth between our home and my parents' home to throw in another load of laundry. Eventually, I borrowed a few blankets and towels from next door just to make it through until the next load came out of the dryer.

Between trips next door, we just threw all the soiled items into the shower because there's no where else to collect so much dirty laundry at once in a small house. It didn't matter, though, because we didn't have time to take a shower anyway.

Meanwhile, the healthy people among us were taking turns going up into the loft with our food so we wouldn't have to eat in front of Sweetheart. It was a complication I had never really thought about before, and while escaping upstairs offered a solution to the problem, it was hardly ideal. I think I only ate once or twice a day during the worst of it.

After a few days of this, Sweetheart turned a bit of a corner, and the worst seemed to be over...just in time for Sunshine to projectile vomit all over the bedroom. The bedroom is small, and the mess was huge.

Never was I more grateful for our IKEA sofa bed than those awful days of caring for two sick kiddos. Being able to all lie down together (on towels) and veg in front of the TV with puke bowls nearby was the stuff dreams are made of I think.

It's been a long week, but the girls are very much on the mend, though their appetites are still not what they should be. It's been a few days since I last cleaned up puke, and the dirty towels and blankets and clothes have all been washed and are currently sitting in a new Mt. Laundry formation waiting for me to find the time (and the energy) to fold and put them away. The house is a disaster, and I've barely showered all week.

But we survived, and that has to count for something.


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