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Monday, January 28, 2008

WWF Smackdown: Me vs. Murphy's Law

I've been painting miniatures--paintings, not figures--for about a year and a half, and have gotten really into it. For our anniversary this year, my darling Husband arranged for us to go to DC for the weekend to see the international, super-terrific miniatures show held by the national miniature society. I was sooooo excited. The in-laws came to take care of the kids, and we headed for the airport. And of course, since this was the first non-kid weekend we'd planned in almost a year, Murphy's Law naturally applied--we got hit by a blizzard. The airline put us on and took us off of SEVEN different flights in the eleven hours we were there. The final straw was when they took us off flight A to put us on flight B, then they canceled B and wait listed us back on flight A. I learned first hand what drives people to go postal, as I came close to reaching across the ticket counter and doing bodily harm to the agent. At 10 p.m. they closed the airport for the third time that day, canceled all flights, and we went home in defeat. I was in tears of frustration. I hate Murphy and his stupid law.

Fast forward a week. Husband and I arrange for me to go to the show alone. I would fly out Thurs morning at 6am and return Fri afternoon. In-laws would have the kids Thurs and sitter on Fri. The best laid plans...on Wed, Big Sis wakes up with pink eye. My mother-in-law, darling woman though she is, is mortally afraid of 2 things: pink eye and stomach bugs, so they refuse to come over. Will I miss the show again?? Is Murphy back with a vengeance? Luckily, several phone calls later, I discover that the Fri sitter is available Thurs too. Phew! I set my alarm for 4am and go to bed. At 1:30am, Murphy starts laughing and Minnie 2 starts throwing up. In her sleep. Without waking up. She finally wakes up choking on vomit and is having trouble breathing. Wonderful. After the 2nd vomit-in-her sleep episode at 3am, I give up and cancel my flight. Damn that Murphy!

Darling Husband agrees that I can go to the Miniature Society of Florida's international show a few weeks later--the only other big one of merit in the U.S. I find out that one of the award-winning artists is giving a workshop during the middle weekend of the show's run. "Fabulous!" I think, "maybe this will be even better than going to D.C." My in-laws are in FL for Jan and Feb, about an hour from the show and workshop, so we decide that I'll take Big Sis with me, fly into Orlando and do a day at Disney, and then leave her with the in-laws for the rest of the weekend. We were set to leave this past Wed. night.

Murphy, of course, has just been biding his time...Sunday before we leave, Husband picks up a bucket of chicken from KFC. By 3am, I have food poisoning. By 5am, I'm throwing up. By 5:30, he's throwing up. By 10am he's so dehydrated that I call an ambulance to take him to the hospital for IV fluid. The paramedics want to take me too, but dammit, I AM GOING OUT OF TOWN! I am NOT sick, at least, not that sick. I must stay home and take care of the kidlets. I must pack. I must plan. I AM GOING OUT OF TOWN! By Wed., I'm weak, but managing. By the time we leave for the airport, I've ingested 4 gallons of Gatorade and 2 handfuls of dry cereal. Kids are healthy and happy, house is clean and stocked, Husband is weak too, but says he can manage Minnie 1 and 2 while I'm gone. I AM GOING OUT OF TOWN. I will beat Murphy at his own game if it kills me.

We get to the airport and are told our flight is on time and the weather is good. Have I, perhaps, finally used up all my bad luck? Has Murphy gotten tired of stalking me?? We board, the plane heads to the runway, we are cleared for take-off and BAM! just like, Murphy is back. The control tower in Boston has lost their radar. Even though we're flying out of Providence, they have grounded all planes for the surrounding airports as well. We sit on the runway for 1-1/2 hours before finally taking off. We make it to Orlando, get our car, drive in circles 3 times around the airport trying to get the right highway out, and finally make it to the hotel. Big Sis and I climb wearily into bed at midnight. A little after 3am I hear a cough, a splutter, and "Mommmmmmyyyy" coming from the other bed. Big Sis has thrown up all over herself, the bed, the floor and the night stand. Oh nooooooo. Perhaps it won't be so bad. Perhaps she's not really sick, she just had too much movement and excitement with the plane ride, etc. Yeah, and perhaps I'm an alien. Murphy giggles and waves. By noon, she's thrown up 14 times. Yep, that's right. 14. And that doesn't even count the false alarm, "I think I'm going to be siccckkkkkk!" episodes. We give up Disney for the day, extend our stay at the hotel, and hunker down for the duration. I call everyone from the front desk staff to the cafe to the local Walgreens to find someone who will go get me Pedialyte, as I can't exactly take the vomit-machine into the rental car and go search for some. It is, apparently, against everyone's policy to run this kind of errand. In despair, I feed Big Sis teaspoonfuls of watered-down Gatorade. An hour later, one of the desk staff calls to say that he's going on break and would be happy to run to the drugstore for me. I tip him generously and thank him profusely with tears in my eyes. My poor, sick, darling daughter then refuses to drink said Pedialyte because it hurts her throat burned raw by 14 visits of stomach acid. I roll up my sleeves and prepare to beat Murphy to a bloody pulp--mess with me, and you piss me off, but mess with my kids and you're a goner!

I call Husband to update him on our misery. But his is worse than ours. Minnie 2 just threw up all over him, herself and our bed. I close my eyes and lean my head against the filthy wall of the hotel hallway. By dinnertime, Minnie 1 is throwing up too. Husband announces that he's done more laundry that day than he has in his entire life. By bedtime, Minnie 1 has thrown up 5 times, and Minnie 2 has thrown up 3. Husband has changed his own clothes 6 times. The family room carpet, the couch, the Lazyboy, the floor, their cribs and our bed are all covered in vomit. I am close to despair. Has Murphy won? No! I will not allow it! Husband rallies. I rally. $59 later I am armed with Gatorade, Cheerios, children's Tylenol and a Disney princess T-shirt from the hotel gift shop. I will nurse my child back to health. I will arrive in Clearwater in time to see the exhibit and attend my workshop. I will fight and I will win!

And I did. I think. We arrived home at 1am this morning. I am so tired I could cry. I have barely slept or eaten in a week. I am weak and slightly disoriented after having negotiated two strange airports and faithfully followed my GPS in circles for 4 days. But the girl was healthy enough to go with the in-laws to the beach on Sat and Sun (though my heart broke as I put her in their car Fri night and she cried hysterically, "Mommy, please don't leave me!"), and I DID make it to see the exhibit (though I only had 1 hour 45 minutes to see 823 paintings instead of the whole day), and I DID go to the workshop (though by the end of the 2nd day I was too tired to really focus on my painting). So did I really win? Or did Murphy, in his infinite wisdom, deem me an unworthy opponent and go elsewhere in search of a greater challenge? I'm not sure I'm up to the truth. If it wouldn't make my stomach roll, I'd go have a martini.


lattemommy said...

Oh, my good God. That was so awful, I actually found myself laughing in incredulity at your predicament (I'm sorry, I just couldn't help myself!). You, your husband, and your children all deserve an award for surviving. A trip to Disney, perhaps? (sorry, couldn't help myself again... *grin*)

MommyTime said...

Latte Mommy, if you think that's a good one, you should hear the laugh-riot of our third sister's wedding weekend. 10 people were staying at our house. Many of them got food poisoning, as did about a dozen other people at the wedding. I did 12 loads of laundry on the wedding weekend... supa-FUN! :)

And MM, I totally agree with LatteMommy, you do deserve a vacation. Here's what I think: since Murphy follows you everywhere, you should try to outsmart him. Plan a trip for no specific date that doesn't require lots of advance reservations. Like somewhere you can drive for a long weekend in the summer. Pack all your bags. Stay home and clean up the vomit. Then, go the following weekend when Murphy's back is turned, and the car is already packed. HA HA. Take that, Murphy!

MultiplesMommy said...

Ohhh, MT, you are SOOOO clever! There is a reason you are the oldest and wisest of us! I think I'll try it. At alternative would be to do a reverse vacation...send the kids away and stay home to eat chocolate, read travel blogs and drink champagne.

And yes, LatteMommy, I know it's so sad that you just have to laugh. I am cursed, and I admit it. Maybe if I just come out and concede that Murphy won, he will leave me alone.

And frankly Husband deserves the biggest award of all--not only did he deal with TWO sick kids for 4 days, when I got home this morning I discovered that he'd managed to clean the whole house too. I think I'll keep him!

MIQuilter said...

Oh sweetie! My heart really goes out to you! That sounds like a serious ganging up of Murphy onto your family. With all that horribleness you need to focus on the positives: 1) you've paid Murphy for the entire year so the remaining 11 months of this year should be smooth sailing 2) you probably lost a few lbs this month :) The "salmonella diet" is really the only diet that I've found over the last few years that works to get the weight off fast and keep it off. Lucky duck!

I think you might have me beat on my "spent my wedding night puking" story if only for sheer quantity and duration of your families' upchuck fest.

Love you and hope you feel like a real person soon.

MultiplesMommy said...

Thanks MIQ! Unfortunately, I am sad to say, my body clearly decided that giving up pounds wouldn't be healthy, so a week of puking and starving has resulted in ZERO weight loss. Sucks to be me, eh?

MultiplesMommy said...

But Husband lost 12 lbs in 5 days!


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