This morning I woke to find the sun shining and discovered that I could stand up for extended periods of time without the room swirling about me and the lights going dim. I released Toby from his jail and checked on the status of each girl while Toby ran circles around me grinning and grunting like a rabid raccoon. Naomi: much improved, slight joint pain still. Hannah: A-OK. Emma: sleeping soundly despite chaos growing around her (red flag #1).
I started off the morning by disinfecting every non-porous surface I could find and washing loads of laundry in hot water. Toby's diaper had leaked during the night so I changed his bedding and snatched his special blanket ("kiki") while he charged down the stairs announcing, "Go see vacuum!" Later Toby followed me to the basement when I went down to switch loads of laundry. I quickly pulled his "kiki" from the washer, hid it under the other wet clothes in a laundry basket and carried the basket across the basement to the dryer. This plan would have worked well if I hadn't gotten distracted picking lint off of a fleece shirt as I pulled it from the dryer. I ignored his cheerful chatter until I realized what he was saying, "Kiki! Warm! Warm kiki!" Swirling around, I found, to my horror, Toby happily dragging his wet white blanket all over the filthy dungeon floor. (I've swept and swept that floor, it doesn't get clean.) Toby cuddled the now dark grey blanket to his face happily, and was horrified himself when I snatched kiki up and plopped it back in the washing machine.
He screamed and clawed at the machine, he tried to climb into it. He wouldn't calm down long enough to hear my explanation. He only knew that kiki had vanished and that his life was over unless he could somehow retrieve it. I carried him, screaming and sobbing up the stairs and locked the basement door. I tried distracting him, I tried feeding him, nothing consoled him. About this time Emma finally ventured out of bed. I ignored Toby for a minute while I checked on her. She wasn't interested in eating breakfast or getting dressed (red flag #2), but seemed otherwise stable. I went back to Toby who was banging on the basement door and tried explaining to him again, "Kiki was dirty, washing machine will make kiki clean with water, dryer will make kiki warm and dry, then Toby can have kiki again." His bottom lip quivered as he finally quieted long enough to listen. Pitiful streams of tears ran from his red eyes. When I was done explaining, he began screaming and banging on the basement door even more than before.
"Mommy," Emma said, "I fink I weady do get gess." (I think I ready to get dressed.)
"Oh good," I thought, "at least she's doing better." I smiled at her, "OK, Emma, go pick out your outfit." She smiled back, then vomited all over the kitchen floor. I dove for the garbage can and caught the second half of her vomit in that. Poor Emma had to stay leaning over the garbage can while I pried Toby from the basement door and carried him up to his crib--one can only handle so much at a time. I cleaned Emma up, wiped down the floor, took out the trash, and settled Emma on the couch. Thankfully Naomi, my right-hand girl, was back on her feet today. She brought me clean jammies for Emma, and did her best to entertain a crib-bound Toby.
Toby eventually was reunited with a warm, dry kiki. Emma made a much quicker recovery than Naomi and I had, and by the end of a very busy day the house is mostly back in order and ready for a more "normal" day tomorrow. This is good, since tomorrow Mr. Tobiah Matthew Eby turns two years old. It's hard for me to believe, but the new rounds of temper tantrums and self-assertiveness tell me that I have a two-year-old boy on my hands. I plan to enjoy the momentous day tomorrow, as long as nobody throws up tonight.