We made it through the school year from September through the end of February with nothing more than a slight sniffle. No ear infections, no flu, no trips to the ER for broken bones. Then March came. Warmer weather, longer days, greener grass — spring is definitely on its way, and I thought we were home free with sickness.

Then about 12:30 last Tuesday night, I heard a pathetic voice calling “Mommy” from the bathroom. I drug myself out of bed to witness Carter hanging over the toilet. And I am almost ashamed to admit it, but my first thought was, “Thank goodness he made it to the bathroom.”

Every parent of small children knows the nightmare of the stomach bug. Cleaning up throw up, or worse, from sheets, carpets, and all sorts of other surfaces becomes second nature. I don’t know what happens, maybe a God-given survival instinct, but somehow we become immune to the smell and nastiness in order to do what’s necessary to take care of our children. It gets done, but it is horrible.

After that first night, Carter continued to throw up for a few days, and then, of course, after two days of no sickness in the house, Caroline woke up at midnight the following Sunday, calling me crouched over the toilet.

I’ve done my fair share of laundry, Clorox-ing and running the dishwasher to thoroughly sanitize the dishes. But through it one bright, happy thought kept me going. Every single time, both kids made it to the toilet.

Now if only I could teach that to the dog!