White Dog said, "Thank Goodness you took Michael out last night for an early birthday dinner with his friends because THIS is the worst birthday ever!"
She was referring to Michael's 21st Birthday, today; a day we had planned to be a family celebration but instead somehow had strayed into the Twilight Zone.
On Friday night we surprised Michael with a dinner party at a fun Italian restaurant and were joined by his favorite teacher and some great friends. It was a goofy fun time and for the first time since he came to live with us we saw Michael relax, laugh, and be good-naturedly social without having to think about it. It was magical and he clearly took home wonderful memories. His special weekend was off to a flying start.
Saturday morning the WDA sent him off to his volunteer work at the museum with donut holes to share in celebration of his actual day. We heard him come home in the afternoon but he ignored our greeting and ran downstairs. "Maybe he had a bad day," Quinn suggested, "lets give him some time alone."
When Michael DID resurface he looked awful. He was whiter than the WDA and though he was fully clothed was also wrapped and shivering in his bathrobe. He explained he had vomited waiting for the bus home and the first driver would not let him board. When he finally got home he had to run to the bathroom. He had been in his room all afternoon upchucking and feeling lightheaded. He was not running a fever but was certainly clammy. Since the meal on Friday was served family style, we ruled out food poisoning and when I spoke to my friend she told me her daughter had come home from school on Thursday with the same symptoms which turned out to be a violent stomach flu. "I think you have the flu," I told the Birthday Boy.
Resting again, Michael had not gotten out of bed in time and had vomited all over his mattress and blankets. Since his room is in the basement I could not help with the cleanup. He would have to do what he could and wait for Steve's return from work. The WDA hovered trying to be helpful but Michael was too miserable to notice their gentle attentions.
I quietly put the salmon steaks (one of Michael's favorite dinners) up in the freezer for another night. It was clear Michael would have toast and weak tea, if anything, for dinner.
Steve got home and the White Ones filled him in. They volunteered to help but Steve asked them to remain out of the sick room while he cleaned up after Michael. An hour later, Steve came back into the living room and collapsed into a chair. The WDA swarmed him and pressed close as he listened to the washing machine cleaning sheets, and tiredly spoke about the necessity for a thorough Michael room cleaning when he was recovered. White Dog sat in his lap and Quinn rested on his leg. Puff and Oso laid on either side. Steve leaned his head back...
...only to be interrupted by Michael saying, "Steve, there is water bubbling out of my toilet and it is flooding my room. I don't mean to bother you."
Sure enough, there WAS about 2" of water covering the bedroom floor and in the bathroom the toilet looked like a fountain. I quickly shut off the washing machine and the bubbling stopped. We experimented...flush upstairs, gusher downstairs...Becks runs water down the drain of her tub Michael gets a water show.
"Looks like we have a backup somewhere. No water anyone, PLEASE!" Steve sighed as he carried down the mop. Cleanup was ugly. Steve dragged the waterlogged carpet up the stairs and out to the deck. The pups stood in astonishment sniffing all of the odd smells as the floor items were hauled up and the floor mopped. This was interspersed with Michael madly dashing up the stairs and out into the yard, where Steve had rigged up a barf bucket for him (complete with floofy white supervisors).
"Happy Birthday--NOT," Michael said as Steve bailed out toilet and told every one that now empty, there was only a limited number of flushes before it overflowed again. The men all gallantly left the facilities for the ladies and went out, led by Oso, YoYoMa and Quinn to "mark" their own trees.
It was now after 10pm and even the emergency plumber would not be out until Sunday. No one wanted cake or ice cream or even water for fear of needing to use the restroom before morning. This was certainly not the celebration the White Dog Army had planned.