I really should have known better.

With all of the inventory in the world of deadly and miserable germs with which to build his arsenal, of course Chuck E Cheese would attack me and my family for documenting my experience at his House of Horrors.

In fact, he probably has a voodoo doll in my image formed from Dehydrated Excess Tunnel Grime.

Here’s how it all went down.

Tuesday, 8:00 AM: I blog about The Chuck.

Wednesday, 3:30 AM: Noah starts crying.  Since he will occasionally cry for a few minutes and go back to sleep, I let him cry.

4:00 AM: I finally decide that this is an instance that needs investigating.  I step into his room and into a nightmare.  A snot-covered, poop-covered baby in a poop-covered, slippery-from-snot bed.  Major cleanup was required, including a complete bedding overhaul and the disposal of a non-recoverable pair of pajamas.

5:30 AM: I finally fall back asleep for a short while, totaling my sleep for the night at under four hours, thanks to other sleep-disturbing instances of Ali sleepwalking, me sleepwalking, intensely loud thunder and a tornado warning.  ALL IN ONE NIGHT.

9:30 AM: The kids and I are eating breakfast.  Noah is severely grumpy.  I am a sleep-deprived emotional wreck.

And then, another tornado siren.

I turn on the weather – we are in The Polygon.  I run the kids to the basement, Noah as grumpy as he’s ever been and Ali and I completely freaking out about the first tornado since…then.

10:30 AM: Tornadoes go about their merry way, and I finally put Noah down for his nap, hoping a little sleep will help…him AND I.

11:00 AM: Or not.  Noah wakes up and refuses to go back to sleep.  Resumes sleep-deprived grumpiness.  I discover two teeth that are starting to come through, so I chalk up the grump, nasty diaper, and runny nose to this cause.

ChuckEHex1(All photos courtesy of a sub-par iPhone camera.)

3:00 PM: After enduring three more hours of an intensely fussy baby, afternoon nap begins.  Or at least it’s supposed to.  Grump the Babe spends the next hour fussing on and off in his crib.

3:30 PM: I turn off the monitor and find my happy place, remembering that the kids are going to my parent’s house on Friday so that I can have a much-needed day to myself to get some work done, followed by a delightful date night, a childless night of sleep, and then followed by the last Football Saturday.


4:00 PM: Noah falls asleep.

4:20 PM: Noah wakes up, impressively more sleep-deprived than ever.

9:00 PM: All kids finally asleep and tasks done, I fall in a heap on the couch.

Thursday, 7:20 AM: Ali wakes up crying.  Her tummy hurts.  Fortunately, The Baby Formerly Known as Grump slept all night and woke up happy, albeit impressively snotty.

I enjoy a morning of cuddling, thanks to snottiness and tummy aches.


10:00 AM: Ali throws up gigantic piles of neon Fruit Loops.


What followed was a day of moaning, laying on the floor, refusing to eat, and many tears, but no more puke.


Noah’s status was an increasing crusty slimy nose and also joining his sister in refusing to eat.


8:00 PM: Kids in bed.  Breath of fresh, non-puke-or-snot-filled air.

11:00 PM: Chris begins the Level IV Stomach Flu Rotation, spending all night awake and decidedly miserable.

Chris Stomach Flu Threat Level Chart

Friday, 8:00 AM: I wake up to find both sickies on the couch, moaning and holding their tummies.

9:00 AM: Chris tests himself with coke and one piece of bread, and eventually goes to work (against my better judgment and strenuous attempts at persuasion), Ali continues her couch moaning, all day long, despite not throwing up again AND knowing that she can’t go to Gramamma’s until she feels better.


11:00 AM: I pitifully fail at having a good attitude as I watch my week-long focal point of a day to myself sift through my fingers like the slimy puke and snot I’d been cleaning up.

1:00 PM: Deciding that he’d prefer to stay near his own facilities for the weekend, Chris gives away his football tickets.

6:00 PM: Ali seems better and finally eats a little.  Chris is better, Noah is better, I’m still untouched.  We tell Ali that if we are all still better by the morning, she and Noah can go (albeit a day late) to Gramamma’s.

(Gramamma, bless her soul, is welcoming of this plan.)

11:00 PM: I go to bed, fully prepared to be up all night puking.  I lay out a bottle of leftover-from-pregnancy Zofran in preparation for the fight.

Saturday, 8:00 AM: Everyone wakes up hyper, happy, and excited for the day to come.  We ask one more time if Gramamma is SURE she wants previously sick grandchildren, and she assures us that she does.

Chris and I silently rejoice for the opportunity to finally get a moment to breathe from our nightmarish week.

10:30 AM: We drop the kids off and set out, free and unfettered, for a relaxing date.

11:30 AM: We eat a lovely lunch, no cutting of other people’s food required.

1:00 PM: I call and check on the kids.  All is good.  All are happy.  All even ate lunch.

1:30 PM: We wander over to see our friends at Serra Honda just to dream about my latest non-minivan-Mom-Car-obsession (I finally decided that the Flex was not for me), the Honda Accord Crosstour.

2:00 PM: We’re on the salesroom floor checking out a Crosstour and about to take a frivolous test drive when I get the call.

“Ali just threw up.  Twice.”

2:01 PM: We leave the salesman, dejected at our speedy departure, and head to pick up our again-ailing children, mourning the passing of our date as we drive.

2:30 PM: We arrive at Mom and Dad’s, and she informs us that Noah, also, appears to be sick – but only in the covered-by-a-diaper end of things…so far.

Ali also seems to have acquired Noah’s snotty nose, now making them both sick with two illnesses each.

We request a garbage bag for our trip home.

3:00 PM: We make it home with no substances expelled in the car and put the kids down for naps.  We then sit comatose, with mochas, on the porch discussing, “What would we be doing right now if we were still on our date?”

11:00 PM: I go to bed, fully expecting to puke all night, this time setting out Zofran AND a ponytail holder in preparation.

Sunday, 8:00 AM: I wake up, again shocked that I haven’t puked, but with an extremely sore throat and stuffy nose.

Noah continues his diaper-ended stomach flu, resulting in the destruction of many clothes.


Ali goes back to tummy-moaning.

And I continue to await my true miseries to begin, Zofran, Ponytail Holder and cool washcloth at the ready.

And this, Dear Friends, is why you should never speak the truth about The Chuck.  Because he will fight back.  And he doesn’t fight fair.

The Hex of Chuck E Cheese

24 thoughts on “The Hex of Chuck E.

  1. I’m so sorry. That’s just awful!! I’m so sorry! Praying for your family to be well and for you to get some sleep!!

  2. We are going through the exact same thing at our house, but not quite as bad. I am sooo sorry. James and Tyler have the throw-ups and I have had the cold symptoms. Just waiting to see who will succomb next.

  3. Oooh… that’s awful. :( Hopefully, it will pass you by; surely even Chuck E. Cheese realises that having to look after everyone else’s vomit/poop covered nastiness is punishment enough? I’ll be thinking good thoughts for you.

    1. That’s kinda what I thought – obviously, he knew that attacking the children who couldn’t control their bodily functions as well as myself was a much worse punishment.

  4. I was dying laughing at your puke preparations each night. Some days I wonder if you and I were separated at birth. When I “think” I’m going to wake up vomiting my bedside table looks identical to yours (Zofran, ponytail holder, washcloth), and I even bring out the “throw-up bowl” in the event I cannot make it to the bathroom. There’s something to be said for our puke paranoia, don’t you think sis? I mean, Rachel? ;)

    Hope everyone gets/stays well at your house!

    Oh, and just so you know…we refer to The Chuck as The UP-Chuck.

    1. A throw-up bowl (or trash can – it’s easier to hit) would have been a good addition!! I’ll remember that for myself next time. There’s now been a trash can by Ali’s bed for five days and nights.

  5. I am so sorry for your troubles, but I am impressed by your graph! I hope this week turns around for your family and this gunk jumps ship.

  6. Hmmm….got a new software package to indulge your love of graphs and analyzing data?? :-) Looks fancy!!
    Hope you don’t get sick…mom’s are required to stay healthy since no one takes care of us when we’re sick!

  7. Ugh, that does not sound fun! A little pre-Thanksgiving dieting. :P Glad you haven’t got the flu! Sick Mommy is hard on everyone! I laughed out loud at your Flu levels chart! I never even knew Level Five existed until I was pregnant with S…that was fun. Hope that never happens again!

  8. I truly appreciate your kindness in NOT mentioning the “D” word which describes the stomach virus in the Southern variety. The very thought of that word makes me queasy and I loved your substitutions! And the chart describing the levels of stomach flu. I’m a scientist and I love a good, trusty chart every now and then–you have supplied me with plenty :)

  9. I hope you are all feeling much, much better. Sounds like you are celebrating our least favourite time of year (ours is usually in March, and we call it “Pukefest”)

    I am not exactly sure what Chuck E Cheese is (it sounded horrific though), but rest assured that you have now cured me of ever wanting to find out!

  10. I only have one experience with Chuck and I will NEVER subject my children to it. I was 19 and living and working in Washington, D.C. for the summer. For some reason (I have know recollection of why) we decide to go to Chuck E Cheese for dinner. It was crazy with tons of kids and many of them were like the cuss factory child you encountered. We ate and left and promptly got stuck in D.C. traffic. About 20 minutes later I had the worst intestinal cramps I have ever had. I will spare you all of the gory details, but in short I had food poisoning, we were stuck in traffic, and we did NOT make it to the first, nasty, unsafe gas station in time. I’m sure my friends remember the evening as humorous, I on the other hand get nauseous just thinking about it!

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