I’m upstairs, in the bathroom, about to hop in the shower (as my mother would say. One can’t actually step into the shower, or take a shower. Hop, we must.).
Suddenly, from downstairs I hear running feet, the slam of a door, adult gagging sounds, and child screeching ones. I go to the top of the stairs. Through my mind runs all the first aid procedures I’ve learned related to choking and heart attacks.
I hear Grace, off stage, yell: “Dad’s gagging.”
I yell back: “What’s wrong?”
Jimmy walks, coughing, to the bottom of the steps. “Oh, my god, it’s the DayQuil. It’s horrible.” He drinks water from a cup.
Lydia joins me on the upstairs landing. Like Jimmy, she’s suffering from a sore throat, and she was the first one today to sample the orange liquid cold medicine.
“It can’t be that bad,” I say to both of them.
Lydia rolls her eyes at me. “Mom, it literally tastes like drinking death.” (Note: emphasis Lydia’s.)
And now I know.