Thursday, April 18, 2013

And Then, Someone Threw Up in a Kid's Meal Box

We stretched that road trip out as long as possible, leaving Grandma's house  -- right outside Washington D.C.  -- at about 6 o'clock last Thursday evening. Our van packed to capacity, we all squeezed in and departed before the D.C. evening rush was really over. Just as expected, there was heavy traffic, but it was creeping along, so we couldn't complain.

Then we hit Richmond, and traffic totally stopped. It was 8 pm, and suddenly, we were just sitting there, like all of Richmond had morphed into a giant parking lot.

We thought it couldn't get worse. 

Then a voice from way back in the third seat announced,

"Mom, this is not a joke. I just threw up."

 "Did you throw up in something?"

"Yes. I threw up in my kid's meal box."

We thought it couldn't get worse. 

And then. . . the box broke.

We learned a lot about road trips that night.

Yes, individual car carry-on bags were a great idea, but we learned that they need more than a pair of pj's for the hotel. Everyone needs a complete change of clothes that they can get to without unloading the entire van.

We learned that the cleanest restrooms along the interstate are in hotel lobbies. And Mr. Hampton Inn desk clerk -- there might just be a special place in heaven waiting for you. You didn't even wince at the sight of my vomit-covered child. Knowing full well we weren't hotel guests, you still gave us a complimentary toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash, and quickly showed us to your sparkling facilities.

We learned that our divide and conquer strategy for times like this works just as well on the road as it does at home. I took the sick child inside the hotel for a quick clean up while Mike tackled the van upholstery using bottled water and paper towels. Non-combatant children were ordered to stand on the sidewalk and basically, stay out of the way.

Finally, we learned that in times of crisis everyone can give a little. Nathan, who got a beautiful boxed set of the Harry Potter novels for Christmas, had been willingly sharing them with his sisters, although he'd fussed and worried over every creased cover or dog-eared page.

He thought it couldn't get worse.

And then poor Harry got caught in the crossfire. The night someone threw up in the capital of the Confederacy on the long road trip home.

Just keeping it real, friends.

Shared at Little Things Thursdays and Tuesday Baby Link-Up.
works for me wednesday at we are that family


  1. Oh my goodness well that is quite some road trip!


  2. Oh no! How horrible. We've had to make many a road side stop to let out one who needed to vomit. I had one incident in the car. Not fun. We so agree about hotel lobby bathrooms. We always stop at them. Our theory is that people prefer to use their rented rooms, leaving the lobby bathroom pristine...practically.

  3. With two little ones, they can't tell me when they're about to throw up. So as we're on the third hour of a long distance drive, my then 7 month old looks at me (pitifully) and throws up all in the car seat, on herself and a little on me. Poor baby. We literally pulled off the side of the road and I cleaned it up as cars whizzed by. I could only wish there had been a hotel. Somewhere. Anywhere.
    Stopping in from the Tuesday Baby Link Up. :)

  4. Oh yes, I've had those days...and trips!


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