Warning: In what follows, there will be mention of vomit. You are not obligated to read any more. You have been warned.
Right, so I posted this last week, and then we packed up the car and flew the coop. So this is my response to my third Small Assignment.
Last week, the small vacation that we had planned to go visit some friends in Nashville kind of… appeared. I found myself running around the house making sure that the kids had enough clean clothes to get through three days plus sunblock, and Oh Yeah Maggie’s things that she insists on having in bed with her these days, including the plastic purple Easter basket that we got for an Easter egg hunt last year.
We stayed with the same person we always stay with when we go to Nashville. The last time we visited, I was pregnant with Beckett, and our friend was living in a three-bedroom townhouse. These days, though, he is in the process of building a house, so he sold the townhouse and is living temporarily in a one-bedroom high rise loft. This meant that the whole family – David, me, Maggie, and Beckett – all stayed in the same room. Beckett was immediately beside me and Maggie slept on the floor on a little toddler-sized sleeping bag.
All went about as well as we possibly could have hoped. The kids went to sleep several hours before David and I crept into the room and climbed into bed. Then in the morning, the kids somehow both ended up in bed with David and me as we tried to protect our friend (who was sleeping on the couch) from the noises of small children in the morning.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a vacation without some kind of hiccup, right? That came when something shorted in the elevator on Friday evening, and the power to the entire building was blown. It was about 4:30PM when it happened. We spent the rest of our visit without power. Fortunately for us, our friend lives on the 4th floor and not the 20th. Maggie can handle four flights of stairs. (For that matter, I can also make four flights of stairs while carrying Beckett.) We figured that was our adventure for this vacation.
After spending a wonderful couple of days in Nashville (even despite the power outage), we headed back to Memphis, deciding that we would stop for gas . The kids were exhausted, and so we figured they would probably just pass out for most of the 3-hour drive. Well, 15 minutes into our drive back to Memphis, we ran into a traffic jam of rather epic proportions. After about 40 minutes or so, we came to an exit (3 miles from where the traffic jam began), and we took it. We wound our way to a gas station, where we stopped to fill up the tank.
While we were sitting in the car, letting the gas tank fill up, our leisurely drive took a turn toward the gross.
Maggie was singing peacefully in the back seat when suddenly, she puked. All the way down her front, all over the car seat, in the buckles, everywhere. It was unbelievably gross. I got out of the car and got her out of the car seat. I undressed her, and started cleaning her up as best I could. Fortunately we were stopped at a gas station and could buy some cleaning supplies. David bought a package of “Wet Ones,” which we used to clean the car seat and surrounding area. Then we gave Maggie her little plastic Easter basket, in case she had to hurl further on down the road, said a little prayer, and took off to drive the rest of the way.
Maggie is doing better today. She hasn’t puked since we were stopped at the gas station outside of Nashville. But that event is likely to be the defining mark of this vacation.
I remember when my vacations were largely about reading a few good books, getting a little sun, and maybe sleeping in. Now my vacation is about trying to keep my kids quiet so that we don’t wake up other people before 7AM, and then cleaning up puke on the way home.
Funny thing is that I’m having the time of my life going on vacation with my kids, puke and all.