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Memories Of A Barftastic Road Trip

Our most memorable road trip (so far!) happened this past Thanksgiving. We were driving from Brooklyn to Buffalo, and if we had been smart we would have left in the morning. But I wasn’t packed or ready, as usual, so we finally headed out after an early dinner.

We had been on the road for about an hour, but were only a few miles away from home. We were in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the BQE. Our six-year-old son Jake was in the backseat watching a cartoon with his sister, and I was in the front passenger seat reading the paper. Hubby was driving.

All of a sudden, Jake said “Mommy, do you have a plastic bag?” I hadn’t really even processed the question when the projectile vomiting started. It came in three waves. The first wave went straight out in front of him and hit the back of the driver’s seat, splashing all over my son’s backpack on the floor and dripping into the seat pocket. The next wave went into his lap, covering his clothes, the seat belt, and his booster seat. I finally got a plastic bag into his hands for the third wave. It was an awful lot of puke.

As if all of that wasn’t bad enough, it took us fifteen minutes to get to the next exit and get off of the expressway! Poor Jakie had to just sit in all of that puke until we could get to a gas station. And oh my God, the smell. My husband ran in and bought a gallon of water and a roll of paper towels.

There was no way we were going back home. Even though we hadn’t left Brooklyn yet, turning back at that point would have meant leaving for Buffalo the next morning and not being able to cook Thanksgiving dinner at my mom’s house, so we got to work.

Hubby cleaned the car while I cleaned Jake off as best I could. The poor kid had to strip down to his underwear (it was about 45 degrees) while I cleaned him off with very cold water. I just tossed his clothes in the gas station’s garbage can, along with his backpack and booster seat. He’s very tall for his age, and I crossed my fingers that he’d be OK until we could buy a new booster seat in Buffalo. (Yes, I know that height isn’t the only consideration for moving kids out of booster seats, but it was absolutely COVERED in puke with no good way to clean it.)

As Jake was shivering in the cold, he kept apologizing to us for throwing up. It was heartbreaking.

That was the first and only time that either of our kids had ever thrown up in the car. But now I’m totally paranoid about it. Before any trip I give each of them a gallon Ziploc and make them promise to keep it within reach. I’ve got paper towels, wipes, and extra plastic bags. I’m ready for the next time. But ewwww, I hope there’s no next time!

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