Today is gorgeous here. 23 degrees and sunny. There are no clouds and the world is coming alive again. We had plans to meet friends at a park in the city for some play and a picnic lunch. Mornings out, especially those which include preparation of a meal are a significant amount of work when you have three children under 5.
We meandered through the morning, somehow finding time between packing snacks for the car (which included spilling a giant bag of frozen fruit in the freezer while earnestly looking for the almonds) and lunches for the park to make a glow-in-the-dark space mobile, read several books, create a fire station from blocks and enjoy some time playing with our indoor swing. The baby woke from her nap, and we were ready to go! The car was packed and the older two children already outside playing – meaning they had gone to the bathroom (which included an extensive toilet area cleanup due to an attempted ‘stand-up pee’ gone wrong), were wearing their jackets, hats and shoes…so the time consuming steps toward departure had already been taken care of!
We set out on our 30 minute drive in good spirits. Sun streamed in through the windows, it was lovely to be out on a beautiful day. We were about halfway to our destination when my oldest reported that he was hot in his coat. He still rides in a car seat, so I advised he undo his chest buckle in order to unzip his coat at which time he could do it up again. In some sort of frenzy, he spent the next five minutes wrestling his body from the jacket. He did so with such stealth, that I had no idea he was working on it for so long! When I realized what was going on, he was done and doing his buckles back up. He asked when we would get there. When we were almost at our destination, he started whimpering, which is most unlike him. I asked what was wrong, and he reported he wasn’t feeling well. I asked if he was going to throw up. He said yes. I pulled into a parking lot. I was about to get out of the car when he said he felt better, so I asked again if he was alright. He said he thought he had just eaten a bit too much for snack. I carried on.
Less than 30 seconds later he threw up. All over the backseat. So much for plans. So much for our sunny picnic with friends.
I pulled over to the side of the road and spent 20 minutes or so with a box of tissues trying to clean it up the best I could with limited resources. He’s a very resilient child, and didn’t seem phased by the event at all. With hands holding what used to be the contents of his stomach, he asked again when we’d get to the park. I couldn’t help but laugh. I suppose it was one of those moments where if I didn’t laugh, I’d have cried. The situation seemed so ridiculous!
I called our friends, letting them know we wouldn’t be making it the last two blocks to the park. It hurt to be so close and yet so far. I was really looking forward to a bit of adult social time that I had worked so hard to make happen! We started to head home. As I was waiting at a light to turn left, he felt a wave of nausea again. I passed him a bag. The advanced green light illuminated. I watched him throw up in a bag. The car behind us began honking. I turned left, and immediately into a bus stop to support him through the rest of his discomfort and help clean him up once again. After we shared more laughter at the fact that the bag had a hole in the bottom, I put forth my best ‘cleaning’ efforts and we carried on. On the way home, he said he wanted to sleep and looked as though he was going to drift off, but didn’t.
After a long morning in the car, I unloaded the children and went inside to give my son a bath. I dressed him in pajamas and put him to bed with a bowl – just in case. I decided to take the younger two children out in the yard to eat our picnic lunch on the grass. My oldest heard our plan from behind the closed door of his bedroom, and quickly came downstairs to join us. He’s never one to miss a party! We got to have our picnic in the sun after all.
Now, the car seat cover is running through the washing machine (for the first time ever – it was long overdue). My son is feeling better. The children are getting some much needed sleep. The kitchen is clean. The sun is shining. I am writing. I have so much to feel grateful for. It is a beautiful day.