[Warning: This is graphic. If you don’t like a little potty humor, do not read on!]
I am now, after two years, almost used to poop. I am used to spit-up. These rarely phase me. I am not, however, used to chocolate throw-up in a car seat.
Maybe I should back up. We spent the Mardi Gras holiday with my parents in Texas, which was wonderful. Lucy got to go to the park, follow Grandpa around the back yard, impose her games on my very patient younger brother, etc. And the rest of us enjoyed ourselves as well. So on Ash Wednesday we piled in the car and headed back to New Orleans because Craig had to be at work on Thursday. Samantha, we learned this trip, does not “travel well”, so she was crying often. That we were prepared for.
At the first stop we made, Craig bought Lucy some trail mix. The good kind with nuts, raisins, and chocolate candy. All of which Lucy likes to eat. So we were giving it to her a little at a time, and she kept showing me the empty bowl and saying, “More nuts”. Since she hadn’t had much breakfast, I was happy to oblige. After a while, I started to get suspicious about how quickly she was eating, and watched her. But I could not see her dumping the trail mix anywhere, so she got more. And more.
When we stopped for lunch, we realized how Lucy had gone through so much trail mix. She had eaten (almost) all of the chocolate, and dumped the raisins and nuts in her chair. Needless to say, she didn’t want any lunch.
But Lucy went to sleep shortly after that stop, and we didn’t worry about her, until, while we were singing to try and calm down a still-crying Samantha, I turned back just in time to see Lucy spew. And it was chocolate.
So we did what any good parents would do in such a situation. We took the first exit. Where there was nothing. Houses, service road, and finally, after several minutes of Lucy screaming, “Daddy, help wipe!” we found the empty parking lot of a restaurant which must have only been open for dinner.
Lucy was removed, her clothing changed, her car seat cleaned as well as can be done with burp rags and wet-wipes (Thank God I had left them in the car! I will never be caught without them!). Samantha was given a chance to get out of her car seat and eat. Diapers changed. Lucy seemed fine now that she was clean, so we piled back in the car, which set Samantha screaming again, and headed off.
Meanwhile, Craig had called my mom to update her on our excitement, and was calling his mom as we pulled back onto the service road, when Lucy got sick again. The phone call was quickly interrupted, and we headed back for I-10 in search of a service station. Lucy did not appreciate being left wet for those five or so minutes it took to get to the next exit. Repeat the last paragraph, except that now I could go inside and get wet paper towels as well.
We also got Lucy some Sprite to try and settle her stomach. We innocently put it in her sippy cup. And then it started spewing! Almost every bump would shake up the carbonation in the soda, and it would squirt out the mouth piece and scare Lucy. So we finally had to put the cup in the front so she wouldn’t be scared anymore.
Other than the sippy cup, things seemed to be going better. We made it through Lafayette and were headed for the “I-49 corridor” to try and miss rush hour in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. We called back Craig’s mom to tell her not to worry. And just before our exit, Samantha started screaming again, so we decided to make a stop at Craig’s parent’s house in Baton Rouge, to calm nerves, stomachs, and whatever else need calming at that point.
Craig has wonderfully generous parents. We thought Lucy was okay now, and she acted very healthy, until we took her next door. Mr. Bob, the neighbor, and I agreed that she still didn’t look quite right, just in time for her to throw up again on Nana (Craig’s mom). Back to the house, clean up including a bath, and Lucy again appears totally normal. And this is my favorite part.
Not because she threw up again on me, but because as I hastily put her down on the floor, Mikey, the rat terrier, ran by to investigate, and she had one last blast left over for him. I was feeling very sympathetic until I saw the last bit of chocolate throw up hit Mikey’s back, and then I lost it. It never occurred to me to cry, I was laughing so hard. I waited for towels to clean my feet, Craig’s brother took the dog out for a bath, clothes were changed again, the floor mopped and disinfected, and it was finally all over. With Lucy.
So finishing the drive to N.O. was looking like a bad plan at this point. The car seats were demolished for cleaning. (There are many times I thank God I am not a single mother – when Craig was disassembling and hosing down the car seats was one of them!) So Craig decided to go back to N.O. alone so that his physics class could do their experiment the next day. He is very dedicated, my husband. In his absence, I tipped Lucy and myself out of the rocking chair, but have only a small bruise to show for that.
Craig came back Thursday afternoon, ostensibly to bring us girls back home. Instead, we decided to stay two more nights so we could make Craig’s cousins’ wedding shower.
Except that at three in the morning, Craig got sick. And shortly after he made the perilous journey from bed to couch this morning, I got sick. And so we have muddled through the day, with assistance from Craig’s youngest brother and Papa, who works at home. I’m glad we decided to spend the night, and that Nana was there to help Craig last night.
So we have another thrilling story to tell Lucy’s boyfriends someday, and it is now recorded for posterity. And thus far, despite the numerous loads of laundry, we have survived it. And at the moment, free from her car seat, at least Samantha is smiling.