Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The Vomit Comet

The three golden rules of parenting as I see them:

1.  Never underestimate your children and their abilities.
2.  Always have a back up plan.
3.  Never have fewer buckets than you have children.

I think, after our long ride south, that rule number three is now officially rule number one.  We got off on a nice smooth start early Friday morning.  So early, that the pharmacy had not yet opened.  I had planned on going out the night before and picking up some children's chewable Gravol (for motion sickness) but I was so busy with other things that I decided to wait.  The oldest had a spell of motion sickness when he was about four or five.  It only ever seemed to happen when he was with his Mom, but I figured better safe than sorry.  No big deal, we aren't in desperate need or anything and we want to get going so lets just head out.

The 401 was beautifully clear.  The kids were enjoying their special toy organizers, chattering amongst them selves.  Except Daisy.  She was really quiet.  Probably tired I thought to myself as I peered out the window.

Then it happened.  I heard a little cough from the back seat.  Then another.  Then, all of a sudden, I hear "BLLLLLLAHHHHHHHG"

Oh no.  Oh crap.  OH GROSS!

It's everywhere.  It's all over Daisy.  On the chair.  On the carpet.  On my arm.  EW!  I know barf can travel great distances, but ON MY ARM?  Really?  Oh dear me. I would use the actual words that came to mind during the incident but since Owen likes to peruse my blog with his hyperlexic eyes I will refrain.  Oh pass me the pail I was so smart to pack (ok so maybe I should not have packed it in the very back of the van but I did pack it) before she blows again!

I'm reaching back for the pail and it happens again!  Brain and sensory system is in overload.  Barf is everywhere.  And she hits my arm A SECOND TIME?!?  Get me out of the car!  I can't do this!  I can't cope!  Open a window!  I need a shower and full decontamination STAT! Wait, is that an exit ramp I see?  Quick!  No time to lose!

We veer off the 401 and stop at the Coboug Walmart.  I don't think I've ever been so happy to see a Walmart in my life.  We tag team, Jon tries his best to clean the car seat and floor while I walk Daisy, who is completely covered in barf, into the Walmart washroom.  She has a bath in the sink.  I throw out her clothes- it will be three days until I get to a washing machine, and there is no way I'm putting that stink back in the car.  Quick change of clothes.  I had no idea that vomit on skin burns so much.  Thankfully their pharmacy has opened.  Gravol purchased, and for the first time in my life I popped something out of the package and gave it to my kid before paying for it.  Stain and odour remover would be a good idea too.  Taking no chances, we load her back in, and she continues the journey with a pail wedged into her car seat.
The Vomit Emergency Box

We made the Hamilton bridge before the smell got to me.  Oh my.  Hand me the second bucket I packed.  And maybe I should take a bit of Gravol too.  How many more hours do we have to do today?  Do you think I can scrub the car seat in the hotel shower?

Some tips we learned on the road.  Pre-line your buckets with a garbage bag and two folded paper towels to soak up any fluid.  It's way easier to find a garbage to drop it in than it is to find a sink to rinse it out, not to mention how difficult it is for a kid on motion sickness medicine to balance a bucket of liquid on their lap.  Enzyme based Pet Stain and Odour remover from the pet store is a must have.  It can be a bit pricey, but far less expensive than shampooing your car seats and carpets.  Baby wipes are helpful for short term clean ups in between bathrooms on the road.  The dish soap I packed to wash their juice cups with was very much appreciated when it came to cleaning the splash zones.  A couple of old towels can be laid over seats (or kids) to protect them from the mess.  I say old because you may need to throw them out if you are days away from a washing machine.  At home I use an ugly flannel backed - vinyl front table cloth to protect the couch or bed but I did not think to pack it for the trip.

We will always travel with motion sickness tabs, not so full bellies, and a Sea-Band as well.  Actually, as far as effectiveness, the band worked as well as the tablets did, and allowed her to stay awake for most of the trip home.  It was a good drive home, and since there were no uncontrolled bouts of vomiting we have officially changed the family van's name from "The Vomit Comet" to "The Party Bus".

Daisy Sporting her Sea-Band


  1. Oh, my. Bless your heart. How wonderful you are to have learned all of these snippets of wisdom. How wise I am to have read them.

    We're leaving tomorrow morning at 4 am - long drive ahead. I will, now that I've read this post, be heading to Shopper's tonight to stock up on Gravol.

  2. Good call! Until this last trip Daisy showed no sign of having motion sickness. I was so shocked! Figured the oldest might blow chunks but turns out they've all got the whacky predisposition! Luck to you my friend! May your travels be safe and barf free!

  3. Awesome tips!! I never thought to use table cloths before.

    1. The flannel backed ones seem to stay where you put them. No slipping around:) Easy to clean too!