Naturally, there was going to be a speed bump. Of course. Hopefully, we got it out of our system yesterday afternoon.
On my way to pick-up, after a very productive morning, the "check engine" light came on. Subie will be eleven this January and is pushing 130,000 miles. The ole girl's days are numbered, I know. But she's been with me before car seats and baseball gear cluttered the back, so I have a soft place in my heart for her. I'm just not ready to let go.
I was literally on the phone with the dealership scheduling an appointment that afternoon as I walked in to school to pick up the motley crew: Scotty plus two friends. No sooner did I get off the phone and enter his class did the teacher flag me down. I saw him sitting at his desk, head down, arms at his side, grimacing. I genuinely couldn't tell if he had gotten in trouble and was remorseful or was just sick. The teacher cataloged his symptoms: heartburn, sore throat, tired legs. His little green eyes, now bloodshot, told me, "I'm sick."
Sick kid, sick car. No problem.
I hustled the crew out of the building and called the dealership again. We're not going to make it, I told him. Sick kiddo. He told me he had secured a loaner car for me and it was available now. On second thought, I told him, we are on our way. Let's head over there now, get the loaner, and then get the kids home safely.
No problem, no problem.
Of course, the whole thing took longer than expected. I'm also not used to rolling with three little people following me like ducklings, so when Samantha told me she had to use the bathroom, I looked at the boys with concern. Now what? We all trooped dutifully into the ladies room. Carson averted his eyes and quietly ate a complimentary granola bar. Scotty sniffed the paper towels and proclaimed his approval. (he loves smelling paper towels).
After an eternity of paperwork and printer jams, with their free slushies in hand, I moved the whole group towards the loaner car. The nice employee helped me shuffle all the car seats, backpacks, and snacks. Scotty was looking more and more peaked, stating he was too tired to walk. Even hugs and encouragement from Samantha didn't help.
No problem. We were going to get in the new car and head home. Almost there...
And then, we got stuck in traffic. Like, really annoying, rush-hour-through-a-construction-zone traffic. Not knowing how to manage the controls, the car got warmer and warmer. I rolled down some windows. Scotty closed his eyes, laid his head back, and turned a nasty shade of green.
Then he announced he was going to puke.
I looked around the pristine new car that had all of 34 miles on it. There wasn't an empty bag, old cup, or even sheet of construction paper he could use to throw up on. I glanced at my beloved black-studded Michael Kors bag, gifted to me by my mom last Christmas, and briefly contemplated handing it to him. No way. I'd rather scrub vomit off a car seat than that bag. Then, inspiration struck.
"Use your old slushie cup!" I yelled, right as red liquid came barreling out of his mouth.
I'm not sure what was more dramatic: Scotty's puking or Sam and Carson's screaming, hysterical reaction. Carson, stuck in the middle next to him, immediately attempted to get as far away as possible by scaling his sister, who was howling. The smell instantly filled the hot car. Sam announced that smelling puke makes her want to puke, too, and started making this strange barking coughing noise.
I weaved through traffic to pull onto a side street and immediately began ripping children from the car. No one else was puking, not on my watch. Thankfully, in this neighborhood, it was garbage day. I positioned Scotty directly in front of some poor person's unsuspecting can and directed him to aim. More pink and red came out. Sam, revitalized by the fresh cold air, stopped barking. Carson, probably the most traumatized since he was closest to the action, remained frozen in his spot, eyes wide and unblinking.
Scotty requested a tissue to wipe the vomit from his nose. Again, I had nothing. I handed him my scarf. Good-bye, favorite scarf. I'm going to have to dump bleach on it now. He took a few tentative sips of water and announced he felt better. I cautiously reboarded all the children. I was less than five minutes from Courtney's house but it felt like an eternity. There was only one empty slushie cup left before we had to resort to my purse.
Scott, burning up and flushed, demanded all the windows be rolled down. Sam and Carson screamed they were freezing, huddling together like orphans. I sang at the top of my lungs in an attempt to distract everyone.
Isn't Motherhood fun?
So...yeah. Seventeen days and one stomach bug. I figure if it hits me, I'll drop some additional weight and then try to rehydrate as fast as possible. A lot can happen in seventeen days.