how to ruin a Saturday night

Best-friend Kris’s birthday was earlier this week, and she wanted to get everyone together for dinner last night to celebrate. She started planning it weeks ago. A bunch of us were supposed to meet up at a Japanese restaurant in Lynnwood, which is close to where she & her boyfriend Tony live, but it’s about 25 miles from us. Normally a drive like that would be enough to make me flake out, but you know, special occasion, best friend, and all that.

Dave and I did a lot of work on the house yesterday, and Dave hurt his back lifting too many heavy boxes, so he had decided to stay home. He offered to keep Cate at home with him, but Kris had specifically requested that I bring Cate along, since it’s been ages since she’s seen her. I told Dave that it was fine, I’d bring her with me, I’d just take Dave’s car, since it has the flip-down DVD player for the backseat, and I thought that might help keep Cate happy for such a long drive. (Cate’s normally fine in the car, but we rarely go for drives longer than ten or fifteen minutes.)

So I loaded up the diaper bag with snacks and toys for the restaurant, grabbed her “My Friends Tigger & Pooh” DVD, and we set off. About halfway there, she started to get fussy, but I thought it was just because she was tired of being in the car. She wasn’t overly distraught or anything, she was just mildly crying off and on.

At this point I should back up and explain that I always had terrible motion sickness when I was little, and Dave still can’t so much as read a map in the car without getting nauseous. So the kiddo definitely has a genetic predisposition toward carsickness, I just didn’t think about it before this. And it really didn’t occur to me that maybe watching the damn DVD player (a stationary object while you’re in a moving object) might make her sick.

When we were about three miles from the restaurant, I heard an “urp” followed by the sound of liquid splashing. I turned around just in time to see Cate barf the contents of her lunch all over herself. She heaved a few more times just for good measure.

I, predictably, freaked. I pulled over in the first parking lot I could find, and I stripped her barf-soaked clothes off of her, getting quite a bit all over myself in the process. (And oh god, the smell. It was awful.) I cleaned her and the car seat up the best that I could with the baby wipes in the diaper bag. (Of course I didn’t have any extra clothes or towels or anything with me.) Cate was absolutely hysterical by this point, so she and I sat in the backseat of the car with the engine running (and the heat cranked up to “high,” since she was almost naked) for about 10 minutes until she calmed down.

I finally got her to drink a little bit of water from her sippy cup, which I think helped a little bit, and I was able to put her back in the carseat and head home. She conked out and slept most of the way home.

carsickness: 1. Mama's planning ahead with extra clothes & supplies: 0.

Thankfully, Kris was very understanding when I called her to tell her what had happened. And Cate and I were both showered and in our PJ’s – and the car seat cover was in the washing machine – before 7:30 p.m. Yeah, I tell you, this motherhood gig sure does leave room for some wild and crazy times.

3 thoughts on “how to ruin a Saturday night

  1. Ooh yuck, that sounds awful. I wouldn’t have considered motion sickness either, and I get carsick something fierce. And how many times have you told yourself, “Hey, this DVD player is going to be GREAT on road trips!” Hopefully Cate will enjoy audiobooks instead.

    Tell Kris happy birthday and that I hope she had a better Saturday night than you did.

  2. Gaby used to get morning sickness in the backseat, too. She sort of grew out of it after a while, but I can remember many mornings of cleaning her up before I took her in to daycare.

  3. Poor thing. I love the sleepy baby in carseat pictures, though. When my daughter is asleep, I say she’s squishy.

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