things went south as we drove north
Lately, my blog has become a collection of disaster stories. I'm sorry to say that trend will be continuing. For the last few months, I have continually been in a place where I have to laugh so I don't cry. And once again, I'm choosing to laugh. Just as soon as I'm done crying.
My week continued to go downhill after my migraine. On Thursday, Gracie and I left to visit my parents as James left for a business trip. I was nervous about the drive since it's so long, I had only gotten about 3 hours of sleep the night before, and Gracie tends to get carsick about 50% of the time. But this time I was prepared--I had two extra outfits available and a tub of wet wipes that looked as though they could last me a year. Thanks to the internet, I also had an arsenal of toddler car activities that were guaranteed to buy me hours of silence. They were a giant flop. She did not care for magnets on a cake pan or pipe cleaners in a bottle, but the Winnie the Pooh flashcards and a library book about kittens did give me a small break from the whining.
About three hours into the drive, my nose alerted me to the fact that Gracie lost her breakfast. It was at least ten minutes before I reached another exit. I got her cleaned up, gave her something to drink, and bought myself a coffee and snack. Before I left on the trip, my friend gave me a long sleeve bib to put on her in case she gets sick. I had completely forgotten about it when we first left, but I put it on her before we got back on the road. An hour later, she ripped the bib off and then threw up chocolate milk all over herself and the backseat. I pulled over again, cleaned her up, and as I lifted her out of her carseat, she threw up everything she had left all down my shirt.
And that was when the tears hit.
I let myself have a good cry in the gas station parking lot before changing her into her third outfit of the day and putting us back in the car. I was so tempted to turn around and go home, but I was just over halfway, so I figured we might as well push through. James was in Texas, and if I made it to Iowa I would at least have someone to help me clean up. An hour or so later, I pulled over to get gas and something to drink. I had packed a PB&J to eat, and I pulled it out and shared it with Gracie. She seemed like she was feeling better, and I figured the worst was surely behind us. I stopped about an hour later to get her out of the car to hopefully keeps the motion sickness at bay. I missed the exit I wanted to take and wound up in the parking lot of a Dermatology clinic, but I gave Gracie a small snack since she was doing so much better. We had an hour and a half left, and I was starting to feel like we were going to survive.
Literally thirty seconds after pulling back onto the highway, she pulled the bib off and threw up everything. It was the worst thing I have ever seen and smelled in my life. We were in the middle of Illinois with nothing around but cornfields and no exits for miles. I drove another 20 minutes with my shirt over my nose to keep me from throwing up from the smell. We finally found a gas station where the local clientele were wearing mullets and fanny packs. I completely emptied my ginormous canister of wet wipes attempting to clean her up. I had to strip her onesie off and put her in a raincoat for the rest of the drive. Her carseat was soaking wet. The straps and buckles were caked in regurgitated PB&J. Her toys were covered. And we were both sobbing. Heaving sobs. I was bent over next to a busy road, trying to scrape vomit out of the carseat while the wind blew my shirt up. Gracie was covered head to toe. I was covered head to toe. I stopped to dry heave a couple times because it was just so disgusting. AND WE STILL HAD AN HOUR OF DRIVING LEFT. We cried and cried, and I promised I would never ever do this to her again, and I'm so sorry, but we have only one more hour and just please don't throw up anymore. I finally got a glimpse of how my parents must've felt the day I threw up the whole way to California. I was in such a state of heightened drama and emotion that I accidentally left a pile of vomit covered wipes the size of Mt. Everest in the middle of the gas station parking lot. The poor employee who had to deal with the mess is in my prayers.
Back on the road, I called James and cried and sobbed and begged for help even though he was probably a thousand miles away. Gracie and I both had tears and snot flying all over the car, and I looked to my right to see a trucker staring at me, eyes wide with horror. He fell back for a minute, and then he pulled up next to me again and did a double take, clearly disturbed by the mother/daughter cry-fest that was my car. For the rest of the drive, the highway went down to one lane and a reduced speed limit due to construction. I just kept begging God to keep my car from breaking down, because that was about the only thing that hadn't gone wrong. Thankfully we made it. We were in tact but highly traumatized.
It took an hour of intense scrubbing to clean the barf out of my car, but it will never smell the same again. I washed the carseat cover and Febreezed the straps into oblivion, but at this point it just needs to be set on fire. My parents' neighbors were sitting across the street in the their lawn chairs, watching me throw wipes out of the car and occasionally poke my head out to gag. They also saw me that night when I was so busy wrangling Gracie I forgot to close the bathroom door all the way, and they had a direct view of me on the toilet through the upstairs window from their lawn chairs outside.
I was hoping I would sleep off the new worst day of my life, but I managed to break the garage door bright and early the next day. I fixed it, and then I broke it again a few hours later by accidentally closing the emergency pull cord in the car door and then trying to close the garage door. I spent the better part of the afternoon trying to throw the garage door up to get it to latch in place, and who was there to witness it all but the nosy neighbors in their lawn chairs out front. That night, Gracie Houdini-d herself out of a duct-taped diaper, and I was stung by a bee the next morning. I was determined that I was going to start fresh yesterday morning and all would be well. My mom had stocked the freezer with pumpkin and mocha latte ice cream anticipating my arrival, and my dad had saved a WWII documentary for me. I indulged in both, certain life was going to turn around. I woke up yesterday morning with a raging sore throat and a headache. Gracie was crying and teething so bad she wouldn't eat, so I made her a smoothie for breakfast. Due to a blender malfunction, I blew blueberry banana smoothie all over the floors, walls, counters, and my mom's recipes. After cleaning everything up, I got a text from James that our cat has decided to stop using her litter box.
At least the neighbors weren't around to see any of that. Speaking of them, the man was outside ALL DAY yesterday scrubbing the siding of the house with a wooden bath brush, hosing it down, drying it with a towel, and then Windexing it. Suddenly, I'm starting to feel a little bit less like a freak. However, I wonder if I could get him to clean the inside of my car?