Bear with me while I set this up. Imagine if you will. My daughters, ages 7 and 5 are all spit-polished in their pressed American Heritage Girls Scouting uniforms. We’re heading to a fun Christmas outing with their troop. We’re within, say 1/4 mile of our destination when the unthinkable happens. From the back seat, I hear my 5 year old say in a small voice, “Mom, I don’t feel good.”
Note to self. Whenever the 5 year old says that she doesn’t feel good, pull over immediately. This is not necessarily the case with the 7 year old, as she is prone to a little hypochondria. On any given day, she’s afflicted with broken bones, severed arteries, malaria, etc. But the 5 year old? If she says she doesn’t feel good, believe it.
So, before I can pull over, Mount Vomitous erupts from the back of the van. I can hear it. It sounds really bad. Now, here’s where my parenting skills may be lacking. Whenever I even think someone is going to hurl, I begin heaving like a dog. Evidently this is genetic, as the 7 year old starts gagging as well.
By the grace of God, I get us pulled over and I begin to assess the situation. While trying not to add to the mess. My sweet daughter is covered in puke. From the top of her little blonde head, to the tips of her sneakers. And east and west of her as well. It was an impressive amount of vomit. I was recognizing stuff from yesterdays lunch.
Now, here’s where I do excel as a parent. And the point of this post. I’m prepared for such an emergency. I keep a plastic toy bin, with a cloth liner, in-between the two booster seats in the back. I had hollered to the 7 year old to dump the toys and give it to her sister. Which she did, thusly avoiding a much worse disaster. I have an old sheet that I keep in the van for impromptu picnics, which aided in the clean up. I also keep a canister of wipes handy. And for extra brownie points, I always have an extra diaper bag stashed under my seat packed with a change of clothes, including underwear and socks. Now, it had been a couple of years since I had updated the bag, so the clothes didn’t quite fit her. But desperate times call for desperate measures.
If I only had my trusty spray bottle of Febreze, which is a most awesome invention, for the long ride home, I would have earned my mommy badge of honor.