The drive back home...
Snacks? check. Water bottles? check. Charged iPods? check. Puke buckets? check. GPS? check. Ok.. I think we're ready.
Four hours of driving to Fargo and everything went well. No one got sick, praise be to God! It was a time-crunch as we were arriving in Fargo for 12:30 so a quick stop at Costco for tasty, cheap lunch, bathroom break, and a quick shop and we'd be heading off again.
Unfortunately, my husband contested my initial desire to update the maps on GPS prior to leaving for this trip and I had reluctantly abandoned my hope of doing so. Well, my friends, Costco in Fargo is in a new development and we drove around for thirty minutes asking people at gas stations for help only to get about five or six different directions!!
At 1:00 pm we finally peel the children out of a loaded (top to bottom) van and make our way into Costco. Bladders cleared and bellies hungry, we anxiously sit at a picnic table with food for everyone, sing our Thank-You-Yaweh song to bless the food and begin to eat. Avalyn is sitting between Anika and me and after a few bites of her hot dog, she begins to cough that cough... you moms know what I'm talking about... like something is trying to climb up their throat and it's making them cough.
No. Please no.
That tiny little frame erupted with so much vomitous mass (yes, I just made up a word... trust me, it's deserved)... and it wouldn't stop coming out! Onto the table, down the side, dripping onto her pants and floor. Duane, being the calm person that he is, makes the observation "gee, I see the soup we had two nights ago!" Duane and I tried with the napkins nearby but the sheer volume of vomit was too much.
In my head, I did not want to run back to the van to attempt digging through the mass of things to access the luggage AT THE BOTTOM. So in what seemed brilliant at the moment, I said "that's it! I'm grabbing an outfit right here and we'll hose her down in the bathroom and get her changed!"
I left my husband with four children and a mountain of vomit (yes, I see the folly to my plan now) and head straight to the neatly folded piles of kids' clothing. I am burrowing through them looking for a size 3T outfit that has a sweater and pants and shirt only to discover that these people either discriminate against this size by not carrying it or every mother who has a 3-year-old daughter decided to simultaneously buy Costco out of this size just prior to our arrival!! Finally I find ONE and run to the checkout only to be greeted by a very laid back checkout personnel who then takes his sweet time looking the outfit over... this side, inside, the other side, the back side, inside again... eegats, man! I'm about to consider theft if this takes any longer!!
"Hmmm, this one doesn't appear to have a tag. Manager! I need help over here!"
To my dismay, the manager casually walks over only to do the exact same thing!! "Hmmm, this one doesn't seem to have a tag. Oh and look, it has a stain right here." I finally say "FORGET IT! It's OK... I'll go find another one!"
Back I go to the piles of clothes, flinging them around at this point, I grab a boy's outfit and run back.
I get back to Duane who tells me he watched as the poor manager gagged while mopping up Avalyn's chunky vomit. And as people were walking past, they would suddenly realize what was going on and they would start gagging, too!
When we finally got home (we refused to stop anywhere else and drove straight thru the remaining few hours), my mother was patiently waiting. She had taken care of our puppy, Josie, while we were away. We walked thru the door exhausted only to have dear Josie jump around so excitedly that she proceeded to pee all over the place. I hadn't even taken my jacket off and I was already on the floor cleaning up dog pee.
Welcome home, indeed!
Honestly, I’m happy to leave any notion of a “holiday” behind me for a little while… sigh…. or at least until my long-term-memory kicks out again and we forget what these are really like and decide to plan another one. At least my joy can come from knowing this is at least getting some chuckles out of someone! I know, I know… I’ll be laughing before too long, too.
For now, it is home sweet home!