No worries, this post isn’t X-rated.
We have a tradition of going driving around town viewing Christmas light displays. There are some areas and neighborhoods around here that go completely all out, and we take the tradition of viewing these displays very seriously. The general evening goes something like this:
Research this year’s best locations, and map them online to minimize backtracking as much as possible.
Load up all who are joining us.
Drive through the fast food restaurant with the giant yellow M.
Obtain at least enough french fries for a family of 42.
Drive around for 3 hours “ooh-ing” and “aah-ing” and in some cases, becoming very disturbed*.
Now, as I’ve previously mentioned, J has had some issues with getting carsick. However, a vomit-free month or so led us to believe maybe it was a short phase she’d grown out of. I’ve been worried about this tradition and how her carsick tendencies might affect it, but recent trips seemed to indicate all worries were needless. I’m sure you can see where this is headed.
We loaded up, and went to get food, and headed out to our first stop. Unfortunately, J was not interested in anything fro the yellow M fast food place. But she was hungry, and not shy about letting us know. So we finally stopped at a gas station and got a few things we thought she might eat – including her favorite, Prin.gles Barbecue chips. We finally made it to our intended first stop. This stop entailed actually parking and walking, so we loaded up N in the backpack and J in the single stroller. We wandered around, listening to N “ooh ooh ooh” at every display. He was truly overwhelmed and enjoying it thoroughly.
J was mildly interested, but not nearly as interested as she was in the chips. “Thank you,” she’d say, reaching for more, over and over. I realized quickly she was ruining her white sweatshirt with her hands, but she was enjoying herself, and I wasn’t going to choose that as a battle.
We loaded up the car again and headed to our second stop. J was fussing, but refusing to eat anything so we figured she was tired. Our third stop was a few miles out, and J’s fussing was increasing, so we asked her if she wanted some milk. She reached out to us and cried louder, so we figured that was a yes. H pulled into an AM/PM so we could get some milk for her while she continued to fuss. Honestly we figured she was constipated, given that it was 7:30pm and all she’d had were wet diapers all day. So I ran into the store to get milk for both of the sippies we had brought with us.
The store was a little busy, but I was probably only gone 6 or 7 minutes. When I came out, (I do wish we’d thought to take a photo), I found H and our roommate T with the van wide open and J standing on the ground having her clothes removed. T was using wipes to clean out the car seat. J was crying and as soon as she saw me, she reached out. H was more than willing to give her to me.
Apparently, in the amount of time it took for me to get the milk, J had puked not once, not twice, but three times. This is pretty standard with her carsick episodes. She doesn’t puke until we actually stop. And puke she did. Evidently, 1/2 a can of Prin.gles barbecue chips combined with 2 hours in the car doesn’t mix well with a kid who tends to get carsick. There’s your tip for the day.
After everyone was as clean as possible, and we changed J into a sweatshirt of her brother’s, we set about driving home. J continued to fuss, though the first thing she wanted after she puked initially was a sippy of milk. As she fussed, I got more and more concerned she would puke again, and we were about 30 minutes from home. We managed to stop at T’s girlfriend’s house and let the kids hang out for a bit. This allowed J’s tummy to settle. We also gave them some diluted gato.rade to try and replace the fluids she’d lost. That was a huge hit, since they don’t get juice.
We made it the rest of the way home without incident, got a bath, and everyone crashed by about 8:30pm. Let’s just hope J doesn’t make this a permanent part of the tradition.
*There’s this house that covers the lawn in wooden angel decorations, choirboys, wise men, and other Christmas-type figures. The creepy part about it is that the heads of all these wooden people are photos of REAL children. It’s rather eery. It doesn’t help there’s a giant lighted replica of the White House in the front window. I’m not sure which is worse.