Back in April we had some issues with Vivian getting car sick. She's been great ever since so that was not a thought in our minds when deciding on something so far. Plus, we don't mind driving far since it helps the kids nap at least a little when they otherwise wouldn't. This specific festival had a playground on the property as well as the typical kids venders that Benjamin is, of course, deathly afraid of. You know, like bounce houses and face painting. Totally life threatening options. Yeah, our son is just a tad bit timid, but our daughter more than makes up for it-even in her pint size. The drive was pretty uneventful. Vivian slept and Benjamin watched out the window while clutching his latest toy obsession, Godzilla and Mechagodzilla. I was disappointed that Benji didn't sleep but right around 30 minutes out, he started to get that glazed over look. So Matt was instructed not to make a peep or even acknowledge Benji's existence. What is it about Dads and needing to poke the bear? Is my husband the only one who has to start messing around with his kids the second they show signs of sleepiness? Leave them be!! So as Benji starts to doze, seven minutes from our destination, SEVEN MINUTES out of a ninety-five minute drive, I hear Matt yell and proceed to go into his panicked, freaked out tailspin. I didn't even need to turn around to know what was happening. What this tired, mommy had ahead of her. I just simply said, "It's okay. Please just pull over at the next gas station."
God knows what he's doing when he puts people together. I am terrible with anxiety and dread. I will worry something to death in the years, months, weeks, days, minutes, seconds leading up to it. Once, I'm in the moment though, it's like a switch comes on and my mindset totally changes. I work best under pressure, in the moment. Matt on the other hand is calm and as cool as can be. Things I totally obsess and worry about just rolls right off his back. However, in the moment, Matt is usually in hysterics. If there wasn't a panic situation before Matt arrived on the scene, trust that there will be the second he appears.
So there we were, at seven minutes. Seven minutes from our destination Vivian wakes up and vomits all over herself and her carseat. Now, if you know anything about a 15 month old, you know they drink a ton of whole milk. This day was no exception. The smell in our car was astounding. She was covered, her carseat was covered. That wasn't enough for her though. She needed to wipe it all in her hair, her eyes, everywhere. There she was smiling as she smeared it. She just really wanted to be sure she was coated in it. After what felt like an eternity, which was really only a minute or two, we come upon not one but two gas stations. I'm going to go ahead and let you guess which Matt felt would be optimal for toddler clean up.
By the time Matt returned with the water, I had already used half of the roll of paper towels and all of Benji's sippy cup full of water to remove that top layer of filth. So I passed Vivian to a panicked Matt and told him to take her to the passenger's seat (Mom's seat, of course. Was the driver's seat ever affected by throw up? Of course not.) to change her clothes. So now I am elbow deep in vomit, laughing while repeating "seven minutes...seven minutes away...you couldn't wait seven minutes..." while Matt is gaging and dry-heaving trying to change Vivian's clothes. Vivian is now screaming because, well she's Vivian and quite the diva. Matt's temperament is probably not helping. He's either gaging and dry-heaving, gushing about what an amazing woman I am, or yelling because he already pulled up her shorts, backwards by the way, and then realized that her shirt is a onesie so he needed to start again to get those snaps snapped. Bipolar much? We were quite the sight. I'm sure we helped that gas station sell more condoms than ever before.
Finally, we were back on the road for the rest of our SEVEN MINUTE drive to eat a bunch of food, from a bunch of trucks. Yeah, totally unappealing right now. We drove the rest of the drive with windows open trying to drown out the smells and sounds coming from the Diva's carseat. After a parking fiasco, 'cause what's Jersey without parking fiasco, we were finally ready to chow down.
The weather was supposed to be cloudy and a high of eighty-four degrees. It was more like sunny and a high of one hundred degrees-the perfect climate for baking vomit into carseat upholstery. It was so hot! Luckily, we found a tree near the playground to set up under so Matt wouldn't have to lug our 10x10 pop-up tent, that we never leave home without out, and put it up. In the shade it was comfortable, but what diva wants to just sit calmly under a tree and contemplate life? Not our diva. Vivian was off and running. We ate and chased her for most of the day, while Mr. Perfect just lounged in the shade with his sippy cup, requesting snacks every three seconds. I'm sure if I had them he would have allowed me to hand feed him grapes while Matt fanned him with a giant palm branch.
Matt and I were able to try a good amount of food, but not near as much as usual. It was just so hot we weren't all that hungry. Or maybe it was our vomit-filled morning? The festival itself was great. No lines, lots of great options, but we were melting. Finally, Matt couldn't take it anymore and decided he needed a lemonade. Off he went to get himself a lemonade. Well, the only place the entire day that had a crazy line was the beverage stand. Ninety plus degree weather will do that to yah. So Matt stands in the blistering sun for 20 minutes to get his precious lemonade while I keep the kids at bay under the tree. Vivian had finally caught on to her brother's wise ways and started to like the idea of staying cool in the shade. It also helped that a bunch of people camped around us, one group in particular had a puppy with them which also helped. Vivian's obsessed with dogs so she was in love. I was nervous for the dog, since Vivian is used to Gemma, our Golden Retriever. A Golden is quite a bit more sturdy than a tiny little puppy, but Vivian didn't go all Elmira from Tiny Toons on little Spike, the Boxer/German Shepherd mix and forever friend to Vivi, instead she was very gentle and loving. Benji, on the other hand, was getting a little stir crazy and bouncing around. He was definitely due for another trip to the playground.
Finally, Matt arrived back with his precious lemonade. He was covered in sweat. Poor guy really worked to get that lemonade. So Matt joins us on our blanket and promises Benji another trip to the playground once he cools off a bit. Next thing I know, Matt is screaming in a panic for the second time today. I look just in time to see Benji throw himself onto Matt only to spill Matt's entire prized lemonade all over Matt and his prized, brand new Nikes. There's times in life when there is so much sarcasm to be said but life preservation kicks in so instead you sit in a silent, motionless, trance-like state. This was one of those moments for me. Matt was irate, Benji was terrified, Vivian was clueless, our neighbors were shocked, and I was stoic yet hysterical on in the inside. Matt recovered quick and reassured Benji that it was okay, while I began to unroll the rest of the paper towel and sop up all the lemonade that was now covering our blanket, Matt's shoes and everything else in between. A 20 minute line for one sip of lemonade. That's all he got.
After that we decided to call it a day. We packed up all our sticky, lemonade soaked belongings and headed for our car. All we wanted to do was to get to the car and sit in the air-conditioning. That was until we opened the doors and got punched in the face with the smell of fermented vomit. Ninety-five minutes. We had ninety-five minutes in that vomit-infused car. The drive went pleasantly quick. I couldn't wait to get home, but knew that getting home would be a whole other adventure since I had kids to bathe, a car seat cover to wash, dinner to be made and everything else that goes into toddlers...and Matt. Finally, though we were home and I was relieved. I pumped myself up for the duties at hand, gave myself a quick little pep talk, and opened Vivian's car door...only to see that she had again vomited on the ride home at some point. Awesome.
If anyone is looking for tips on how to detail a carseat, I'm your expert. For example, do you know you are not supposed to soak or wash carseat straps as it compromises them? You are only to damp-wipe them. Yeah, try damp-wiping vomit out of threaded straps.
I've uploaded all of our pictures from our day including some of the food pictures of what we enjoyed on our site linked above. Because who doesn't want to look at food pictures after reading all about vomit? I know I do. The funniest thing to me is, on our drive to the festival Matt was telling me how happy he was that I started to blog again. I responded to him by voicing my concern that our day would be too uneventful and I wouldn't have anything to share. If only.