No can do.
Why, you ask?
Well, the 5 hour car trip.
With 3 kiddies.
Really, do I have to say more?
Usually hubs and I make the trip together, and while it is typically still a painful commute, when it is the two of us, we can usually endure it.
With the kids?
Well, let's just say, I don't have the greatest track record with solo long car trips.
In fact, there is one particular car trip that I have nightmares about to this day. The 3 kids and I had traveled to my sister's house, a 10 hour car trip. The trip there was rather uneventful considering that I was traveling with a 9 month old, a 4 year old, and a 7 year old.
But the trip home?
The night before leaving for home, Ethan decided to start throwing up. He had a fever and was just plain miserable, but by morning, he was fever free and seemed empty, so I decided to continue with my plans to leave.
As a send off, my sister made a large breakfast of eggs, toast and bacon. Ethan ate nothing, Ab and I ate the yummy breakfast eagerly, and Ellerie, then just nine months, chirped in the highchair indicating that she wanted to try some foods from our plates. I indulged her with a bit of scrambled eggs. She gobbled them up quickly.
Within 5 minutes though, Ellerie had big red splotchy hives all over her body. She cried in discomfort and when I tried to console her, she promptly puked all over me. The planets clearly were in alignment for me NOT to leave, but I was homesick for my house and my husband, and I just figured that El had a touch of Ethan's virus and she would sleep it off like he did. (Side note . . . only later did we learn that Ellerie was and still is highly allergic to eggs. . . a totally separate blog post.)
So, I packed up the kiddies into our brand new mini van, and off we went.
One hour later we hit a horrendous bumper to bumper traffic jam. It was hot, and we weren't moving, and it happened.
Ethan started getting sick.
Ellerie cried . . . and started getting sick.
Abbie, bless her heart, tried to dole out garbage bags to her brother and sister, and then, she too got sick.
And, I did the only thing that I could.
I cried like a baby.
When we finally got out of traffic, and I had cleaned up the kids and the now-christened van, I tried to give the big kids instructions about how to get sick into their buckets that I had purchased at a roadside drugstore. They seemed weak and listless, but otherwise OK, and I thought maybe, just maybe I had endured the worst of it.
I was wrong.
After hours on the road with multiple stops for diarrhea and bucket dumping, I had finally had enough. I stopped at a hotel, a definite luxury normally, but a necessity on this trip. I needed a break. And a hot shower. And a bed. Desperately.
One at a time, I carried those sick kids into that hotel. Fortunately, the desk clerk helped me by standing watch over the remaining kiddies as I walked back and forth from the van to the room. One at a time, I bathed and washed each child's hair, gave them some tylenol for their fevers, and placed them in bed.
They all slept soundly.
I breathed a sigh of relief as I ran water for one more bath. Mine. I made the water scalding hot, and I had to inch my way down into that water, but once there, I relaxed. I inhaled the steam and let that hot water soothe my weary body. I sat there in that tub and cried and cried, but, thirty minutes later, I felt refreshed and finally, clean. True, I was exhausted, but at least I could get a good night's sleep, I thought. I cashed out in the hotel's big fluffly bed. It was about 9:30, and I was so glad that my nightmare day was over.
Unfortunately, at 12:00am I woke to the sound of the hotel's fire alarm going off.
I am not kidding.
I called down to the front desk, convinced that it had to be a false alarm. The clerk assured me that it was not. I had to evacuate the hotel.
With three sick kids.
I hung up the phone, gently picked up a sleeping El and manuevered her into the Baby Bjorn. Then I gently shook Abbie awake enough so that she could walk and follow me. Finally, I picked up Ethan and cradled him in front of me and the baby in the front pack, and I walked those 3 sick babies out to our van.
To this day, I have no idea how I accomplished all of this.
The rest of the trip passed rather normally and we all got home safely, which is ultimately what matters most.
But, I still don't want to travel alone with the kiddies this weekend.
And you can't make me!
***** I am linking this to MamaKat's this week! Go check out some other road trip stories. Go on. Go! *********