Sunday morning started out in a pretty non-adventurous way. My hubby was too sick to go to church, and I wasn't sure I could brave it alone with 3 kids, so we all decided to stay home. My 3 yo son woke up saying he didn't feel well (or "peel well", in his f-less vocabulary), and didn't eat much breakfast, but I didn't think much of it.
And then it hit me: if I left a sleeping baby home with a sleeping sick Daddy, I could sneak the "older" two off to Sea World! Our season passes are about to expire, and they were offering some free giveaways to pass holders this weekend. We could have our last hoorah before the month just kept getting busier. Sounded like a great plan. I packed our lunches, snacks, and stroller, and we were off!
We had not gotten ten minutes from home when my son decided to start vomiting. I'm on a major highway, so I hand him some napkins and assure him that Mommy is going to pull over and help him. It was about this time that my daughter starts gagging and saying she's very grossed out. Aren't exits usually really close together? Why the heck was this next one 87 miles down the road?!? Ah, there it is. We turn into a Krispy Kreme parking lot, and I pull into a spot as far from other humans as possible. I fling open all the van doors for fresh air, and direct the queasy daughter to roam about the grass and try not to think about being grossed out. I go around to my son's side, only to discover that someone has discarded a baby wipe, full of its revolting contents, right where I needed to put my feet. Should I re-park? Na, we were out of the van with all the doors open, and moving would take too much time. (I'll spare you the suspense: with stories like this, you would assume I stepped on the poop, but with some fancy footwork and repeated warnings to my daughter, we managed to avoid it.)
I stripped my son of his soiled shirt, wiped everything down with wipees and napkins (note to self: always keep a roll of paper towels and a towel in the van!), and told the kids we needed to head back home. "No! Can we please still go?" Even the sick one was fully on board with proceeding with Plan A. Sigh. Think, Stephanie. Ok, are there any extra clothes in the van? Oooh! A bag of hand-me-downs in the trunk! Dig, dig...rats. It's only girl clothes. Hmmm...too girly for my son to wear for a few hours? After all, they're just flowers and ruffles. No, that would be cruel.
Aha! His sweater! If I zip it all the way up, no one will no there's no shirt under it, right? Right! Ok, so on it goes, and we get back in and continue on our way. I keep asking Buddy Boy if his tummy hurts, and he keeps assuring me it does not. (Note to self: never trust a three year old with ulterior motives.)
(Additional note to self: kids never throw up just once.) We had not been out of the parking lot for 60 full seconds when Round 2 began. (Note to readers: if you will kindly recall that Mommy is still not out of the nausea/vomiting stage of pregnancy herself, it will add to the drama of the story.)
Now at this point, Stephanie-mother-of-one child would have definitely gone home in tears. Stephanie-mother-of-two children would have probably gone home to at least get a change of clothes, then would have decided it was best to stay put and call off the outing. But let me tell you, Stephanie-mother-of-almost-four was going to see whales today if it killed her, gosh darn it. If the sick child insists that he can handle Sea World, then by golly, so can I. It's all outdoors, anyway, so it would be way more fun to throw up there than at home, right?
(Yet another note to self: when a child is throwing up, it's best to leave them undressed until you arrive at your destination so you can preserve any clean clothes you may have.) Exactly. His sweater now had his breakfast on it, too, so we're back to square one on the clothing issue. Could he go into Sea World with no shirt? Wrapped in a blanket, maybe? Oh wait...that had gotten vomit on it, too.
Fast forward a little. We were able to use a jacket of Emma's (that was blue!), rinse out the blanket in a sink at Sea World and let it dry throughout the day, and we had one of our best Sea World excursions to date.
The weather was absolutely perfect (69 degrees, sunny and clear with a nice breeze), there were no crowds at all compared to summertime, we got to pet the dolphins more than ever before, and when the day was done we'd seen three shows and all the animal exhibits. WAY more than I can usually accomplish in that amount of time when fighting the summer crowd and trying to ignore the extreme heat. And Buddy Boy? He got his appetite back within a couple of hours and didn't get sick once while we were there. And we came home to a Daddy and baby who'd had a wonderful day together, as well.
All's well that end's well, right?
Here's one of our little flippered friends that we got to spend a lot of time playing with: