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Photo credit: spider

“Let’s get all our Saturday chores done today because we won’t be here tomorrow, kids.” I laughed as the children stormed me with questions.

“Are we going to stay in a hotel?” asked one.

“Are we going to go swimming?” shouted another.

“Yes. We didn’t tell you before because we didn’t want to disappoint you if it didn’t work out, but we’re going to stay in a hotel that has a pool and you guys can show Daddy how you can swim.”

The five oldest children had been taking swimming lessons and four had just learned to swim. They were bouncing with excitement and it was impossible to keep everyone calm, but we finally were able to get all our chores done and the van packed up.

We left soon after Kevin got home from work. It was a beautiful day. We were going to have a wonderful time. What could go wrong?

The children could probably count on one hand the times we’ve been away from home over night. Money has always been tight and travelling with six kids is never cheap. I’d found a hotel with a 2 bedroom family suite that was really quite affordable, though, and what was even better was that it had a pool and free breakfast. I was as excited as they were.

Our first stop was the White Spot for dinner. The kids all got pirate packs and we all laughed at Joel as he downed a huge cup of apple juice and even managed to get his brother to give him some of his pop. My kids drink water, so juice and pop are pretty exciting to this two-year-old.

Joel ate a pile of grapes and several chicken nuggets in the shapes of anchors and fish. He ate a couple of bites of his ice cream too.

“Look at his belly,” I said while giving it a little poke. It was looking pretty round. “Can Mama have your ice cream?” I rarely order dessert—watching those calories—but I’m not above eating what my kids don’t finish.

“No, my ice cream,” Joel said while pulling the dish towards himself.

“Okay, well eat it up.” I spooned some of the strawberry goo into his mouth.

He made a face and then a sound came from deep inside his throat. I watched in horror as he threw up into his pirate pack. The mess was contained so I wiped up his mouth and prayed that nobody saw that. I moved away the boat—too soon. He threw up again, this time all over his clothes. I snatched up all the napkins and mopped him up as quickly as I could.

My only thought at this point was to get this kid out of the restaurant. I unbuckled the seat and helped him stand. It happened again. And it was even worse because he was standing. Time stood still and it became dream like. No, nightmare like.

I turned to Kevin, “Get him out of here—now!”

I kid you not, the little guy puked at least five times! I trembled as I wandered around snatching unused napkins off of empty tables. A waitress brought me a cloth and I washed everything down, paid, and escaped.

Shame. Horror. Embarrassment. Guilt. Queasy. Yes, I was experiencing all of those feelings. Did I say embarrassment?

This story doesn’t really have a point except that sometimes parenting can be very, very humbling.

By the way, Joel wasn’t fazed. He was perfectly happy and energetic. It was his mother that took about an hour to stop shaking.

 

To be continued . . .

 

P.S. – This picture was taken about 30 minutes after “the incident.” I can’t even guess how many times he ran up the stairs and careened down that side. Definitely not suffering. 🙂IMG_2472[1]

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