I took off from work on Friday because my wife was out of town and I was home playing Mr. Mom. We had planned to go to a really cool children’s museum about an hour and a half away called the Amazement Square. It is a really cool place and I was looking forward to being a “fun” dad and having a great day with the kids…
My oldest woke up with diarrhea at 2 am and then was still feeling pretty iffy in the morning. We decided that maybe making the 1 1/2 hour trip wasn’t such a good idea. Well, ok, I decided. The kids were disappointed.
Backup plan: Go to the nearby science museum. We were starting a new unit on weather and the museum had a weather room, so it seemed like I could kill 2 birds with 1 stone: Do the weather-related science experiment for this week (start a weather journal) and take a field trip to talk about the weather exhibits.
This was an acceptable backup plan, and we got ready to go.
After running a couple of errands, we headed for the museum when my oldest said that his tummy hurt. Driving down the road, I was asking questions to find out what kind of hurt we were talking about. Sometimes it just means hunger, other times a more serious problem.
Next thing I knew, I hear vomiting coming from the back. No, those were definitely not hunger pains. The oldest was saying something like, “Dad, can we pull over or something?” I was trying to get somewhere, but we were stuck at a light and not able to move. I, in my loving kindness and understanding, start yelling at my kid: “Hang on! Will you just hold it! I can’t do anything right now!” as the rest of yesterdays dinner unloaded all over him and the back end of the minivan.
We finally got to a parking lot and I tried to clean him up with some napkins and a towel. My youngest, sitting next to his brother, started gagging, so I moved him up a row. I, too, was having trouble holding it in. I tell you, vomit is really gross, but its the smell that really gets to me. By this time I had recovered my composure, stopped yelling and took some deep breaths of fresh air. We were going home. Luckily only about 10-15 minutes away.
My oldest son was feeling better (other than being covered in vomit) and on the way home, I thought we’d take the time to review our previous lesson on the digestive system. We did comparative study of what foods are digested faster based on knowing what we had eaten for dinner the night before and what chunks were evidently not yet digested. We also talked about why we vomit and have diarrhea.
The rest of the story is predictable, so I won’t bore you with the details. However, I have two more comments on the day:
- I’m learning that I have way too little grace toward my children in stressful situations. Later on in the day, I did ask my son to forgive me for yelling at him (and he did).
- My wife’s job is waaaaay harder than mine. I’ve given her a hard time about being tired all the time, but now I know why. Honey, you need a raise, a BIG one.