If anyone was driving past the Casey's General Store around Marion, Illinois on Sunday and wondering what that woman with the (mostly) naked toddler, screaming baby, and overheated dog was doing with a tie-dyed tshirt, roll of paper towels and a disgusted look on her face, I'm here to tell you I was celebrating Mother's Day. Sean is still on family leave - as in leave from his family - and our children are too young to do much for themselves (though Sweet Girl is a breath away from four and I'm having a hard time reconciling that age with the breeze that blows through the house) let alone plan a day to celebrate me in all my mothering glory. And believe me, I have mothering glory. So we celebrated Mother's Day at Nana and Papa's rather than staying at home and watching Mommy sulk around the house all day. It would have surely become known as The Day Mommy Cried A Lot in what will definitely be known as The Year Mommy Went Crazy. Don't judge - you might be inclined to pity parties too if you had to be in charge of this circus of a family.
The day started innocently enough. Sweet Girl was up way too early and annoyed that I wouldn't let her go downstairs to play at 3:30 am. I'm cruel like that. Little Man slept in until 7:30ish and from there we started the dressing for church/packing for the drive home routine. It mostly involves me getting annoyed with my children because they are less than useful in the organizing/picking up departments. I know, I know. They're young. But seriously, the very least they could do is refrain from undoing what I do manage to accomplish. That would be nice. Actually, this time it wasn't that stressful as Nana was there to help. So Happy Mother's Day, Nana! You get to do things you haven't had to do for your own children for 30-odd years. You're welcome.
Church was lovely. Little Man was wiggly and Sweet Girl was a little too loud and couldn't seem to keep her feet down, but other than that we didn't totally ruin the service for anyone (I don't think). Perhaps it was to our advantage that Sweet Girl was a little noisy, as her volume disguised nature's percussion coming from her little brother. Had anyone else been close enough to hear they would have been concerned that I was only feeding this child bean burritos with a side of fiber puffs for breakfast. An added bonus: Sweet Girl did NOT take off running down the aisle to visit Papa during the service like she did at Easter. There's some progress. And it is pretty funny to hear her sing-along with the hymns despite the fact she doesn't know the lyrics. I'm pretty sure her namesake, who was an excellent la-di-da'er, would be proud.
So after a quick a stop at home to collect our belongings and Oreo, we were off to lunch with Nana and Papa. Sweet Girl loves getting off the interstate when we visit Nana and Papa because she knows two things are going to happen; she's going to see Nana and Papa and she's going to get to eat pizza. Going gfcf can restrict one's pizza quotient as it really is just a slab of gluten covered in casein. But Monical's has gluten free crust and they will cook it without cheese, so Sweet Girl gets a gfcf bacon pizza every time we go home. She can be pretty antsy in restaurants, but for this she sits very quietly once her pizza arrives. Recently she's had to share with Little Man and he's pretty much starting to take over in terms of volume eaten. Little Man ate three of the eight pieces, and acted as though I had stabbed him in the heart when I cut him off after that. I'm not positive but I'm pretty sure his overly dramatic nature is Sean's fault. Upon further review, I'm positive it's Sean's fault. All in all though, it was a good lunch.
Then we drove. And drove some more. Sweet Girl sang her Alphabet March songs twice and Little Man napped. I daydreamed of a day when teleportation would be a reality while checking out the crazy high water levels on either side of the interstate. Then just as we were getting to the Marion exits, a noise erupts from the back seat. A belch big enough to rattle the windows and reverberate the vehicle over to the shoulder, quickly followed by a hiccup. It took me 4 seconds to process that the noise had come from Sweet Girl and that she surely wasn't done. In those four seconds, my thoughts progressed from "Wow that was loud." to "Crap, I know what that means." And why, why, why wasn't there someone else in the car to cover her up or put a bag in her lap to catch what was inevitably going to be the next (disgusting) step in the progression. Sure enough, as the words "Are you ok?" came out of my mouth, Sweet Girl's lunch came out of hers: all over her and her car seat. I took the next exit and hunted for a place that could be of use in the hazardous material clean-up that was to follow.
Casey's was about the only thing other than fast food at this particular exit, so I pulled in there (because nothing says "Enjoy your meal!" quite so much as seeing someone mop up vomit in the parking lot of a restaurant) and girded my loins for what I would have to do. I love Monical's pizza. I miss it whenever I'm too far from home to have it. It's something I look forward to whenever I'm home, but I'm not sure I'll ever be able to look at it the same again. Sweet Girl was covered in semi-digestion from her chin to her lap, and her car seat was a mess. What to do? I had an extra outfit in our bag of clothes so I quickly stripped Sweet Girl down in the parking lot, stashed the pukey clothes in a plastic bag, and stole the towel out from under the dog to do a wipe down. Sweet Girl was very brave (she's much better at vomiting than her mother - if she ever gets to the place where she is able to be independent and go to college, she is going to school some frat boys on puke-n-rally) but also very burpy; a sign there was more to come. So I quickly wiped all of the Monical's Redux I could out of her seat leaving it fairly devoid of stomach matter but it was still..........wet. I couldn't put her back in the seat for the rest of our 2-3 hours in the car without something to function as a barrier. If the towel I had stolen from the dog hadn't already been defiled, I would have used it for absorption. Alas it had exhausted itself of usefulness and I retired it to the plastic bag of pukey clothes.
I grabbed Sweet Girl and Little Man (who, just to make sure he wasn't forgotten in all this drama, had been screaming the whole time) and go into Casey's for some essentials. A quick perusal garnered not much in the way of towels, so to think of what I could use and stall for time in case Sweet Girl had another regurgitation episode, I took us to the bathroom. While scrubbing my hands a la Lady Macbeth, I saw that this bathroom actually had paper hand towels rather than an air dryer. I shoved a handful in my purse. We went out and got Sweet Girl some water and I noticed while we were pottying, they had stocked some shelves and there were paper towels! Then I saw the two tshirts on display. After a quick debate about which one we needed to add to our burgeoning tshirt collection, I paid for our water, paper towels, and red, white and blue tie-dyed tshirt (the other tshirt was an homage to mushrooms and while I thought Papa might appreciate it someday when it not longer smelled of relunch, I wasn't all that convinced it wasn't some sort of celebration of narcotics that I was not hip enough to understand - Americana it is!) and took our circus back to the car.
I let Little Man play in the front with Oreo while Sweet Girl stood as close to me as she possibly could without melding into my leg, as I padded her car seat with the pilfered hand towels. Then a layer of paper towels, and the coup de grace; the tshirt, folded over to cover the on-the-go decoupage job I had done. This left us with a somewhat smelly, not-so-pretty, but functional car seat. I put Sweet Girl in and realized the straps of the car seat were still wet as well. No problem! More Bounty please! I wrapped paper towels around the straps and buckled her in. She asked for both her blankets despite the 88 degree heat so I tucked her in and put another layer of paper towels on top of the blankets as damage control for future incidents. With all the paper towels around her face and her pale wan expression, it looked like a dental appointment gone awry. But she was somewhat clean and dry and she had her blankets, so after two more urpy spells (not much left in her stomach thank goodness) she fell asleep. Little Man was having a ball tormenting the dog and was generally unfazed by the whole ordeal once he got out of his seat initially.
We made it home. Sweet Girl came in and quasi-collapsed on the floor while Little Man delighted in trying to step on her hair. I began the process of rehabilitating the car seat and unloading the car. Oreo went out back and ran three rabbits out of the yard. Eventually I put the kids to bed and Oreo got bored hunting defenseless creatures. He and I sat on the couch for a couple of minutes before I went to bed while the washer did its best to clean the memory of the day from the car seat pad. And that, my friends, is how you celebrate Mother's Day right; with two children asleep and a mother with puke on her shoes. :)