Monday, July 21, 2008

The horror...

Here is a story from my childhood. We learned lessons then that mean even more to me as a mother now.

When I was about 10 or 11 we went to North Carolina for the first time. We were traveling with my dad while he was on business. So my mom, dad, two sisters and I piled into a tiny little Mercury Topaz for a 10+ hour drive.

The day or so before our trip my mom took us kids to a tiny little carryout in the town next to us (the town where I grew up was so small it had nothing of the sorts...the one where she took us only had this little shop and that was it). Anyway, they had great cheap candy. They had penny, nickel, dime, and quarter candy. We could get quite a bit of variety for the little amount of money we usually had. We didn't often stop here, so it was a real treat when we did. That day Mom gave each of us girls $2.00 to get as much candy as we wanted. I remember carefully picking out my purchases and paying for it with great excitement. We each came out of the store with a paper lunch sack filled with candy. Mom put the candy up and saved it for our trip.

We headed out early for our long drive. I remember keeping a "journal" of our travels. Since they pulled me out of school for a week to do this, I thought it would be fun to keep track of everything we did. I first wrote something like "It's now 4:30AM and we're heading out. I can't believe we're leaving this early, but now I'm awake and excited.". (But it was probably more youthful and silly know...because I thought I was cool and tried too hard.)

Mom gave us each our sack of candy to hold and do with as we wanted. It was supposed to last us all day, so we had to think about that. Well, my youngest sister Mary was probably 4 years old when we went. She was super excited to have candy, and she dug into hers right away. I remember Rachel (about 6 or 7 at the time) and I giggling to each other, because we knew we'd have all this candy and Mary wouldn't have any left and we were SO NOT SHARING with her.

Since we lived in the NW corner of Ohio, it took us quite a while to drive across Ohio to the SE. We stopped for breakfast while we were still in Ohio. Mary was not hungry and my mom couldn't figure out why. She knew that she'd been eating candy (but she didn't know until later how much Mary had actually eaten already). So Mary just had some orange juice.

You're starting to see where this is going, right?

Once we got back into the car Mary started complaining that her stomach hurt. Well, Mary has always been a bit of a drama queen, so we usually took her complaints with a grain of salt. Mom probably said something like "Oh, you're fine, just try to sleep for a bit." And she did sleep...for a little bit.

Next thing we knew Mary is throwing up all over the place. Remember we're all squished into a tiny Topaz. Mary is the youngest, so she's aways sitting in the middle seat in the back. She threw up all over herself and a little on Rachel and all over the floor. Ugh. We were just about to cross the Ohio River at this point, so we were really on our way. Dad looked for a place to pull over as we were all complaining and protesting from the back seat.

He found a little run-down rest stop right along the river. We got Mary out of the car and started cleaning her off. My mom went to the restrooms to get a wet cloth. There was no running water! Lovely. There was a little hand pump that had a little water, so we were able to clean her up. My mom was trying to get a change of clothes for Mary, but everything was packed either too far back in the trunk (which was pretty tiny) or on top of the car in a big car-top carrier.

I think that my dad ended up taking the big car-top carrier off, so my mom could rummage through luggage and find a change of clothes for my sister. And that carrier was heavy and awkward and not easy to get on and off of the car. I know my mom was not happy. And when getting everything situated and back into the car, that's when she noticed how much candy Mary had actually eaten. It was way too much. She promptly took her bag away. Rachel and I had eaten one or two pieces...Mary had eaten half a bag.

Luckily we made it the rest of the way without incident. The rest of the week was fun. We spent time at the hotel while Dad was in meetings. Unfortunately it was too early for the hotel's outdoor pool to be filled. We went to the park and did little things like that. Later in the week we spent a day at the ocean after Dad was done with his work. The hotel we stayed in was pretty ugly. But that's a whole other long story.

Lessons learned - 1. Always pack one change of clothes where you can quickly access them. 2. Never give a greedy child a whole bag of candy. 3. Whenever you squeeze 3 children into the back of a small car for a long drive, someone will get sick on the way.


Shannon said...

I'm surprised that neither of you ended up throwing up, too!


Did you ever make it to your destination?

Nowheymama said...


Rachael said...

I think that 'never give a greedy child a whole bag of candy' is a pretty good rule for life.

jen said...

yuck! I would have threw up too!

Abbreviated said...

Ds2 went to Omaha, NE on a mission trip last year. The driver's dd threw up all the way back.

For some reason he didn't want to go this year.

Simply Shannon said...

I have a little sister named Mary too! She totally would have done the same thing. Lucky for me I was usually the puker and not the one getting puked on.
Riding in a car that reeks of vomit is never a good time.

Stacy (mama-om) said...

Just thinking of all that orange juice on top of the candy makes me feel a little sick!

YUCK (but a good story...)

Kelsey said...

Oh, throwing up in the car is the worst. I still shudder to think of Harper's pukey car trip home from St. Louis.

kristi said...

My oldest sister used to throw up all of the time!! We had a Ford Pinto and Mom always stuck her in the back..Thank God!

d e v a n said...

Oh no! This all sounds a bit too familiar.