Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The March Break I'd rather forget

My last post was so full of naive optimism. Since then I have become a dark and brooding soul, ripe with cynicism, dark humour and biting sarcasm.

At least in theory. Truth is, I'm still my peppy and perky self. Now that March Break, otherwise known as The Week I'd Rather Forget, is over.

To backtrack, we decided to go to my dad's in Gravenhurst - about 4 hours from Ottawa - from Tuesday to Friday last week. We got out of town about an hour later than we would have liked... which was fully expected because we always get out of town an hour later than we would have liked.

The kids were asking to watch videos literally 2 kilometres from our driveway. I should have known then that this would become The Trip from Hell. We should have turned around at that very moment.

We stopped seven times - yes, seven - on the way there banking a 6.5 hour trip. We stopped twice to feed Henry, once for lunch, twice because Hope thought she was going to throw up, once because I drank too much tea, and another time for who knows why. Henry did not sleep ONCE during the trip. We had to completely reorganize seating because Hope's tummy was very jumbly in the back. WARNING, WARNING! Did we turn back for home? Nope. Did John say outloud "I forsee this being a total disaster" and I say "you are such a glass half-empty person!"? Yes and yes. Was that the foreshadowing that had this been a movie would have left the audience screaming DON'T GO IN THERE at the screen? Oh yes it was.

We finally get to the bumpy, curvy road going into my dad's house. (FORESHADOWING, FORESHADOWING!) We're literally 500 metres from his door when Hope's face turns white and then green and then she projectile vomits all over herself, her car seat and bits of the car. We had about 3 seconds warning which was enough time to stop the car and watch helplessly as she showered herself in Wendy's french fries and ketchup. Luckily, I thought, no one ever drives on this road so it's okay that we're completely blocking this single-lane road. Oh Sweet Jesus, will I ever learn?

That's when man-in-Oldsmobile drove up behind us.

As I'm holding vomit-covered Hope in front of me at arm's length, I'm simultaneously explaining to man-in-Oldsmobile that one of our children just upchucked all over herself.

The look on his face was a cross between disgust and pity.

I stripped Hope down to her underwear and she sat on my lap in the front seat until we got to my dad's door. Emily, always looking for the up side (her mother's daughter) said: "Hope you're so lucky!" I'm thinking Hope wasn't feeling so lucky at that moment as liquid lunch dripped off her chin. I'm all about the visuals, people.

Arriving at the house, Hope went straight into the shower, washing away all the bad mojo we'd accumulated on the drive up. Time to start fresh! Right? Right?


That night Henry was up SEVEN times. The next day Hope whined all day and then puked at the end of the day at which point we realized she wasn't car sick, she was just plain sick. John threw his back out. He is still walking crooked. Hope declared her bed "not comfy" (a declaration I heard way too many times that week from her) and Emily moved into bed with me, John moved to the futon, Hope moved to the bed Emily was in. I got up 6 times that night and the rest of the night I was serenaded with Emily's teeth-grinding. Henry scraped his knuckles to bloody on the sides of his playpen simply because it made a cool sound (so he tells me). On the plus side, I baked bread in the stone bake oven which was really fun and we went in the hot tub on the deck many times. Donna even served me a glass of wine while I was in there at one point (alone!). I think that was the highlight of the week for me.

The next day was the good day: tobogganing (no one puked! Hope was happy!), walk on the lake, hot tub. Bad part: visit to the Muskoka Wildlife Centre which should have been good but Hope whined the ENTIRE TIME. The rest of us thoroughly enjoyed the place though.

When we got home, Hope hurled.

Next day... time to go home. The Griswalds pulled away. Drive home, 6.5 hours. Great lunch in Bancroft. No extra stops. Drove a beautiful route on the Opeongo Road. Had tea but didn't have to stop an extra time (still can't figure out then why it took us the same amount of time to get back as it took to get up there but whatev). NO ONE PUKED.

As much as I love going up there, sitting in the hot tub, playing in the snow, visiting my dad and Donna, someone will have to SHOW ME THE MONEY to get me to leave home for March Break for many years to come.

I need a holiday. Can we get a do-over?

Yes, of course there were some fun moments. If only there was less puke, more sleep, less pain. I have put some photos below to give you some moments (mostly good) from The Week I'd Rather Forget.

Hope and Henry sharing a puke-free moment on our first day in Gravenhurst.

Emily staying under the radar lest the Universe comes to get her, too.

A really fun morning of tobogganing. This was the first smile from Hope in a while.

Another smile! Tobogganing saved our trip for a while.

At the Muskoka Wildlife Centre. Lest you think Hope is looking for a dropped contact lens, she's actually refusing to move because she feels like stink.

Pretty much the happiest look she could muster.

Happy in the hot tub on the morning we were heading home. The hot tub was the other happy place. Especially for John's back.


Marnie said...

Oh Karen. I laughed, I cried. It was especially that sound of Henry scraping the side of the portable playpen that got me. I am still haunted by that sound of scrape scrape scrape all night long....

Shan said...

Well the pictures make it look like you had a fantastic time... if that helps.

Erika said...

As much as you want it to be the-week-that-must-not-be-remembered, you made me laugh with your writing, and that's gotta be worth something (c; I think it sounds like something from vinal cafe -- maybe you should send it in! (you know... write it up in your free time.. ha ha ha)

H Munro said...

As I spend a day at home doing nothing becaue we just got back from our 7 hour car trip with two kids I totally understand your pain. While no one threw up on the way home I had to take a whack to Imodium before we left because I am slightly sick. Nothing like the idea of no bathroom at a morments notice to make a tummy happy.
Generally though we did better than are previous car trips, thank you Baby Eintsein and portable DVD player, and chocolate.