Prescription for Disaster

Friday, 5 December 2014

The Exorcist CRV Incident

Sometimes I really doubt myself.

I honestly sit back on my heels and wonder, usually when I’m catching some sort of projectile bodily fluid with my bare hands, how other parents deal with these things. Maybe I’ve missed a manual somewhere along the way.

And I’ve asked.

I asked a good friend Janine. Oh for sure, she’s had her own incidents with her son. They just don’t quite escalate the way things do with me. Such as the poo slingshot diaper incident following which she came to live with me and my children for a week out of pity, and to make sure we survived.

I’ve asked Natalie, who works with young children and trains people to work with young children. “Nope. That’s all you.”

I’ve asked Liane – a psychotherapist. “Definitely you,” she said, “though you see the world a bit differently than most (agreed). Still not sure why these things keep happening to you though.”

We had driven our Honda CRV over to Ireland for a week for a work trip for me, bringing along my husband and kids. Well, he drove while I sat in the passenger seat and theorized the route to world peace, as you do on long car trips.

We arrived at our resort outside Dublin at around 8pm – a lovely site in which we had rented a 3 bedroom home for the week – but nothing was open. No restaurant, shop, anything. 

Starving, we drove around the nearest villages in the dark until we saw a bright, shining beacon of hope off in the distance – a late night supermarket, an ALDI.

ALDI is a German brand of budget supermarket – not a debilitating brain condition, as my mother in law assumed from a Facebook post earlier. With no other option we bought the necessary bits to make a meal back at the house.

Aldi tagliatale pasta, Aldi white sauce, Aldi red sauce, Aldi shredded cheese and Aldi yogurt.

We nearly f%&king died.

All of us, within an hour of eating that meal which is now referred to as ‘The Aldi Pasta’ came down with food poisoning so violent and horrible that were we strong enough to stand we would have packed up and driven back to the Ferry port to go home. That house had 3 bathrooms and it was still not enough. It was carnage.

We had no buckets, so each of the kids were assigned a cooking pot to carry around with them – which they even tried to clean themselves (that was not good. That was not good). I was spread out on the couch dying as Lochie walked past me carrying her pot and a roll of toilet paper ,went straight to the large bathroom by the front door and declared “This toilet is mine.”

Sounds came out of that bathroom that no 4 year old should be able to make. It was carnage.

Sleeping was worse – we put the twins to bed in their room yet an hour later they were both in bed with me and I was covered in the warm remnants of their stomach linings. Lochie woke up and gave me a conspiratorial grin – “I puked.”

Thanks tips. I’m wearing it.

Even worse was as the night went on and the clouds hid the moon the room became pitch dark. More hurling sounds came from the far side of the bed and both Lochlynn and I dove to the floor, scrambling around blindly on our hands and knees feeling for a pot for Kaitlynn – but it was far too late.

The bedside lamp caught most of the blow.

It went on like this for hours, Paul changing pots and holding hair – he was feeling awful as well but somewhat managing to keep things down. By morning, however, we all felt quite a bit better. Still moving a bit slowly and carefully, but better. Well, we were there to get things done so off to Dublin we went for the day, eating little bits of whatever blandness our stomachs could handle. Feeling pretty good, we rushed back that evening so the kids could go in the pool on-site – they were very excited.

Paul, however, had finally succumbed to the Aldi Pasta. Leaving him to die alone and well stocked with toilet paper and bottled water, I took the girls swimming in the pool next door. This went very well, nobody drowned and we nearly had the small pool to ourselves.

Now, the girls don’t yet quite know how to swim. We basically stick on some inflatable water-wings and toss them in the deep end. They then paddle around with me swimming behind them pulling and pushing to constantly keep both paddling kids within arms’ reach. They love it, and their little legs just go in that water like over-excited gerbils.

Which was not great for Lochie’s food-poisoning stomach.

About 20 minutes into our swim we were in the middle of the pool, paddling away and learning tricks when Lochie declared that she needed to use the loo. Okay, fine, can you hold it for a few minutes? We should get going soon anyway.

“Mummy, I can’t hold it.”

“Okay, let’s go guys, make your way over to the edge.”

“Mummy, it’s poop. It’s coming.”

“What do you mean it’s coming??”

“I have to goooooo!”

Oh my freaking God. Not in the pool. Please, just not in the pool.

“Get to the SIDE!”

And I pulled them around me and to the side of the pool. There was no shallow end in this pool, it was 1.3 meters deep the entire way around. She was panicking. I was panicking. We were flailing around trying to get out like someone had loosed a shark in there. Kaitie thought this was great.

Making it to the side I launched Lochie out of the pool and up onto the side, where she stood up straight and clenched like a penguin, waddling over toward the changing rooms while I tried to get Kaitlynn out of the pool. She wasn’t going to make it, we weren’t going to make it!

Yeah. She didn’t make it.

The poor kid completely shat her swimsuit beside the swimming pool.

At least it wasn’t in the pool though.

Total. Parenting. Win.
See – despite this I still thought that everyone was getting over the Aldi Pasta of Death, and the next day we went to visit a good friend we met in China, Leanne. We had a great time, the kids had a great time – and they ate the largest ice cream sundaes we’d ever seen. Maybe that would settle the Aldi Pasta of Death that was still possibly clinging to their innards.

That did not end well.

The Irish motto of ‘feck it’ seems to also have been applied to their major rural road planning. It’s like they have something against straight lines, in favor of dark, unlit winding paths of two lane roads with trees right up to the lanes. No shoulders, no straight shots – just ‘feck it, have at ‘er’. Now, this would normally be just fine, but not when you’ve got a food poisoned 4 year old sat in the seat behind you.

Lochie is normally our car-puker, so with that knowledge we put her in the seat behind the driver, so I in the passenger seat can have easy access to her if she starts to blow. But Kaitlynn got us by surprise that night (atta girl!) just to keep us on our toes – and from behind me we hear “I’m gonna puke.”

Oh. God. No.

She’s handed an orange plastic Sainsbury’s bag from the front seat – and she starts to heave. She needs help -  but she’s directly behind me. There is no place to pull over, we had to keep going. So, hurling down the dark, winding, two-lane road I take off my seatbelt and turn around in my seat, hugging the back of the passenger seat for dear life with my face mashed into the headrest. I stretch my arms around and grip the seat-back shoulder with my chin, trying to steady myself so I could use my hands to comfort Kaitie and hold open the plastic bag for her.

She filled it. I held the heavy bag rolled open in front of her in both hands while clinging backwards to the passenger seat, swaying with each turn and being pulled from side to side by the weight of the puke bag suspended in the air.

It was this swaying action that then wafted the smell of it throughout the car.

Lochlynn started making gagging noises and buried her face in her car-seat’s Batman cape. Paul, up in the driver’s seat, started to gag. I, of course, was laughing too hard to react properly. Kaitie seemed finished, was given a bottle of water to nurse and I turned to return to a normal sitting position, bringing the full bag up to the front of the car with me so I could tie it up.

The smell hit us like a tornado-flung cow.

It was like sour, sweaty kim-chee mixed with rotting badger.

Paul dryheaved. “What the hell is that smell?!”

It’s the puke bag – I just tied it, it shouldn’t smell anymore!”

“She’s FOUR! And a VEGETARIAN! How the hell does it smell like that?!”

“I DON’T KNOW! It’s-“ (blurrggghhhhhhhhurp) “Oh God, it’s hideous!”

We turned on the overhead light, still weaving through the dark back-roads of outer Dublin. Oh no. Oh noooooooooo. There was a hole in the bag.

“Well? What is it?” asked Paul, wretching and rolling down all of the windows.

“Oh man, don’t look Paul. It’s like a crime scene back there. Oh crap, it came all the way up here too.”

And it had. As I had brought the bag up to the front with me it had leaked a steady stream of chunky vomit allll through the car, over our middle console filled with drinks, chargers, phones, iPad’s and written directions. It was everywhere. We spent the next 20 minutes all dryheaving and freezing with the windows down and sunroof open.

When we got back to the resort and escaped from the car and into the fresh night air we stood back and assessed the damage – all doors open wide to air it out. We didn’t know if we should try to clean it or just light it on fire and buy a new car.

We decided to leave it overnight so it would freeze and be easier to clean the next morning.

There’s a good reason why my plans never work out. 

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