My family and I road tripped from central Wisconsin to Atlanta, Georgia for Thanksgiving this year. My biggest fear was hearing the dreaded, “Are we there yet?” or “I’m hungry!” but lo-and-behold, the kids were surprisingly mellow. They dominated the trip like little Jedis. They hunkered down, read, drew, watched a few movies, slept, and giggled with each other.
Our littlest dude’s bodily functions had other plans, however.
It all started the second morning. Our road trip had begun after school/work on Tuesday night. We arrived at Champaign, Illinois at bedtime. The next morning we leisurely stirred and meandered down to the continental breakfast. Easton showed his appreciation by “making room” for more food. In the process, he leaked out of his pants and onto the booth’s seat. We rushed to the hotel room and changed him into his second outfit of the day. Thinking we had dealt with the worst of it, we hopped in the car and continued our journey south.
The next leg of the trip took us to windswept, southern Illinois where the trees are scarce and the empty semi-trucks swayed in the wind so precariously they skittered into the left lane as the 40 mph wind gusts slammed into their sides. We sped up when we passed to decrease our likelihood of a crushing tip-over. Through the wind drafts, the truck drafts, and the random bridge wind-blocks, Easton must have gotten car sick. The next thing we knew is that his whole breakfast was all over him, the floor, and his car seat. We pulled over on the busy highway, vacuumed up what we could, changed his clothes a third time, and gave him and his car seat a wet-wipe bath.
A few hours later, Lily is shouting, “I smell cow poop.” Lincoln added to the mix, “Ewww… I smell dog poop.” A split second later, the overwhelming odor of toddler #2 wafted my direction. I turned around and inquired if Easton had pooped. He nodded. We pulled over once again. Yup, outfit change #4.
A few hours later, this sweet doll face got sick on the Tennessee back roads. Luckily, we had a garbage bag at the ready.
Ok, let’s recap. We are up to the fourth set of clothes. I feel good. I feel like the worst is behind us…
Fast forward to Thursday morning. We’re taking a leisurely walk to a nice playground a half-mile away or so. I pick Easton up for a photo and what do I smell? Yup, another diaper filler. I set him down, notice it got on his sweatshirt… and that we don’t have our diaper bag. Like any seasoned parent… I use as much of the already saturated diaper as I can to wipe him clean and put his jeans on so he can play commando style. I say to my beloved friend, Hannah, “Wow, this never happens. It’s been months since he’s gone through his diaper.”
We jump onto the playground set and monkey our way through the various features until I see poor little Easton pause for a moment longer than comfortable. It takes me a split second to wonder what he’s thinking about, looking at, contemplating… … and then I realize he’s… POOPING… AGAIN… with no diaper, no wipes, no additional clothes. I run over to him, confirm through inquiry, snatch him off the bridge and hoist him under a tree. I painstakingly peel his browned pants off his body, use them to “wipe” him, wrap his lower half in my sweatshirt and carry his 35-pound body back to Hannah’s house. Where we proceeded to have a fun round of baths.
Fast forward to Friday. We adventured to the Atlanta Aquarium. The kids were in their glory seeing all the animals they’ve watched on TV and read about in books. We had just sat down for the Sea Lion Show… …in the back row. I leaned over to hug Easton and catch the faint odor that has now been infused into my nostrils. I asked the dreaded question and received the dreaded nod. As I picked him up, my husband pointed out that he’s leaking through. Seriously. Again.
I lobbed him over my shoulder, ask the staff if we can get back in once we leave. His paternal(less), apathetic answer told me that we couldn’t get back in once the show started. I rushed Easton to the bathroom with his leaking backside leading the way like a blinking siren saying, “do you see this? do you really want to slow me down?” The jam-packed bathroom left no room for my son and I except for an empty spot on the floor by the sinks. I laid his sweet head on a clean diaper and changed him right then and there. We hurried back to the show only to pass my husband and our middle child on the way to alleviate his bladder.
Saturday: Our ambitious selves drove straight from Atlanta to home. Once again, Easton didn’t disappoint. I was optimist this time. I thought it was my husband’s burp, but when I rolled down the window, the smell didn’t go away, it only intensified. We pulled off the highway and changed his diaper, his clothes, and took the top layer off his car seat to wash upon our return home.
In the end, that 15-hour trip home far surpassed the drive down. I’ll take one mishap over four any day.
Here’s to moving up one diaper size and chalking our road trip up as a success. I hope you all had as memorable a thanksgiving as I did! Cheers!