Saturday, May 27, 2006

Blue Gatorade

Kirk's brother had the unbelievable good fortune to marry a beautiful, intelligent woman (who has an irritating habit of continuing to look about 25). He was even more lucky to get two bonus daughters with the bargain, and one Saturday we planned to drive up to San Antonio and meet the oldest girl for the first time.

It usually takes an extra half hour per child to get ready to go anywhere. Add another half hour for each child under 5, and if you're in the middle of potty training double that final figure. In fact, if you live in a hot place the whole bathroom issue becomes something of a farce because you spend half your time trying to hydrate the little bodies, and the other half begging the child to just hold on for two minutes while you race down the aisles at Safeway. Jason Bourne might be able to suss out the best exit in a building in a matter of seconds - we had the far better ability of spotting a bathroom. By far the worst place is Home Depot. We could never stay in the garden center for more than 10 minutes because one child would stare, hypnotized at the fountain displays until... 'I think...'

Still, good parenting dictates that they must be given fluids regularly, so we gave each child a container of blue gatorade and started off. Before we left the drive child three had the bottle half empty. By the edge of town it was drained dry. Having thoroughly provided itself with ammunition, it was ready to go.

There are certain noises that can get a parent's attention more quickly than anything else - catlike reflexes are invoked. Child three made a small, cat-with-hairball noise, combined with a tiny 'oh no.' Instantly the car was at the side of the road and child three was being held (carefully) over a field of cotton, violently puking up blue gatorade. It's business as usual really - just one more little episode of disgusting bodily excretions. It even entertained the other two kids (ewwwww! It's throwing up blue!) and the state trooper who pulled over to make sure we weren't messing with Texas. Two minutes later child three is cleaned off with the inevitable wet wipes and we're back on the road.

Unfortunately we underestimated how much gatorade the child had actually consumed, and the fact that the stomach involved was apparently looking on the whole thing as a game of escalation. We were only able to lean the kid out of the door for the next round. The third one we thought was the real thing - entire backseat of the car, child's car seat, child's clothing down to the skin, and back of driver's seat all contaminated with blue goo. It took a box and a half of wet wipes to get the car to the point where anyone would even put a toe in, and child three was stripped naked and temporarily clothed in one of Kirk's t-shirts. We lined everything with plastic garbage bags (the emergency kit of a parent is a wonderful thing) and hoped for the best. No such luck - four and five got us right into San Antonio, and just as we pulled into the mall parkinglot the child suddenly stopped going green and white, smiled brightly and announced that it was 'really thirsty now!'

The oldest two had at least escaped the carnage, but the car was unbearable and child three was now clad only in a black plastic garbage bag. Just right for a family reunion.

Kirk took child two into the mall to get a new set of clothes - clothes that would forever be known as 'the puke outfit.'

And none of us to this day can face blue gatorade.

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