As I sit here reflecting on our month-long sojourn to Thailand, I am thankful for so many parts of our trip: Having my mother and brother meet my year-old son for the first time; seeing my 3 1/2-year-old embrace Thai food, culture and life; spending time with my extended family; and our mountain and island adventures.
We have Kodak-style memories that will last us a lifetime. What all the pictures didn't capture, though, but will be forever etched in my mind is the vomit. Yes, I said vomit. I'm talking nonstop bucketfuls of baby and preschooler vomit.
I knew there would be some illness and discomfort when we embarked on this trip, but the level of stomach ailments my children exposed us to was unparalleled. I think my brother summed it up best when he said, "I've never seen so much puke come out of two such little bodies."
It all started before we even left the country. We were on our hour-long flight from D.C. to New York City when Vomit Episode #1 hit us (me) unexpectedly. I was giving Jack a bottle as we were taking off (ears) and he dozed off. Aaaaah, things were getting off to a great start. Marley had also dozed off next to her father. About half-an-hour into the flight, Jack woke up (was hoping for sleep the whole way, but I can deal). As I held him, he looked out the window into the darkness. Little did I know this peaceful moment with my boy would soon come to a crashing halt.
A little history...Jack has never just spit up. When the boy upchucks he really gets after it. Let me spray myself, my mom, the floor, and maybe a wall for good measure. No half-assed vomiting here.
The plane incident was no exception.
Now, when you are on a plane and your kid vomits all over himself and you, there is a moment when your mind goes completely blank. Immediately after that initial shock passes is what I like to refer to as the "FUUUUUUUCK!" Moment. That is what is going on at 110 decibels inside your head, but hopefully is not coming out of your mouth. Then, when that passes, you realize you better figure out something...and quick. Do I have enough wipes? What if he does it again? Is he OK? Oh God, oh God, oh God.
I quickly got my husband's attention, but all he could do was sit there wide-eyed and speechless. I couldn't completely blame him. The sight of his wife and child covered in vomit was probably more than his mind could process at 6 a.m.
I was on my own. I quickly got the wipies out and cleaned up the boy's face and shirt. Then I got to work on my jeans. (Have I mentioned that I don't know how I would function on a daily basis without baby wipes?) After about 159 wipes, we were presentable again. With the wipes disposed of handily in the puke bag (fitting), the plane began to descend.
Little did I know as I sat there, basking in my victory over vomit, that this was only the beginning:
Vomit Incident #2 -- Jack in the Van on the way to the island Vomit Incident #3 -- Jack again on the way to the islands Vomit Incident #4 -- Marley in our Bangkok condo Vomit Incident #5 -- Marley at the shopping mall in Bangkok Vomit Incident #6 -- Marley in the cab on the way to the airport for Chiang Mai Vomit Incident #7 -- Marley after lunch in the hotel in Chiang Mai Vomit Incident #8 -- Marley in the car on the way down From Doi Suthep (tallest mountain in Chiang Mai) Vomit Incident #9 -- Marley in the middle of the night, sleeping between Travis and me in our Chiang Mai hotel. That was a super duper fun. Vomit Incident #10 -- Marley on the way back to Bangkok from Chiang Mai
There was so much pukery, I took to scoping out vomit bags as the first order of business after boarding any plane. We actually had a "vomit bucket" for a while as well (see picture). Don't judge the vomit bucket. Desperate times call for desperate measures. And I also took to carrying around plastic bags in taxis, out shopping, etc. There were a couple of weeks there when, before leaving the house, I'd go down my list of must-haves...diapers - check; snack - check, wipes - check, milk - check, vomit-catching receptacle - check.
I should note at this point that neither child ever ran a temperature. Any and all vomiting was purely the result of motion sickness, fatigue (possibly), and maybe some ill-advised food.
I'm not the type of person that gets sick to my stomach easily, either. My husband is. So, I lay our children's performance during the trip squarely on his genetics.
The last two weeks of our stay, any and all vomiting ceased. We settled into a nice quiet routine. The vomit receptacles made it off my list and every time a child coughed or gagged, I didn't spring to my feet, do backflips like a ninja over to to said child, and shove a bucket or bag under his/her face.
You could say I got soft on vomiting. But how could I know?
And...drum roll please....
Vomit Incident #11 and #12 -- Jack on the plane during the 11 -hour Tokyo-Dallas leg of our trip home.
As I sat there on my hands and knees in the aisle of the plane, cleaning up two pools of puke (#12), I started laughing. The passengers around me must have thought, "Well, she's just gone and lost it." Maybe I had, but I didn't care. I couldn't have dreamed of a more perfect way to end our trip.