This is a test. This is only a test.

Let's just say this weekend was not our finest parenting hour.

We spent a whirlwind few days in Dallas this weekend for my sister Laura's wedding. (For those of you who skim for photos – you'll have to check back later in the week as I won't be posting any wedding snapshots until the bride and groom get back from their trip to New Orleans and Laura is able to post photos first.) And it was an eventful 55ish hours.

A last minute change of plans meant Becky (my other sister) would be hitching a ride with us – so we had a pretty full car. And we had already warned Becky that this would not be the long, quiet, peaceful car ride she may have had in mind. There would be no uninterrupted iPod-enjoying and very little snoozing. Colt has a limited tolerance for his confining carseat. The tolerance is typically between two and three hours. The drive from here to Dallas is closer to five.

So we set off, bracing ourselves for a long and whiney journey. An hour came and went and Colt was still happy as a clam in his seat. Two hours. Still fine. It was during hour three that Jeff and I agreed something might be wrong. Colt was snoozing, sitting quietly, and just generally mellow — and it could only mean trouble.

Our child isn't quiet. Or still. Or mellow.

We tried to blame it on the fact that Becky was in the car, and that perhaps a not-AS-familiar face was making him shy. But we ruled it out. We tried to tell ourselves maybe he was just tired. And comfortable. And well-behaved. But we knew it was all a ruse.

The Boy was sick.

All the signs were there. And our weekend had only just begun.

He was hanging in there and perked up a little when we got to the hotel and had some lunch, and even when he went down for his nap in a strange hotel room with no question — we were still trying to convince ourselves that he would probably feel all better after some sleep and we'd be good to go.

And everything did seem better until we sat down for dinner with my family. He ate a few tortilla chips and a barely noticeable bite of his quesadilla before he crossed his arms on the table and laid his head down. It wasn't long before he was out of his seat and pitifully laying across me, head in my lap. It was close to 7:00 and we'd had a long day in the car, so we were STILL considering the fact that he might be tired. But his little head kept getting warmer and warmer and we finally asked the manager for directions to the nearest place to buy Children's Tylenol. Nothing within walking distance so we decided to tough it out and grab some on the way home.

Colt was lured to a seat across the table by fun apps on Grandma's iPhone and he was perfectly content playing the piano and naming barnyard animals while we ordered a quick dessert before wrapping up the evening.

And about that time, Colt decided he'd given us enough clues. Obviously we were too dense to understand what was going on so he made his point loud and clear — by throwing up all over Grandma. In the middle of the restaurant. In downtown Dallas. On a Saturday night.

Hello people! I'm SICK.

The entire table sprung into action and a manager appeared at our table within seconds. While my Mom tried her best to shield the whole scene from the other people in the restaurant, we were all throwing our napkins her direction and trying to assess the situation. She was covered. They both were. Head to toe.

I stripped Colt of his shirt and the manager brought me a paper sack for his clothes. Obviously, the party was over for the Hoods, and we were leaving as quickly as we could. I didn't have so much as a washcloth – much less a blanket – in the diaper bag so while Jeff went to find the car the poor little guy was wrapped in my cardigan as I walked out the front door into the cold in just my tank top — and behind me I could faintly hear the conversation at our table turn from my Mom's description of the mess on her lap to "remember the time when Sarah did this same thing?!"

As we shivered to the car, I explained to Colt that he would be hearing this story for the next thirty years. Maybe longer. Anytime someone gets married. Anytime we eat in a restaurant. "Trust me, Buddy. I've known these people longer than you have. You will never hear the end of this."

We had a fairly quiet, vomit-free rest of our weekend. The Boy spent it being a little bit pitiful and a little bit mopey, with a burst of energy here and there to throw us off the trail. We celebrated the wedding with family Sunday night then we all woke up Monday morning feeling really tired and really ready to be home. And another mostly-quiet morning coming home in the car convinced us that the little guy probably needed to see a doctor.

So a few hours and an ear infection and upper respiratory infection diagnosis later and we were spending Monday evening in a toddler medicine standoff. And for a kid that usually takes medicine like a champ, this was just one more sign that he had HAD IT. We waited him out for almost an hour before we had to double-team him and forcibly make him swallow the pink stuff.

GOOD GRIEF.

He happily collapsed into bed on-time and I'm hopeful we're on the road to recovery, but my GOODNESS this parenting thing can knock you senseless sometimes!

If this had been an actual emergency,
you would probably have failed miserably…

2 Responses to This is a test. This is only a test.

  1. Jackie Hamby December 14, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    Sarah, it is ALL part of parenting. You are never prepared for what might happen. And anything that can happen, will. Isn’t that Murphys Law? You are probably looking back thinking “I should have, why didn’t we….” Sounds like you rolled with the punches and did the best under the circumstances. I’ve raised 3 (one still at home) and have plenty of stories, as I’m sure Candy does as well, and now you. Hope Colt is feeling better.

  2. Lauren December 14, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

    Poor Colt!!! No fun being sick away from home! And, they always manage to get sick at the worst times! No good! Hope the Hood household is better!

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