This past weekend, I went with my two oldest children to Disney on Ice. The tickets were a pre-Christmas gift from their Uncle Al (brother to Aunt-mazing Katy—as I’ve said before, my kids are lucky!), and we were all very excited to go. But the drive to get there was pretty long, and we had to take a detour to pick up Uncle Al, and we were pretty tired. So as we were pulling in to the parking lot at the Pacific Coliseum—ten minutes until show time—the excitement gave way to something else entirely. E (age 5) said those five little words that cause an immediate pit of dread in any parent’s stomach: “Mommy: I don’t feel good!” And then, three seconds later—just long enough for me to say, “What honey? Are you going to throw up?”—she threw up. And then she threw up again. And then again. I made sympathetic noises from the driver’s seat and continued to drive, deciding that we should get to our parking space as soon as possible, even if it meant E had to sit in her own puke for a few minutes.
So we parked, with eight minutes until show time. I got out of the van and walked around to the sliding door, which I opened to assess the damage. And it was not good … not good at all. The usual barf culprits were present: the chunkiness, the smell, the sad-looking child. But in this case, it was really the quantity of vomit that was unusual—there was a lot of it, and much of it was pooled on poor E’s fancy-dress-covered lap. I quickly reviewed the supplies I had available to me in my recently tidied van (Darn you, Daddy! You picked the wrong time to tidy the van!). There was one package of wet wipes. And one plastic grocery bag. That was it. No extra clothes, no towels, no coats, no water. But of course I had no choice, and I got to work. I’ll spare you the details, but pretty soon I had a plastic bag full of wet wipes and barf, a child wearing a wiped-off pair of tights with just a winter coat over them, and a brother-in-law who was very impressed with my ability to remain calm in a crisis.
We left the dress on the pavement and the windows of the van open just a bit to lessen the chance of a smelly ride home, and we speed-walked toward the stadium. Six minutes until show time.
When we arrived, we boogied through the crowd toward our seats, but we paused at a booth to buy a pink Disney t-shirt so E wouldn’t have to wear a winter jacket for the whole show, and we put it on her right there in the crowd. We found our seats and shimmied past the people in the aisle seats who had wisely gotten there with time to spare. We sat down. One minute until show time.
The opening few minutes of the show were wonderful. We were all mesmerized and delighted. But then G leaned over and said those three little words that cause an immediate pit of dread in any parent’s stomach: “Mommy, I’m hungry.” Well, I’d been so busy cleaning up vomit and spending $25 on a stupid t-shirt that I’d forgotten the snacks in the car.
Footnote: Did you know that the popcorn at Disney on Ice cost FIFTEEN DOLLARS? Crazy, right? Now I’m gonna puke.