Wow, I never thought that the first week back at school could be so crazy. Never in all of my 12 years of Elementary and then High School, 4 years as an Undergraduate and then 2.5 years as an MA student do I remember being so exhausted at the end of the first week of school. And the irony of it all is that I am no longer a student! So why, might you ask, am I so exhausted? Simple answer: Kids!
This is my kids' first year at a completely new school. They used to attend one literally across the street from us but due to varying circumstances we have decided to send them to a school that is a 45 minute drive away (without traffic). With traffic, well, that's a whole different story (it took us an hour and half to get there this morning).
But I am not writing to rant about Traffic Jams - I am writing about something way more exciting - motion sickness! Fun, hey? I wish I had known last week before the fateful/dreadful ride (which will be described shortly) what I know now. What's the saying... what doesn't kill us makes us stronger? Well, I guess you could say that.
On Wednesday of last week the kids and I left the house, settled into the car and headed on the long trek towards school. It was a day like any other - the sun was shining, the kids were giggling and making noise in the back seat and yours truly was trying to maintain my patience. Every so often someone would pipe up, "I don't feel well", "can you please open the window, I'm nauseous", "my head feels dizzy". Honestly, I didn't think much of it. How bad could the kids really feel? I mean c'mon I'm the smoothest driver out there (ha!). Next thing I know one of my daughters is violently ill in the seat behind me. And there's nothing I can do - I was on the highway for goodness sakes!
When we (FINALLY) got to the school I tried to clean things up as best I could, changed and cleaned my daughter and sent everyone on their way. $120 (who knew shampooing a car cost so much) and 4 hours later I had a sparkling clean vehicle however a huge hole in my wallet.
So the moral of the story? I have some tips by which every parent should abide whether they found a great car rental deal, are able to find cheap car rentals, or are merely heading out in their own vehicle on a family excursion:
- Pack large ziploc bags, pre-open them and strategically place them either under or beside booster/car seats for easy access
- Load the car up with bottles of ginger ale in case nausea kicks in
- Take your kids seriously if/when they complain about feeling car sick
- Always, and I mean ALWAYS have a spare bag of clothes and shoes in the back of your car
Finally, take deep meditative breaths if you are struck with misfortune and the steps above don't work. When you manage to pull your soiled, smelly and upset child from the car, just remember, it's not the end of the world - it just may feel like it.