Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Motion sickness in a 18 month old?

What do you do when your sister leaves you in the car alone with 3 kids under 4 and the 18 month old vomits out hotdogs and milk from lunch all over his clothes and the car seat while she runs into the store to get something quick.  Of course you open up his door and attempt to clean him up with the burp cloth from the infant and baby wipes.  It is quickly evident that although your cleaning efforts are necessary, it really isn't cutting it and the car is starting to smell.  After wiping off the buckles, you pull him out of the car seat, being careful not to get any vomitus on yourself as it continues to drip down from his clothes.  You then place him outside the car in the pouring down rain in the parking lot while you attempt to get rid of the larger chunks left behind in his car seat.  As you are fighting off your gag reflex and keeping him corralled close to the car, the 3 yo starts crying thinking you are leaving him because you are outside the car with his brother and he is still strapped in.  Once the chunks are removed, you look at the 18month old and find chunks on him, so you try and douse him with his water in an attempt to dilute it, which really only results in wet clothes.  You look in the bag and car for clean clothes, but only find a rain coat, so you leave him in the dirty clothes because it is 40 degrees outside and he is outside.  Thinking the water might also dilute the car seat smell, you throw some there, which only results in a puddle with floaties in his car seat, which then you have to figure out how to unbuckle to remove from the car to get them out.  After dumping the floaties out, you attempt to put the car seat back in, but have to first stop the 18 months old from picking up the floaties that are in a nearby puddle.  Once the car seat is in you put him back in the car seat, with the door open to continue to try and decrease the smell.  As you continue to stand outside waiting for your sister to come out of the store, you look at him and he is using his fingers to pick at the chunks that remained embedded in his clothes and realize he smells pretty bad and so decide to remove his clothes anyway and go for the raincoat and diaper look.  You want to put him back in the car seat, but realize the bottom of the car seat is all wet from your washing attempts and you don't want him to sit in a cold wet seat, so you find a plastic kids table cloth liner and put it in the car seat instead.  You turn up the heat, in order to keep all the kids warm since it is 40 degrees outside and the door is open, but it also serves to bring the smell out.  You see your sister about this time coming out of the store and yell to her to come quickly and then the 2 of you start laughing as you retell the story.  She gets in the car while you go to the trash and throw away the cleanup crew and when you come back she tells you he isn't buckled in.  You knew that, but didn't know how to strap the car seat back in and hoped she did.  She gets out in the rain and buckles him in and then you go to the nearest store for some warm dry clothes for the kid in a raincoat and diaper.

As you all know I am living with my sister and her family, which includes Graham, who is 18 months.  On 2 recent outings to the store (20 minutes) away, he has vomited without showing any other signs of being sick.  Some times he cries when you go over bumps and down hills as you drive, so the possibility of motion sickness is certainly an option.  We are hoping the washing machine takes care of the smell and that we don't have a repeat performance in our upcoming 5+ hr car ride this weekend.