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Thursday, May 5, 2016

So much for making plans

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The thing about being a mom is, you can never really make plans or have any guarantees for each day. You can try. You can keep a calendar on your fridge or in your phone, scheduled full of activities for each day, and most of the time all goes as planned. However, you just never know from one day to the next how your plans are going to actually turn out and that's the fun thing about being a mom. Expect the unexpected!

It started off a fairly normal day for me. My two older girls went to school, my youngest daughter went to preschool in the morning and napped in the afternoon, all normal for a Thursday. My husband was out of town in important meetings for work that day and told me he'd be hard to reach so just text him if any emergencies.

After school got out, the fun started and all my afternoon plans were thrown out the window. I had already picked up my oldest daughter from one elementary school and headed towards my middle daughter's elementary school. I was parked in traffic at a nearby intersection waiting to turn and enter the infamous "elementary abyss." That is the frenzied, chaotic muddle of vehicles, parents, and kids under the age of 9, attempting to escape a two block radius around the local elementary school all in a matter of about eight minutes.

Unfortunately, an innocent young man who was stopped in front of me, unaware of the "elementary abyss", found himself and his big, farm truck in the midst of the chaos. In his attempt to get the heck outta Dodge, he backed up without looking and ran smack into the front end of my truck. I honked and yelled but couldn't back up, as I was in a long line of parents also awaiting entry into the "abyss." We both jumped out to assess the damage of the collision and it was very minimal. Although my first thought was to call Hubby, I remembered he said "only if emergency."

Well, I'm a highly educated woman with common sense who has lived in big cities for a good portion of my life, so I know how to handle minor accidents. Swap contact and insurance information and be on your way. Police have bigger issues to deal with. This was in no way an "emergency." So I got the poor young man's name, phone and insurance information, and then presented him with an escape route out of the dreaded abyss.

After that ordeal, my kids were a little shook up but I was proud of myself for handling the situation with ease and maturity. However, now our afternoon schedule was off by about 30 minutes. I wouldn't be able to make the dinner I had planned and get everyone to practice on time, so I decided since it was just us girls; we'd treat ourselves to some cheeseburgers and fries at our favorite local restaurant, maybe even a chocolate shake.

My girls and I were having an unusually great time at the restaurant, eating our delicious cheeseburgers and laughing at each other's jokes. I sat smiling and watching my older two girls sitting across from me giggle, while my littlest squeezed next to me in the booth. I thought to myself, how lucky I am to be a mom of three daughters and how much I enjoyed the times when it was just us girls. I was thinking how I should cherish these moments together because they won't last forever. For a fleeting moment, all was well with my life, and then ... it happened.

Out of the blue, my littlest daughter leaned over towards me and vomited ... everywhere. In complete shock, I looked down to my right and couldn't believe my eyes. She'd vomited directly into my purse, all over my right side, on my thigh, down my leg and into my right shoe. I looked up in distress and saw my older daughters faces go from smiling to pure disgust, and my youngest began wailing at the top of her lungs yelling, "I threw up."

Well, that's when a mom's survival mode kicks in and prioritizing begins. I first covered the little one's mouth, not only to stop the screaming but to stop any further projectiles. Then I looked to my older girls to help me formulate an escape plan out of the restaurant with not a lot of disturbance to the other patrons.

However, unbeknownst to me, my big girls couldn't take the horror and had already bailed from the booth. They were huddled by the entry door hoping I would okay their release to freedom.

I motioned for the big girls to get back over there and help me, and pleaded with them to stop making a scene. Keeping the little one's head down and mouth still covered, I proceeded to one-handedly use 482 napkins in an attempt to sop up as much regurgitation as I could. Together, the big girls and I devised a plan to get "Linda Blair" out of the restaurant and into the truck, without the other customers getting wind of what just went down in our booth.

After getting her safely in the truck, I couldn't just leave without telling the restaurant workers what they were about to face when they approached our table, so I schlepped my vile smelling self, with the squishy right side, back into the restaurant and hesitantly gave the waiter notice and apologized repeatedly. I had cleaned what I could but I don't normally haul a professional steam cleaner with me so it was up to them to finish up the disaster area, of which I still feel really bad about. I know some worker did his fair share of cussing me out after we left.

I still had to get the oldest to practice so we drove in freezing, 30 degree weather with all the truck windows down in an attempt to keep the rest of us from upchucking. My youngest laid there like a lump in the backseat and the older girls couldn't stop complaining of the smell. Before I could even get home to clean myself and daughter, my dear husband texted to say he was on his way home. Since he missed all the fun, I decided it was probably okay to call him and fill him on my "emergencies" that day. So much for making plans!

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Jennifer Morgan
Motherhood Moments
-- Jennifer Morgan is the mother of three girls and lives in McCook.