Friday, November 04, 2005

The 333 exit

That's the exit number on the PA Turnpike for Norristown. I know the sign quite well. Why? Oh, let me explain.

Yesterday, things were going splendid! Not only was I in a good mood but we were actually getting on the road early. Granted, the baby was in a cranky mood but I passed it off as her being a crab.

I barked out the usual morning commands to her:

"Go to the potty"

"Eat your yogurt"

"Put on your jackie"

"Grab your babies and let's go to silver car"

The babies are her two stuffed lambs, Rat and Lambie. Rat has approximately 2.75 years of drool, hugs, and kisses on his resume and he it a bit on the ratty side; hence, his nickname. Lambie looks just like Rat except he only has a year of drool. But both have to accompany her everywhere: school (where they have a "nap" in her cubby until I pick her up), trips, beddy-bye time, etc.

The one command I did not have to yelp was "Shut off the TV". For some odd reason, she didn't feel like watching it.

We bumbled into the car and we were off to the races.

Dinks just seemed so out of it. Not cranky or happy or anything. She was just ... there. I aske dif she wanted Mommy to play music and she nodded. I've been a classical music kick lately and much to my happiness, Dinks seems to like it.

Traffic was moving well yesterday morning despite SEPTA and their "lame-o excuse" strike. I even caught myself doing 80 MPH. What? Hey, I was keeping up with the flow of traffic for goodness sake. Anyway, all was going great.

We got to the Mid-County exit #334 where they (being PATCO in think) are doing construction. The plan is to widen the highway from two to three lanes in either direction between Mid-County and Valley Forge. That just means the traffic jams will be more concentrated ... six miles long instead of nine. Anyhow, because of construction, the road doesn't have a shoulder for about three to five miles. Now that's a pain when there is an accident or breakdown cause it's near impossible to get a wrecker through the bottle neck of traffic.

It's also a pain when other things happen.

We drive under the Mid-County overpass and I hear *bwwwwwggccc* from the back seat followed by crying. You guessed it. Dinks was doing some serious power heaving all over herself. And it was banana yogurt barf. Argh!!

She's crying and I'm thinking "Where am I going to pull over? There's no shoulder for a few miles!" Thankfully I was near the 333 exit. I swerve the car into the gravel triangle that divides the highway from the exit ramp.

I pulled her out of her seat and made the lamest attempt with a towel that I keep for such emergencies to wipe her down. She's still barfing but now on the ground. I mean she was covered. I had strip my child down on the friggin Turnpike, wrap a blanket around her chilled little body, and sat in the front seat while I cleaned her car seat. Oh yeah. We're buying a new one tonight. It took about fifteen minutes to do the half-baked clean up job.

I jump off the Turnpike at 333 and hopped back on heading towards home. The windows were down ... oh it was awful.

And the poor thing was back in her carseat with the blanket around her. I kept asking if she felt okay and she would give a limp nod in response.

Now here's the kicker! I call her school and get the assistant director. She asked how I was and i said "Oh just dandy!" in my still Demi Moore style voice. She then said "Let me guess ... Dinks is vomiting?" Holy chowder! Was I on some traffic report on the radio or TV and didn't know it? I could just hear that:

"And on the westbound PA Turnpike we have a car stopped for a toddler who seems to be vomiting. Traffic isn't slowing for this but the mom looks frantic."

But that wasn't the case. The assistant said I was not the first parent calling their child out today. It seems a bug was spreading through the school and over half her class was out.

You have to love daycare. If it isn't a footprint ghost or handprint spider that makes its way home, it's a virus.


CrankyProf said...

Yeah, you made KYW this morning. "Puke-covered mother and child cause eight-mile backup on the 'pike!"

Sorry the dinkerdoodle isn't feeling well.

Rowan said...

awww, poor baby and poor mommy too!