Another Tale of Two – Getting to Michigan on “Trashed Wednesday”

I am writing this down because I know that in two years my husband will once again want to drive to his parents’ house for Thanksgiving.  And he will once again want to leave in the middle of the day on Wednesday because he will inevitably have a crap load of work to complete before leaving for the weekend.

It normally takes us about four to five hours, door to door, to make it to my in-laws’ house.  Last Wednesday, it took us nine. Nine hours from the time we left our house until the time we arrived at his parents’ house.

A and I jumped into the car at 10:30 CST after Gymboree class to go pick up the husband from work.  He had to go to court in the morning, but said he would be ready to leave by 11:00 or 11:30.  I figured that traffic would be bad on the Kennedy and I was, of course, correct.  Luckily A slept the entire fifty-minute-long drive in stop and go traffic from our house to the husband’s work downtown.  Jackson is currently closed, so I had to take the detour to get to his building.  It was touch and go as I nearly ended up on Lower Wacker (once again, since I had made this mistake before), but I made a discreet little (illegal?) maneuver and found myself directly outside his building.  Success!  I pulled over to the curb and put my blinkers on because I had to park in a tow zone.

I called up to the office and discovered that Mr. Mags was not yet back from court.  I called his cell phone and he told me he was just going to have to run up to his office and close up shop, but he’d be right down.  So I left the car running for a few minutes.  Still no husband.  I turned off the engine and listened to the radio until it turned off automatically ten minutes later.  Still no husband.  A woke up and I went to the back seat to let him out of his car seat to climb around until his dad arrived.  Out of nowhere, the car started to boast that telltale smell.  The boy had deuced his pants.

Mr. Mags arrived a few minutes later and I told him I was going to run inside his building to change A’s diaper.  We walked all the way up to the reception desk only to discover there was no public bathroom (of course).  I walked back to the car, and Mr. Mags said he’d take A over to a deli across the street to change him there.  As I sat in the back seat of the car waiting for them to return, I noticed that it still smelled like dookie.

Mr. Mags returned and A was in a whole new outfit.  His shoes were off.  He had crapped all over his outfit and his shoes.  Poop was running down his leg.  It got all over Mr. Mags’ suit and tie, which he had just had dry cleaned.  He put A back in his car seat and we took off for Michigan.

I still kept smelling the dung, but I couldn’t figure out why.  Finally, I looked down and I realized I was still smelling it because I had poop all over my lap.  I wiped it off with some wet wipes, but the smell was still there.  It was also on the top of my shoe and on the floor mat beneath my feet.  A had made some magic, everlasting poopage.

After the initial diaper incident, the trip actually improved.  Traffic out of Chicago and into Indiana and then Michigan was not bad at all.  We were making good time.  We stopped at Culver’s and had a yummy lunch.  After leaving Culver’s, the traffic slowed to a crawl.  For the next hour and a half we moved a total of eight miles.  We couldn’t see what was holding us up.  Was it construction?  Holiday traffic?  We tried to find the Kalamazoo traffic information on the radio and the Internet, but no dice.  We started making plans to pull off the road to get dinner and/or a hotel room.

Then, finally, we passed an accident that had probably been blocking both lanes for the past two hours or so.  And the cars immediately started moving again.  Yay.

We were about forty minutes from the in-laws’ house when A started getting really fussy.  I suggested that we pull over for a second so I could find him a banana and some other entertainment.  Mr. Mags and I took turns going to the restroom.  As I approached the car, Mr. Mags was laughing and told me I would not believe what A just did.  Mr. Mags had stood him up on the hood of the car for fun when out of nowhere, pee started dribbling out of the bottom of his pants and onto the car.  We were going to need to change his diaper and clothes again.

This time we just changed him in the back of the car and threw on some new PJs I had conveniently bought that day at Macy’s.  A got his banana and a Sesame Street book and he was happy and dry for the rest of the trip.  We arrived at the in-laws’ at 8:30 PM (EST) that night.

And it only took us 4.5 hours to get home on Sunday morning.  With four stops.

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1 Comment »

  1. Umm … wow, Mags. Thatsalotta dookie. Rest comfortably in the knowledge, though, that you’re not the only one who’s been there.

    In the summer of 2003, I was driving solo to New England with Thing 1 (then just about 1 year old). All was going just fine. I’d made it up the NJ Turnpike, traversed various and sundry twisty-turny parkways and made it to Connecticut, at which point it started raining. And I’m not talking a little sprinkle or an annoying drizzle. No. This was RAIN. Pounding, sheeting, wipers-on-high-but-can-barely-see-your-hood-ornament, driving rain.

    As I was white-knuckling it across the state, my young son started making fussy sounds. I calmed him as best I could, trying to keep my eyes on the road. I’m not sure how much time passed, as the driving conditions were making progress seem positively glacial, but suddenly, it happened.

    Thing 1’s digestive tract had decided THAT was the perfect time for a little projectile vomiting. My sweet little baby had gone from cherubic little tot to Linda Blair in all her pea soup-soaked glory. The stuff was everywhere. All over the baby. All over his car set. All over the back of the car. All over the back of my HEAD.

    I made it onto the shoulder, narrowly missing getting squashed by a speeding 18-wheeler, got out of the car (one bonus to the freakish rain was that it almost immediately rinsed the child’s issue from my hair), managed to strip my son naked, change his diaper, clean him from head to toe, dress him in clean clothes, jury-rig his car seat, so that he wouldn’t have to sit in vomit for the next 200 miles, use every beach towel in the car to wipe down the rest of the back seat, and get the boy all strapped in once again. Within 5 minutes, he was sound asleep and shortly thereafter, the rain stopped.

    And I’ve never done the drive again.


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