The Art of a Dad as a Temporary Single Parent, Take 5

Five minutes later one parent and one daughter were about to embark on an exciting trip to the Caribbean. The other parent and the other daughter were driving on the freeway on their way home, where they would spend the next week together going about their normal day-to-day routine.

The emotions that Casey and Addie must have experienced as they got ready to board a plane to Texas, where they would head off together on their first Disney Cruise, must have been pretty intense. Probably about as intense, yet on the other end of the spectrum, were the feelings that I experienced while I was driving on the freeway after dropping Casey and Addie off at the airport when Vivi suddenly began making choking and gasping noises in the back of the car.

Vivi and I didn’t get to go along on Casey’s little vacation. I have a full-time job with lots of things that have to be done before I can take off to Utah later this month for Christmas vacation, and Vivi’s just too young to fully enjoy a Disney Cruise, so she got to stay behind with me. Our week together couldn’t have started off much worse.

As I drove along the road wondering if I should stop somewhere along the way to get Vivi some breakfast, I heard a gasp and a bunch of wheezy air like sounds coming from Vivi’s seat. I looked back at her in our dual mirror setup and couldn’t see anything wrong. A few seconds later I heard the noise again and realized that Vivi was choking on something. As I began to pull off the road to help Vivi, I saw a bunch of food come out of her mouth. And then it came out again, and then again, and then again.

When she was done, Vivi looked at her bunny and realized that he was covered in slime and she whimpered, “Bunny.”  Talk about a heartbreaking moment.

Having flashbacks of the time when Addie threw up in the car on the way back from Florida, I jumped off the freeway at the next exit and headed into a McDonald’s parking lot. I opened Vivi’s door hoping that it wasn’t nearly as bad as what we endured with Addie. My hopes were lost.

That kid threw up a bunch. Her bunny was soaked in puke. Her Leap Pad was covered in puke. Her self-claimed Christmas card of a cat was covered in puke. Her car seat was covered in puke. She was covered in puke.That’s a lot of mentions of puke right there in the same paragraph.

I grabbed a pack of wipes from the emergency container in our trunk and tried to wipe off as much of the puke as I could.  Realizing that there wasn’t much hope of getting anything clean, I hopped back in the car and decided to make a mad dash for home—a nice 45 minute drive.

That was a pretty painful ride home. The smell of puke was overwhelming and Vivi wept the whole way wondering where her bunny went.

The kid has been sick the last few days and cleaning up after puke is never fun, but while I may not be having as much fun as Casey and Addie in the Caribbean, I’m extremely grateful that I get to hang out with Vivi for this week. These types of weeks where I get to be Vivi’s only parent seems to strengthen the bond we have with each other.

Plus, I now know how to take a child seat completely apart for cleaning. The only problem? I don’t know how to put a child seat together.

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