Saturday, August 23, 2014

Two Blow-Outs and a Stinky Baby

My daughter, Melody, and I arrived home tonight tired but satisfied that we maxed out our two-day mini-getaway to Hershey Park and Lancaster, PA.  We had a blast at the park, and rode almost every roller coaster, including a few we missed when we went last year.  We also loaded up on chocolate, but that's an entirely different issue.

Driving home today reminded me of a past trip that I made to Hershey.  In April 2004, I talked my wife, Teresa, into a day trip to Hershey Park during their Springtime in the Park celebration, which at the time meant free admission and pay by the ride.  We had little 5-month old Melody with us, so it was our first amusement park with her.  Teresa wasn't one to get on the rides.  She didn't care for them, and was content to watch me ride.  I always felt a little guilty about that.  I wanted her to enjoy it as much as I did, but she assured me it was fine.  My whole family loved going to amusement parks, ever since I was a kid, and it was hard for Teresa to understand that, since her family never did that kind of thing, other than a trip to Disney World when she was a teen.  Going to a park was a big deal to me.  Not so much for Teresa.

Anyway, I was already feeling guilty about making the trip, since it became apparent that Teresa wasn't feeling well.  She had been battling intense fatigue for months, since Melody was born, and to spend a day at an amusement park certainly wasn't high on her list of things to do.  Hindsight being what it is, I know now that her fatigue was a result of the heart ailment that had been plaguing her, and it would take her life one week later.  But that wasn't on the radar this day, and I was trying to enjoy our time at Hershey even while she took the bulk of the care of Melody while I rode the rides.  We did all enjoy a ride on the carousel at the end of the day.

Eric, Teresa, and Melody
We decided to leave the park before dinner, thinking that we would pick up something to eat on the way home.  We were cruising along on Interstate 83 in York when our faithful Jeep Cherokee, which had seen well over 100K miles and all but about a dozen US states, suffered a blow-out.  I knew it right away, having experienced blown tires a couple of times before in other vehicles, and I quickly got us onto the shoulder near an exit ramp, which provided plenty of room away from speeding traffic to change the tire safely.  Teresa held Melody off to the side, on a grassy embankment, though Melody seemed to be very fussy.  We assumed she was getting hungry, since it was nearing feeding time.  I got the tire changed in about 20 minutes, and we were back on the road fairly quickly.

Less than 15 minutes later, it was clear I would need to find another area to pull off at so that Teresa could breastfeed Melody, who was loudly crying now.  Since it would require Melody to be out of the child safety seat, it meant we couldn't continue the trip until after she ate.  I found a parking lot where we could have a little privacy, and Melody ate.  However, Melody had other business, as well.  She decided that this was the best time to have her own blow-out.  We quickly discovered, due to a distinct bad odor, that she messed up her diaper so extremely that it had leaked all over the inside of her one-piece outfit, almost up to her chest!  She looked like she had been soaking in mud!  It was easily the worst diaper change we'd ever experienced.  The hectic day finally got up with poor Teresa, and the tears came, though they soon turned to laughter as we tried our best to clean up our little baby, who herself was giggling over the predicament.  We came prepared with an extra outfit, and we ran through a whole package of baby wipes as Melody received an impromptu bath right there in the back of the Jeep.  It was truly a team effort.  We had to clean her up without making the mess even bigger, and it took both of us to do it.

So, after two blow-outs within an hour, we were again on our way home.  The rest of the trip was uneventful, though poor little Faithful Pup Scout had missed us terribly.  It was probably one of the longest days she'd experienced by herself at home, and, of course, she welcomed us with her own little mess on the kitchen floor, left on a pooch pad for us to clean up.  But after Melody's blow-out, this one was a breeze.

Have a great evening, everyone!

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