I realized yesterday that I haven't talked about Ben much recently, so today I will rectify that. After all a big part of my life is my life here at home with my boys, so I have a few little stories about Ben and Christmas 2011
We left North Carolina on Wednesday, December 21st and headed west toward Illinois in a rented car. Ben fell back asleep and slept until we got out of North Carolina, like 2 hours. In Tennessee, he started coughing a little. Drew and I were a little worried and we should have been. Somewhere on the road in Tennessee Ben threw up all over his car seat and himself. As I mentioned above, we were in a rented car, so I did everything I could to keep the mess from getting on the car. That wasn't too hard because we had so much stuff on either side of his car sear there wasn't really much of the rental car seat left to be seen.
Drew quickly found a gas station and pulled in. Praise the Lord that we found the friendliest gas station in Tennessee. I got Ben out and Drew started cleaning up the car seat. As I walked my very messy and slightly grouchy son through the gas station, the lady at the counter gave me a plastic bag to put the yucky clothes in. We got to the bathroom and there was no changing table, so we sat on the floor. Being a rather small bathroom, everyone who walked in saw us and they were all very sympathetic and super polite. I got Ben changed and washed what I could in the sink. We got out and put the messy stuff in the car. Drew was still cleaning with the supplies given by the other lady working. She gave Drew some cleaner in a spray bottle they use in the convenience store. She also gave Drew an air freshener can to spray in the car. She also gave us some paper towels to dry things off.
After all the clean-up we got back on the road, but not for too long. We quickly realized that Ben would need some medicine to make it through the other 3 states. So I pulled out my phone and used my GPS for the first time. (Our GPS we normally use was in our car.) I found out that the town we were coming up to had a hospital, so it made sense that it would have a pharmacy or Wal-Mart or grocery store or something. We pulled off the interstate and drove into town and kept driving. After what seemed like a long time, we saw an IGA. We pulled into the parking lot and realized it was closed. Next to it was a Family Dollar. We didn't expect them to have much, but we thought we would try. We pulled into that parking lot and I looked across the street. What did I see? An old fashioned main street pharmacy. Praise God for the other cars at Family Dollar that forced us to park facing the street. I never would have thought to look on the store front windows for a pharmacy. I went in and of course they had too much to choose from. I got what looked best and came back to force the medicine into my son. Ben does NOT like taking medicine. It normally takes Drew and I to give him medicine. So one of us holds his hands back and the other one gives him medicine. He didn't like it, but he got over it pretty quick because he gets over just about everything pretty quick. After a stop for lunch in Southern Kentucky, we drove the rest of the way uneventfully.
Ben being sick the whole time made things a little more difficult. For instance when Santa visited us on Christmas Eve morning, Ben really didn't care about the presents because he just wanted to go back to sleep. I think he did end up opening a couple presents. I don't think he too excited about any of them that morning. One night I dressed him to warmly for the room he was sleeping in and when I checked on him at 1, he was SOOO hot. We stripped him down and went to the living room to rock him. We were up for about 3 hours, but he got cooled off and back to sleep. Of course, Drew and I had to debate on taking him to the doctor or not when we were out of state. (We decided not to and by the time we got back to NC it was a sinus infection and he needed more medicine.)
He did feel good enough to play with my family. He explored my grandparents yard and ran over the bridge over their creek. He climbed the stairs (the 1 step up into the kitchen) with my mom. He played with my dad in the recliner. He played with Uncle Jon and Aunt Misa (Samantha). He ate and ate and ate on Christmas Eve at my aunt's house. He also climbed all over my cousin's new boyfriend. Thankfully, her new guy is like the coolest teenage guy EVER. He was cool with Ben climbing on him. He chuckled and smiled at him, so of course Ben loved him.
The drive back to North Carolina on Christmas day was uneventful, which is really good because we were going a different way than normal. We didn't miss any roads or anything and we go to through Nashville. I haven't been there in long time, so that was exciting. I want to back again soon. We got back and went to Nana's for dinner and presents. Then we went to PawPaw's for more presents. Ben wasn't too excited about any of them, but he liked seeing Nana, PawPaw, and Uncle Alex again. Also the rental car company didn't charge us any extra, so Drew must have cleaned well.
So my lesson from this Christmas: Having a sick kid away from home is no fun. It is stressful and causes sleep loss. You begin to doubt your decision and wonder if you are screwing up Christmas. Then he climbs on a stranger and makes him laugh and you think it's all okay.