Traditionally, when it comes to packing for our annual winter holiday, we include some “special treats” to share with our good friends KC and MM. For example, we might pack some fine wine, gourmet chocolates, top shelf whisky OR we might bring along a sample of the latest rotarvirus. Yes, this year we gave the Gift of Gastro.
For the record: this was supposed to be my first real winter holiday. After all, I was no longer pregnant or breastfeeding or even walking around with a child permanently grafted to my hip. The kids were all old enough to occupy each other for minutes at a time. Minutes, I tells ya! I had a good book, a 750-piece jigsaw puzzle and a ready supply of cheap fizz. I had plans to relax, goddammit.
However, when The Pixie vomited ingloriously on her younger brother’s head later that first night, that little fantasy was brought to an untimely end. And, certainly, when she shat her pants an hour after that, it was a little like pissing on the still and lifeless body of said fantasy from a great great height. Or even splatter-crapping on it, just to make the metaphor more relevant and all.
Still, we forged ahead with our holiday. A couple of days later, when The Pixie’s relationship with the toilet was a little less dependent, we made our annual pilgrimage up the Big Mountain to go tobogganing.
This, of course, sounds much more glamourous than it actually is. The People With Money go up to the actual resort where they ski and drink schnapps in their designer ski gear while the nanny looks after the children. In stark contrast, we slide up and down on off-cut bits of lino on the toboggan run next to the main carpark, wearing our make-shift snow gear comprised of rain coats, gumboots and trout-fishing waders.
Anyway, this year the snow trip started well: we didn’t need to pay for snow chains, the Love Bus passed itself off as a “car” and not as a “people mover” at the toll gates, and we got The Best Parking Spot Ever. Moreover, I didn’t have to carry anyone up the toboggan run or have to free my breasts Houdini-style from my snowwear to feed a screaming baby while sitting in a large pile of cold wet snow. Result.
As we paused for lunch in the tiny kiosk, I felt jovial enough to fondly recall a previous year’s visit, when I’d been breastfeeding a Baby McGee as a four-year-old Justice gleefully pissed a huge arc of urine out the front door while the sun glinted off his stark-naked buttocks and bus-loads of tourists drove by. Boy, was I glad to have left those days way behind us…
CUE: Tiddles McGee projectile vomitting onto the table. Which was all at once completely unexpected and yet entirely predictable. As I mopped it all up with KC’s help, I couldn’t help looking at the lady facing us, stoically eating her hotdog as if nobody had just emptied the entire contents of their stomach just metres from her. I guess, to her credit, she might not have noticed. I mean, someone else’s child might have been vomiting in that kiosk at that moment and *I* certainly wouldn’t have noticed, if only because I was too friggin’ busy catching my two-year-old’s vomit in my hands.
Still, how us grown-ups all laughed around the dinner table that night at my kids’ whacky vomittin’ ways and that Crazy Hot Dog Lady, all ha-ha-ha-ha-ha in that way that people who have NO IDEA what is ahead of them only can.
By morning, of course, we were a sorry shadow of our former selves, with another three of our number having fallen to the dreaded bug and McGee rounding up his vomiting spree with a burning fever. Those of us still standing began eyeing each other suspiciously, like characters in a slasher film, trying to work out who would be struck down next. But unlike those hapless slasher film characters, we managed to get the hell out of there and back to civilisation - albeit with a few emergency vom-stops along the way.
Of course, the grand irony in all this is that we’ve been in the market for some Summer Holiday Friends for some years now. Could it be that the Winter Holiday position, having been ably filled by KC and MM for the past five years, is now open too? Of course, KC and MM have yet to hand in their official notice, but probably only because they – and their legal team - and, quite possibly, their legal team’s legal team – are still vomiting.