A Disgusting Road Trip Story All Parents Can Relate To

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As a parent, sometimes the best solutions are the most disgusting ones.

We learned this the hard way one Sunday, driving home to Chicago from my brother’s wedding in Atlanta. Everyone told us we should fly to the wedding, but we like to drive, and 12 hours isn’t too long of a trek. Or so we thought.

My sons were 3 and 1, and they had a great time at the wedding. And as we would discover, picked up something fun there too. For shortly into the drive home, the 1-year-old starts throwing up.

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When a 1-year-old gets the stomach flu, it’s not pleasant, but it’s manageable. They can’t fit too much in their stomachs, so after the first puke, each subsequent one is just a bit of stuff to clean up. You don’t even need to stop the car, just reach back and clean it up with some wipes.

But about halfway home, we hear an awful sound come from the backseat. It’s hit the 3-year-old.

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Now when a 3-year-old throws up, that’s a bigger problem. You can’t just touch that up, you’re talking about an entire child covered in stomach stew. This requires work.

So we pull off the highway, stop at a McDonald’s, and do the “gross family” walk of shame to the bathroom. I clean him up, change his clothes, and we get back on the road, feeling a bit proud of our parenting competence.

20 minutes later, he spews again. So we stop again, clean, change clothes. Back on the road once more.

20 minutes later: again.

At this point the realization hits us: We’re in trouble. And we don’t have a lot of options. Stopping to spend the night puking all over a hotel room isn’t going to do anyone any good. We have to get home. But it’s hours away, and we’ll never get there if we have to keep stopping to clean puke.

And then, like a red-eyed beacon in the evening sky, my wife spots our glowing savior: Target.

“Towels!” she shouts. “They can puke in towels!”

I have no idea what she was talking about, but my wife is a lot smarter than me, and I’m desperate, so I nod my head. We pull off the highway again, hit the Target, and buy a bunch of towels. My wife spreads them across the back seat and on the kids’ laps and says “Kids: puke away, we’ll deal with it when we get home.”

And puke they do.

The baby keeps up his little pukes, while the oldest alternates between sleeping and waking up every 30 minutes to puke. Even time we hear him start to stir, we shout, “Towel!” so he remembers to puke onto the towel once the inevitable puke urge hits.

After hours of this, the backseat is a disaster scene. It looks like someone scooped out 5 large pumpkins and hurled the guts all over some kids.

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And the smell is overpowering. But we don’t have to stop anymore, so we’re making progress.

Then, about 150 miles from home, from the passenger seat my wife softly says, “Um, you might want to speed up. I’m starting to feel a bit flush.”

So now I’m flooring it, going 100 miles per hour down the highway. At this point I’m almost hoping a cop will pull me over, sure that upon seeing the carnage that our car has become, he’ll send me forth with a police escort to clear our way home.

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No cop comes, but I finally pull into the garage around 11:30 p.m. My wife runs inside and immediately succumbs to the flu symptoms. From the bathroom I hear her say, “Just clean the kids and anything that has puke on it, the rest can wait.”

Three hours and three loads of laundry later, I’ve finally cleaned all the puked-upon kids, clothes, car seats, and toys. The kids and wife are sound asleep. And so at 2:30 a.m., I collapse on the couch and start to fall asleep, thinking of how much worse it would have been if that had all happened on a plane.

And then I feel my stomach gurgle.

Jim Gaffigan Has Something to Say About Beer

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A general rule of thumb when making small talk: Don’t talk about religion, politics, or beer preferences.

All three are bound to erupt into heated debates. In the dad community beer in particular tends to be an extremely touchy subject. Everyone seems to have an opinion on what makes a beer amazing or downright sacrilegious, and comedian Jim Gaffigan is no different.

You’re either in full agreement with Jim’s purist perspective or cracking your knuckles to write a scathing comment touting your superior craft beer palate.

But that’s the great thing about beer, nay… America. We all have individual tastes. Just because some guy doesn’t share your affinity for a specific brew, that doesn’t mean he’s wrong (even though he is!) It just means you get to connect with someone with a differing perspective, while drinking beer!

So, if you see Jim in a bar, don’t make fun of him for his taste in beer. Instead, buy him a round, and make fun of his age – like an adult.

Cheers, Jim!

Back To School Photo Fails

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Parents love to capture the moment on the first day back to school, but sometimes that moment isn’t what we envisioned. Check out these hilarious back to school photo fails from The Dad community.

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Dad Grades – Hal from Malcolm in the Middle

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Years before his dark turn as meth kingpin Heisenberg, Bryan Cranston starred as Hal on the criminally under-appreciated sitcom, Malcolm in the Middle. While his sadistically overbearing wife, Lois, was perpetually at wits end with their four mischievous sons, the much more care-free Hal happily took the passenger seat in their parenting roles.

DAD STRENGTHS

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Hal is a loving husband and father. He shows Lois affection through raw animalistic passion and utter dependence. He even admits to it, once telling Lois that he and their boys are not smart enough to function without her, and in return can only offer his total obedience.

He takes a much calmer, more sympathetic approach to parenting than Lois. She has a short fuse, at the end of which is a barrel of dynamite eager to ground someone for the rest of their life. Hal, conversely, seizes any opportunity to bond with his boys by having a sit-down and doling out fatherly words of wisdom.

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

He’s far more lenient, but will raise his voice and put his foot down when necessary. He’s often creative in his punishments. For example, when Malcolm told him “[bleep] you,” Hal sat him down in the backyard and forced him to look him in the eyes and read aloud a comprehensive list of every vile swear words, teaching him their power.

His biggest strength, however, is his laid-back, often immature attitude. It serves as a refreshing palate cleanser for Lois’ incessant shouting. He is truly the yin to her yang.

DAD WEAKNESSES

He’s more permissive than his wife. In one episode, Hal surprises the boys by letting them skip school to accompany him at some stock car races.

Hal’s lax approach to parenting is, regrettably, his biggest weakness. His spontaneity and often childish behavior sets a bad example for his sons. Case in point: the steamroller. After winning some money on a scratch-off, Hal secretly rents a steamroller.

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

When Dewey catches him, Hal agrees to let him steamroll over Reese’s bike. Ultimately, Hal goes mad with power and Dewey must talk him down from steamrolling a row of cars. Surely this gave Dewey license to misbehave in the future. His impulsive nature is typically harmless, but still sets precedent for the delinquency of his kids.

VERDICT

Despite shortcomings at the cost of his need to be the parent his sons actually like, Hal is a great father. Sure, all four of his sons are rambunctious hellions, disobedient and destructive at every turn, but that’s predominantly the result of their stubborn, temperamental mother. He’s a big-hearted working stiff, determined to provide for his family however dysfunctional they may be.

FINAL DAD GRADE: A-

Dancing Dad Embarrasses Daughter at Baseball Game [VIDEO]

Being a dad involves a lot of anxiety, drudgery, and stress. Sometimes you get to enjoy the perks of parenting, like embarrassing your children on television. Or in the stands at a Cubs game.

Or both!

This dad knows what’s up. He ignores his daughter’s attempts to get him to stop dancing and then doubles down on the silly moves.

Father Figures: Be Positive

“My twin girls (Faye and Felicia) are both autistic.

Felicia was diagnosed before she was three; she’s non verbal and loves life in her own wee bubble. Once she lets you in, it’s amazing. That’s her circle of trust.

Faye is her total opposite, always singing and chatting up a storm. Once they started preschool, we found out that Faye was showing signs of autism that we perhaps overlooked because she was so advanced.

My wife and I, with the assistance of Faye’s teachers, pushed hard to get her assessed, reassessed and diagnosed. Faye is very smart and fooled the specialist in the first assessment regarding extra help in school. We were very lucky when she was diagnosed, because the specialist ASD doctors could still recognize her traits.

It’s been a long journey and no two days are alike. Through it all we’ve learned that Faye is just a younger, female version of her older brother. From her diagnosis, we were able to recognize the ASD traits in Jordan. He is now beginning the diagnostic process.

But long story short, both our girls now attend an autism unit in a special school. It’s a God send and they are both doing great! They turned 6 in August and Jordan will be 11 this December.

Be positive and always make sure your child gets all they need. Raising a child with special needs definitely puts into perspective what’s important in life!

Everything for the kids!”

– Nic Young

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

8-Year-Old Girl Stuns Crowd at Harlem Globetrotters Game [VIDEO]

(YouTube/Harlem Globetrotters)

When the Harlem Globetrotters called Samaya Clark-Gabriel onto the court at halftime of their game, the crowd at Madison Square Garden wasn’t sure what to expect. But at this stage in a Globetrotters game it would certainly take a lot to impress them.

First she just started dribbling.

But then she started dribbling two basketballs at once. And then she started dribbling two basketballs at once while wearing a blindfold. And then she started dribbling two basketballs at once while wearing a blindfold and DOING A SPLIT.

Wow. Did they sign her yet?

Big Dad Rides Small Bike as a Tribute to Late Daughter

(JustGiving/Peter Williams)

Peter Williams of Penzance, England is showing incredible strength after the loss of his daughter. On Friday at 10am, he began a 211-mile ride to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity.

In 2015, Peter lost his 7-year-old daughter, Ellie, to a rare form of brain cancer, only six months after she was diagnosed.

To honor his daughter he decided to begin his ride at Bristol Children’s Hospital where Ellie was treated. He’s also making the entire trip on her little pink bike, which is only 20″ high. Given Peter is 6 feet tall, that’s going to make for an additional challenge, but he’s up for it.

Aside from a small modification to the bike’s seat, he’ll be riding the bike as-is. “My knees clear the handlebars by about half an inch so it’s going to be really tight, but it’s a great bike,” he told the BBC. When he factors in his unique mode of transportation Peter estimates the ride from Bristol to Land’s End will take him a week to complete.

Ellie loved cycling and impressed her dad at age three, when she was able to ride without training wheels.

(JustGiving/Peter Williams)

The bike he’ll be riding was her pride and joy – a present she received for her last Christmas.

So far Peter has raised £23,349 (roughly $30K US) through his JustGiving campaign, already doubling his £10,000 target.

What a guy! What a dad! Go, Peter, go!

If you’d like donate to Peter’s campaign, visit his JustGiving page.

If you want to learn more about where the money is going, check out The Brain Tumour Charity.