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.

Artist Wife Illustrates The Drastic Ways Her Husband’s Life Changed After Kids

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Chen Weng, an illustrator who goes by the name The Messycow, has created a series of comics showing just how much things change when one becomes a father.

Which do you relate to most?

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Check out more from this series on The Messycow’s Facebook page and website.

Dad Dinosaur: Prehistoric Reunion

Dad Dinosaur’s high school reunion is fast approaching, but will he be able to win the big dance contest – or are his moves stuck in the past?

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Father Figures: Risky Business

“As the garage door closed behind me, I heard a muffled whimper.

“What is that?” I wondered. Another whimper and I noticed eight fingers on the lid of one of the garbage cans in the corner. I spy a set of eyes, then a nose and finally my oldest son’s face.

“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean it.”

“What happened? Where is your brother?” No answers, just sobbing.

He moped toward the door and I followed him into the kitchen. I half-expected to see CSI investigators hovering over a chalk outline.

We walked around the corner by the refrigerator, and only then did I see his brother and allow myself to take my first breath. Then I saw a hole in the drywall the size of a young boy’s torso.

They had been running & sliding, in their stocking feet, across the marbled kitchen floor. Obviously a bit too exuberantly! I was relieved that they were both okay, but I still mustered enough anger to quash any future escapades.

Each blamed the other, of course. I used to say I couldn’t always tell when my kids were lying, but I could always tell when they were telling the truth.

If that makes any sense to you, I’m guessing you’ve raised at least two boys.”

  • Ron Fuller

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

Son Surprises Ailing Dad With Tickets To College World Series

Father’s Day is a special time to celebrate your old man, and show him how much you appreciate the role he’s played in your life all these years. Especially since, as we get older, our dads do too, and they may not have many Father’s Days left.

Matt Lea recognized that this Father’s Day, and so went out of his way to make it a memorable one, for both him and his father, both former college baseball players who bonded over the game as Matt was growing up.

Matt’s father Billy suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease, and the symptoms have been accruing rapidly. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for more memories, and Matt used the latest Father’s Day as an opportunity to do just that. The 36-year-old drove 12 hours, from Florida to Mississippi, and surprised his parents at their doorstep on Sunday.

He was bearing gifts as well, bringing his dad the jersey of his favorite baseball team, Mississippi State. But that wasn’t all. Matt brought tickets too, to see the College World Series in Omaha in person.

In video of the exchange that Matt posted on Twitter, his dad was clearly taken by surprise.

“I figured it’s probably not good enough just for us to watch the game here,” Matt says in the video as he produces the tickets. “How about we go to Omaha? Do you want to go up to Omaha and watch the College World Series together?”

“Golly,” an emotional Billy responds. “You’re gonna break my heart, here.”

Matt’s gift for his dad received a rapturous response from Twitter, where it’s been liked 46,000 times and retweeted 11,000 times.

Matt seemed as surprised by the response as his dad was by the gift, as everyone who celebrated Father’s Day yesterday knows, there’s nothing better than sharing meaningful memories with your dad, which is exactly what Matt did. An article on Omaha.com details Billy’s baseball past, the initial diagnosis of his Alzheimer’s, the VIP experience Matt treated him too over the weekend.

Matt’s Twitter account showcased the rest.

Happy Father’s Day!

Amazing Street Artist Uses Everyday Objects As His Canvas

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Artist Tom Bob doesn’t see the world like other people. Where you and I might see sewer grates or metal pipes, he sees ghosts and saxophone players.

Check out some of the amazing ways he’s transforming parts of New York City into works of art.

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Check out more of Tom Bob and his unique artwork here.

Father Figures: Heroes

“On February 2, 2011, my daughter was born. The whole thing started pretty normally about 2:30 am or so, my wife woke me up and said, ‘Honey, it is time to go,’ so we went to the hospital in a snowstorm.

That was the easy part.

When they put the belly monitor on her they noticed that the babies heart rate would drop to low whenever my wife would have a contraction. She needed emergency C-section, but the doctor could not make it due to the storm, and when he finally arrived it was rush rush rush!
Well when my daughter Emily did arrive, she had internal bleeding throughout her body, which included two grade 4 brain bleeds. We could not touch her because she would bruise and start bleeding.
They had to life-flight her to the university, where she spent 5 1/2 weeks in the NICU, which left her (you may want to sit down) deaf/blind, with hydrocephalus, a shunt, cerebral palsy, and seizures (at age 6, she needed a baclofen pump because her CP got too bad to handle without it). She is doing great today. She is happy, loves life, and everyone who meets her says that she makes their day and she is beautiful.
To pay back our little community, I became a first responder, mostly a firefighter, but I did help with EMS. Never got my certification, but that is where I found out that in the U.S. we do not have any training for first responders to deal with children with special needs.
I have made it my personal mission to teach first responders about kids with special needs.
I have taken to Emily to every EMS/Fire station in the five counties around me. I have taken her to the police and sheriff’s departments to train them, and now I have a waiting list to get trained.
I don’t know if I am the hero here, but I needed to tell the story.”

– Mike Kuyper

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

Low Cost Cosplay Guy Makes The World A Better Place

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Anucha “Cha” Saengchart, the genius behind “Low Cost Cosplay,” has amassed millions of followers with his incredible reimaginings of famous fictional characters.

Whether you’re planning on portraying your favorite anime character or a Marvel superhero, this guy can show you how to do it effectively and on a string budget.

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(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)

Can’t get enough? Check out more creative cosplay on his Facebook page.