Beyond the Barf Bag

Beyond the Barf Bag

We had just completed a week-long vacation at beautiful Club Med Ixtapa, where mom and dad learned to pilot a catamaran while the kids — 3-year-old Fellow and toddler Tiny Girl — survived the resort’s daycare hut.

We all boarded the plane to Mexico City for the first leg of our journey home, expecting a relaxing ride. Then, about 15 minutes from touchdown in Mexico City, Fellow cried out, “My belly hurts,” and threw up a week’s worth of breakfast buffet — all over me.

My shirt, pants, and socks were soaked — and soaked through. While we had a change of clothes on hand for Fellow, all of my clothes were in my stowed luggage. And we still had another flight, and several hours to go, until we’d land in New York City.

Fortunately, we did have some time in the Mexico City aeropuerto, where it was easy to purchase a tourist T-shirt. Pants, however, were a bigger challenge. After roaming the entire terminal, covered in sick, I finally found a tourist shop with a pair of pants — or, to be more exact, a pair of electric blue sweatpants I’m pretty sure were made of crepe paper.

Given that the pants were the only thing I was wearing below my waist, and that when we landed at JFK Airport, New York temperatures were in the mid-30s, they made for quite a chilly trip back to our house. But that was my problem.

Poor, sick little Fellow continued to hurl all the way to JFK Airport, using up every sick bag available in coach in the process. (The weary crew offered an especially eager “Buh-bye” to us when we landed.)

“I don’t like to spit up,” he told us three or four hundred times that day. When we landed, we learned from our doctor that when a child throws up repeatedly like that, he can’t keep anything down — including cups of water — until the illness passes. Which explained why when we’d given him drinks on board, he’d spit them up 10 minutes later.

Perhaps you’ve read somewhere in a parenting magazine that you should carry a change of clothes for yourself, as well as your kids, when you board a plane. And maybe, given the current limits on carry-ons, you decided it wasn’t worth the trouble.

Well, hopefully this tale changed your mind. Pack that change of clothes. When you’re in the Mexico City airport, steer clear of the crepe-paper pants. And hard as it may be, and angry as it will make your child, if he can’t keep anything down, don’t put anything else in.

Enjoy your flight.

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