It was a nightmare weekend as it was unfolding, but will ultimately be remembered forever.
Ten miles into our road trip to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va. for Howl-o-Scream fun, Beckett got sick. A couple minutes later, there we were on the shoulder of Route 113 as vehicles whizzed by with our 9-year-old puking in the grass. About 10 miles later, he did the same thing, but this time we were able to get into a parking lot in Pocomoke. He had a few more episodes along the way.
We had just enough peace to worry how he could rally and be able to ride roller coasters and enjoy the sights and sounds the next day. About 20 minutes before we were to arrive at our hotel, however, Carson out of the blue vomited all over himself and the truck. As if that wasn’t bad enough, we smelled something altogether different. It was unmistakable. He had diarrhea and unable to hold it. Understandably so, he didn’t want to sit in it and wanted to get up.
Poor Pam tried her best to keep him settled as I drove through an interstate construction zone with no option to stop. Of course, we had run through all our napkins from Beckett’s puking incident, resulting in Pam using Armor All wipes to clean up the poor boy. It was a desperate move at a frantic time. At one point, I even saw her wetting the Armor All wipes with some water to help with the cleanup effort in my fairly new truck because evidently I didn’t close the container all the way the last time I used it.
When we arrived at the hotel after the longest three-hour drive of my life, I rushed into the lobby and got our room keys. I briefed the clerk – who was sure to maintain a safe distance from me — about our predicament, and she recommended driving to a side entrance where we would be closer to our room.
We got the kids in and we hoped the worst was behind us. That was not the case. As I was bringing up our bags, I got a text from Pam informing me Carson’s stomach issue had reached the explosive level. She added that oh by the way she had already gone through all the toilet paper in the room and we needed more trash bags in a bad way.
When I got to the room, Beckett was crashed out on the sofa with a wet towel over his head, while Pam was tending to Carson amid a horrific scene in and along the path to the bathroom.
Since we didn’t pack the required supplies for what it takes to cope with a stomach bug, I ventured to the closest one-stop shop for medicine, more underwear, deodorizer, appropriate drinks and loads of sanitizer. Eighty dollars later, I returned with three bags from Target full of more items than we would ever need.
The boys – each equipped with their own trash cans – eventually settled in for the night. There were a few incidents to tend to overnight with the worst being Carson having an accident in bed that required the linens being changed. There was no getting Beckett up, however. Therefore, since it was 4 in the morning and his side was dry, I adjusted on the fly and placed every remaining towel and a spare blanket over the soiled area to give him a dry place to sleep the rest of the night.
The next morning we were cautiously hopeful the boys would rally and this would be a quick bug. Carson miraculously seemed fine again, but Beckett was still pale and clearly struggling. He ate a decent breakfast and maintained he was ready for the park even if it meant taking it easy on the roller coasters.
When we arrived, he said over and over again he was fine to ride one of the tamer roller coasters like the Loch Ness Monster. He talked us into it and he fared fine. We didn’t want to push it too much so we just watched some of the Halloween shows and took it easy.
Eventually, as expected, he grew tired of not riding the roller coasters we came to enjoy. We agreed he could ride another of the tamer roller coasters because he was so excited for this trip. Beckett and Pam were next up for Verbolten when all of a sudden Beckett ran out of line and put his head in a trash can. He did that two or three more times on the way to the bathroom. It was quite the sight as dozens of people walked by, assuming he was sick from the rides.
After finally getting to the bathroom, he put his hands directly on the toilet seat and vomited more. Being grossed out by that, my extinct was to tell him not to put his hands on the seat because of germs. He responded, “well my whole face is right here anyway, what does it matter.” I didn’t have a worthwhile comeback for that one before I heard the familiar sounds of the same explosive diarrhea his brother had the night before.
After this bout, Beckett remarked how he felt so much better and was ready to ride Verbolten. We told him that’s not in the cards today and instead we took in a few more shows. Although the boys weren’t hungry, Pam and I were so we had lunch. As soon as we started eating, Beckett got sick again, this time right at our table.
Needless to say we wrapped up our day at that point after alerting the park to the hazmat situation at table nine.