The other day we drove past a car pulled off to the side of Interstate 70. This is a fairly normal but extremely unsafe occurrence. As we were driving past I noticed a car seat sitting in the grass and a Dad frantically, diligently, disinfecting with a paper towel. "iPad," my husband and I instantly blurted, feeling the pain of the family on the side of the road. So I write this post as a warning to other families: beware your kids using the iPad while driving. Heed my warning so that you, too, do not end up on the side of some road, cleaning up chunks while your child sits miserably covered in throw up.
This happened to us while on the last leg of our trip back from the Sawtooth mountains last summer. We arrived late for an expensive night of sleep, a quick swim in the pool and breakfast in Rock Springs, WY. The dread of returning back to work was setting in and led us to take the long, scenic route home. This route traversed miles and miles of open range with only a few signs of development, few and far between. We followed the Yampa River for about 45 minutes through Hayden, CO where we turned right at a huge power plant in the middle of what seemed like nowhere. We drove past cowboys riding through fields of yellow mountain flowers and green mountain valleys dotted with white, barren tree skeletons.
I have no regrets about taking the scenic route because this meant extending our time in quiet and serene places before returning to the constant stimulation of home. Kenedy and Tucker both fell asleep for several hours of this drive but Tucker woke up, having reach capacity for time stuck in the car. For the first time in two weeks, we broke out the iPad.
Tucker loves to play with a mini Lightning McQueen toy on the Cars racing app. Of course this was Tucker 's game of choice after many days away from the screen. Tucker started playing this game (simulated driving) while riding down a particularly curvy portion of Hwy 131. And, sure enough, my daydream about buying that ranch with the blue roof and the beautiful orchard that would grow up out of the surrounding fields...was sadly interrupted by throw up.
Our Rock Springs hotel offered free breakfast. The kids love just about everything offered as a part of these free breakfasts: boiled eggs, oatmeal, waffles, yogurt, fruit cocktail, orange juice. Two weeks of hiking, climbing, digging, swimming and playing every waking hour led them to eat about three times the normal amount. Plus the car was packed to the point of bursting so the backseat was full of pillows, stuffed animals, workbooks, and shoes.
In other words...Tucker's iPad hurl was no small ordeal. As the stench started to fill the car, we pulled over as fast as possible and mobilized. Poor kid. He was buckled into his car seat, covered in throw up. As cars zoomed dangerously by, adrenaline kicked in. I unbuckled him and started pulling off clothes, pulling out toys, the pillow case, the iPad. Kris had grabbed a roll of paper towels and soon enough we had things cleaned up to a tolerable level. More cars whizzed by as we tied up stinky clothes into plastic bags and hopped back into the car--home, a washing machine and a shower was starting to sound better despite the chaos. Phew! The iPad will never be the same--a memory from this last day of vacation, and a reminder: do NOT ride and play unless you are willing to deal with the hurl.