Joseph had never thrown up in the car – until yesterday.
We were in Titterten (yes, that’s what it’s called), which is where you get if you turn left after Bubendorf and keep driving past where a reasonable person would build a settlement. Nevertheless, a village is there, and in the past two friends and I had organized a yearly birthday grill in that area because one of us had grown up there and thus had the requisite connections. And so it was no surprise she would have her wedding party in that same village – with plenty of yummy food and plenty of excitement (read: toys and other children). Joseph ate quite well, particularly the salami and pretzel bread, and then entertained himself with Lego and balls while the music trio played Swiss and Israeli folk tunes on a hammer dulcimer, a violin, and double bass.
But all good things must come to an end, and we still had the drive to Emmen ahead of us. We walked to the car, with a brief stop at the playground, and though Joseph had enough energy to go down the slide, he wanted to be carried to the car. I held him and let him open the car by placing the mobility card over the reader, and then manoeuvered him into his car seat and buckled him in. We were running just a tad later than anticipated, and it was beginning to rain, so I wanted to take the fastest route, which was over the hill down to Liedertswil and Oberdorf, down the valley through Niederdorf and into Hölstein, then across a lower hill to Diegten and onto the Autobahn. I thought I was doing fine and not driving too wildly, but I suppose it was too wild a ride for a little boy holding a new toy up to his face and studying it intently in the dusk. Somewhere between Hölstein and Diegten, just as the rain had increased, Joseph started complaining. It sounded like ordinary complaining, but Janet turned back and exclaimed: “Oh no, Joseph!”
“Joseph threw up,” she said. “We should pull over.” We pulled over into the driveway of a farm – just ahead of the farmer and his family, who gave us strange looks as we stopped half off the driveway to let them pass. By now it was pouring and they probably wondered who might be lured by their “plums for sale” sign in this weather.
Janet leaned back and started to clean Joseph off, but there was more of a mess than had initially seemed. I couldn’t do much from the driver’s seat, so I figured at least I might get the umbrella from the stroller in the station wagon trunk and help a little through the door. I ran to the hatch, stood underneath it for rain cover, and fiddled with the little umbrella to get it open. Then I shut the hatch again, bowed my head against the weather, and opened Joseph’s door. As I straightened up to hold the umbrella over the opening, I spotted something on the roof.
It was my wallet, sitting on the mobility card. I had put them there when I put Joseph in his seat.
I’ll spare you the grisly details of cleaning Joseph up in the pouring rain, and instead offer a map of the road my wallet traveled.