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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Not Another One

Last night, the four of us piled in the rental car and headed for Husband's parents' place in Wayne, Pennsylvania.  Our plan seemed sound: feed the kids and then hop in the car.  Then kids would sleep for the two hour ride and Husband and I would have a nice chunk of time to catch up about the week.

An hour later, we arrived at a lovely traffic jam at the Lincoln Tunnel and both kids were wide awake. Not crying.  But awake.  Toddler sang songs.  And Baby wiggled around in her seat.  The second we entered the tunnel: Bam.  Baby projectile vomited.  Four times.  Miraculously, she did not cry.  Husband and I had a wonderful conversation about whether to mop up the vomit with a diaper or my jacket.

No, I was not prepared for this.  And I should have been. Toddler has been a champion car-vomiter since she was Baby's age.  And as a frantically-nervous first-time mom, I harrassed Pediatrican about this and Pediatrician chuckled and said: "Ah, city kids. They're never in cars."  (Come on.  Don't taxis count?)

After a couple of dicey jaunts in the car today, I decided to Google motion sickness and found out that when it comes to the projectile propensity, my kids are in good company. None other than celebrity doctor Sanjay Gupta suffers from an acute version of this affliction.  He has a few highly encouraging things to say about all this: (1) Often individuals with inner ear problems or impaired vision or Diabetes have motion sickness; (2) There really is no viable therapy for this condition; and (3) There are some studies (albeit scientifically tenuous according to him) that suggest that motion sickness is genetic.

And suddenly, I had vivid memories of losing my cookies (Literally. My grandmother made them and they were peanut butter) in the backseat of a station wagon.  And I asked Husband whether he got carsick as a kid and, sure enough, he did.  

So, in the grand nature v. nurture debate, is motion sickness a matter of nature or nurture?  Are my poor kids getting sick because they have our genes or because we are rearing them in the big city?  I'm not so sure.  I just really hope: (1) that my kids do not have problems with their eyes or inner ears; and (2) that we make it back to the City tomorrow without an eruption of the adorable backseat vomit volcano.

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