This posting covers a potentially impolite topic. This is not a tale for the dinner table or the squeamish of heart. It is, however, a perfectly plausible occurrence in the grossed out world of the parent.
Although this happened almost a week ago, I can remember it like it was yesterday.
It was a dark and not very stormy night. Little Mikey was struggling against sleep, as is his way. Shannon nobly battled him with cuddles, with pacifiers, with blankets, and with songs. Nothing would work. This was one pissed off baby, and she was defeated under the relentless onslaught of toddler squirms and cries. Shannon summoned me off of the couch to take over.
Mikey greeted me with his usual, “ DA DAAAAaaa!” and held up his arms in the universal sign for "pick me up now." I should have noticed that his belly looked a little distended, like an overripe watermelon. I figured this would be a sleigh ride: a few minutes chilling on the couch and he would be sleeping like a baby. Little did I know the hell he would soon unleash.
It started with a cough. One cough became two, and two became four. We had a complete and total Cough-a-rama on our hands. Without warning, the cough changed into a sustained grunt. I could hear this perfectly because Mikey’s head was inches from mine.
Then came the deluge.
I was struck about the face and neck by a jet of projectile baby vomit. It entered the neck opening of my shirt. Yes, it was down my shirt. I shudder to recall the feeling.. A second aftershock struck, plastering the right side of my body and splattering onto the carpet.
I would like to think that I’m a mentally tough person, that in a crisis I would remain calm and move quickly. I was wrong. I was transfixed…in horror, surprise, and confusion. “What the Velcro do I do now?” A few seconds felt like an eternity until I was snapped back to reality by Mikey’s plaintive cries. I hustled into his room to start disaster recovery proceedings while Shannon went to work on the carpet. Several towels and a whole lot of gagging later, the baby was cleaned up and looking good in his diaper. Only then could I clean myself up. I was numb to the point that my gross out meter didn’t even register a blip.
Mikey must have been feeling better, because he started getting his groove on in the hall. A dancing baby clad only in a diaper can really lift one’s spirits after a crisis.
Every parent has these stories. Just ask any of our friends, who are probably weary of all the poop and bodily function stories. We parents are part of an elite fraternity. We bear the slings and arrows of outrageous toddler fortunes, from ear infections, to disgusting diapers, to sleep deprivation, to being vomited upon Exorcist-style. This is one club that I am overjoyed to be a part of, gross-outs and all.