We're All Damaged

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Thoughts on Throwing Up

This past Monday here in the United States was Martin Luther King Day. While my previous employer, The Death Star, refused to acknowledge the day’s significance and insisted on continuing to wreak pain and suffering on all things good and innocent, my current employer gave everyone the day off.

A day off when you have an infant is an unusual thing, certainly when compared to your days off pre-baby. In years past, I might have slept in, watched Regis & Kelly, and then wandered aimlessly around a shopping mall in search of crap I didn’t need. This year though, I pretty much spent the day staring at my daughter. She’s too young to be creeped out by this, and so, for the most part, she just stared back.

Around noon or so, when things were going so well, my daughter suddenly and completely without warning threw up all over herself, the couch, and me. It was the same bubbly, skim-milk-colored mess I’ve gotten used to these past few months—gross, but harmless.

“Oh, yyyyyuck,” I said. I’ve gotten better at not swearing in front of her.

Her response was two-fold. First, she got this stunned, wide-eyed look on her face, the look one might have right after witnessing a minor car accident. And then, with spit-up covering her chin and hanging from her little face . . . she laughed.

A few minutes later, as I hosed the room down, I got to thinking. I went to a state university, I didn’t have a particularly difficult major, and I didn’t marry until my 30s, and so I have some experience with vomiting. Over the years, I have done a number of things immediately after getting sick. One time I cried. One time I threw half a slice of pizza at some guy with a goatee. One time I tripped over a nine iron and fell into some shrubs. But I can assure you that I have never once laughed. I don’t think I’ve ever even come close to laughing.

You see, for most of us, throwing up is an evening-ruiner. It’s the manifestation of a series of bad decisions all coming back suddenly to haunt us and to make us feel shame and re-evaluate our own lives. But for babies . . . well, God bless them . . . it’s all good.


  1. That was cute!! Gross but cute- sounds like she's coming along nicely and, like her Daddy, seeing some comedy in the most mundane of things, which when you're a few months old, barfing is. I mean, you do it all the time... where in our lives does it become so wretched and terrifying? I digress... glad to see you back, Matt!!

  2. Is this blog still active?