This afternoon my neighbour came over for tea and brought her 9-month old daughter along, who I adore. Seriously, this kid is all kinds of cute.
We were chatting, baby J and I, catching up, bouncing around and generally making merry.
And everything was going well.
Until, of course, she projectile vomited all over the couch. By some miracle she missed me and most of herself, and I don't know how since my left arm appeared to be directly in the line of fire. Her shirt caught a few streamers and she had a charming vomit ring around her mouth, but the bulk of it went on the couch cushion. Tiny curdled milky puddles of it.
I totally know it was my fault because I'd just finished lifting her up and down over my head in what, in retrospect, was probably a very nauseating Conklin-midway-ride-esque kind of way. And I got what I deserved. Babies are essentially walking carbonated milkshakes. You shake 'em up and they're going to blow.
Now here's the thing, I'm kind of grossed out by things that come out of people's mouths. Saliva, vomit, moistened crumbs - even my own toothpaste foam. Can't deal with it. Congealed spit on a sidewalk? Forget about it. And don't even get me started on the amount of perfectly good water hockey players gargle and regurgitate during the course of one period.
So the vomit on the couch, well, it squicked me out. I mopped it up with a couple of pretty smelling baby wipes and shot it with Lysol after my guests departed.
But the whole thing left me feeling ill. And, to my surprise, it wasn't really because of the vomit as much as it was the way it initially made me feel. I felt guilty for being grossed out. Really, really, really guilty. And what's worse, I started to question the quality of my maternal instincts.
Everyone says that when it's your own child, nothing bothers you. Not the biggest puke or the nastiest poop. And since I've always assumed this to be true, I also assumed that someone who was a mother (theoretically if not literally) would have at least some of the innate ability to look at a puddle of baby vomit as nothing more than a little smidge to be quickly swiped up with a tissue.
So when I found myself inwardly cringing at the site of the spit-up soaking into my couch, I panicked.
Seriously. So much so that I had to poll someone online mommy types to find out if I was really as horrible as I suspected I was. I knew these women would tell me the God's honest truth. And if they didn't, I'd be able to hear it in their words and know if they were lying to save my feelings (something I'm kind of paranoid about in general - but that's a whole other blog).
As it turns out my fears were unfounded. The mommies concurred that baby vomit, pee and poop is NOT cute, even when it spews forth from your own progeny. You deal with it because you love the child, but it's still icky. And, what's even better, someone else's child's bodily fluids are gross. Even to mommies with living children who deal with pee, poop and puke on a daily basis.
I was even given permission by one friend to scream YUUUUUCK!!! if any of her children ever vomited on me.
So whew. Crisis averted. I'm not horrible.
And the puke on the couch? Well, it doesn't really bother me all that much now. You know, now that it's okay if it did.