This Diary of Motherhood is a series of weekly letters to my first baby, my little son who I call Baby Bird. I know not everyone wants to read about the highs and lows of motherhood so you can read non-baby related posts about travel, writing, freelancing or Amsterdam instead. Alternatively read one of my short stories or check out some book reviews and recommendations.
Dear Baby Bird,
On Wednesday morning this week, we had a moment.
I had just finished feeding you and as is sometimes the case you were gazing up at me, grinning wildly at me. It always fills me up to the very top when you do this, so I soaked up. I watched you, smiled back, wondered how long this mad grinning would go in for, then went back to enjoying it some more. It lasted a long time, much longer than usual and I allowed myself to think that this would become the new normal...maybe my suspicion you were going to be a smiley, happy baby was going to be a reality.
And then... Well.
And then, you squeezed your eyes shut pulled the corner of your lips together suddenly and then opened up your mouth once more. Out flowed a fountain of milky liquid. Its force defied gravity and flew up directly into my face. It was like a wall of white heading for me. It covered my face, my chest, and wetted my hair. Whatever made it back down to you then soaked you too. It was a first for us and I realised I'd thought I was prepared for a bit of projectile vomit, but I wasn't. Not at all.
After blinking a few times, I surveyed the damage. Remarkably none of it had gotten on the sofa and I had a virtually clean muslin in my hand. I checked you were okay - you whimpered for a moment or two, but then went back to staring up at me waiting for my next move. I mopped up what I could with the muslin on you, me and then I tossed it on the floor. I was about to lift you up and carry you straight to your room and changing mat but instead I looked down at you and wondered if those smiles were a warning, or a way to sweeten me up or an indicator you would take pleasure in projectile vomiting on me.
And then I laughed. Big belly, deep exhaling laughs. Seeing this, you went back to smiling at me and I laughed some more.
As I changed you and piled all of our sodden clothes into the washing machine, I realised that what had just happened could be read as a perfect metaphor for what was to come for you and me. One moment you would be smiling at me, the look of love firmly in your eyes, and I would soak up every second, afraid it would end at any moment.
And then. And then you would projectile vomit on me.
But as long as we came out the other end laughing and smiling, that was just about as perfect an outcome as I could hope for.
Or maybe there's no metaphor here. Maybe you were smiling because you were happy, fed and relaxed. And then you were sick because, like your parents, you sometimes don't know when to stop eating something that tastes good.
Either way, we did come out of it laughing and smiling and long may that continue.
Frances M. Thompson
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