For those readers bored of our accounts of infant nursing, i.e. milk input and its travails, here is quick note for you on the opposite process: milk output. Emesis. Getting things backwards. Inserting slot B into tab A.
The boy doth vomit. [Middle English vomiten, from Latin vomitāre, frequentative of vomere.] And the frequency and volume of vomere has increased. Last night, for instance, we were bedding down quite nicely, Elliot having eaten with satisfaction some while before, but not yet inclined to sleep. So I laid him on the bed on his back, in between my pillow and Sarah's pillow, and I put my face close to his, and I began to whisper white noise in his ear. (I like to think that the warm breath of a big warm thing like a Dad is a sleepymaking spell that it is now vested in me to cast.) My awake child was looking around curiously with big, alert eyes. It's interesting to note that Elliot can move his head in concert with his eyes now--that is, he can deliberately crane his neck at the same time at he turns his gaze, and in the same direction, and in this way he can look at the things he wants to look at, rather than being purely surprised by whatever floats by. Progress.
I turned out the lamp, to give him somewhat less to be curious about. And I laid my face next to his face, and again made the whispering noises that Walter Harvey, my grandad, used to use to soothe me when I was a lively infant, at night, in a pitch-black bathroom, pacing bath and forth--the English version of a sensory deprivation chamber.
Anyway, it was then that Elliot turned his own eyes--I could see them mooning back and forth in the darkened bedroom--on me, and then opened his mouth to jabber something or other, and it must have been the darkness that slowed my reflexes, because it was then that he puked ounces of milk full in my face, with no warning. He didn't even seem perturbed by it. It was effortless for him.*
To be fair to Sarah (and selfish to my own self), by working outside the home at this time in Elliot's life, I buy myself hours and hours per day when the likelihood that the people around me are going to vomit on my face is astronomically low. And what a comfort that is. Sarah, by contrast, is never more than 2 hours from a person who might--who will--spray her with anything they've got on hand, biologically speaking. (For some reason it puts me in mind of that line from The Wild One (1953). Q: "Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?" A:"What've you got?")
* TJ asked me on the phone tonight: "Was it funny?". Actually, I thought it was surreal, so I had to ask Sarah. Sarah says that it was kinda funny. But maybe it wasn't really that funny, because it's just what happens. It's who we are. It's not funny per se to be a tailor or a shoeshine boy or a skydiver, if that is your role--though it's funny to fail at those roles, or to misunderstand them. (Except in the case of the skydiver.) It is our role now to be the ones putting the milk in and dodging it when it comes back out.