The Recent Paterfamilias is beginning to wonder if it is in bad taste, if not totally unsportsmanlike, for him to have a grudge with a one year old.
Admittedly, this is an unenviable predicament in which the R.P. has found himself, and, to top it all off, she’s not even his one year old. She’s the baby best friend of his own one year old.
And what did this baby best friend (if we can still call her that) do to warrant such a grudge with the otherwise forgiving and lenient and overall mild mannered Recent Paterfamilias?
This baby best friend, whom we shall refer to henceforth as the Modern Typhoid Mary, has afflicted the Land of the Recent Paterfamilias with a plague of Biblical proportions.
In an age previous, an era we shall refer to as B.V.A (or Before Vomit was Everywhere), the Recent Paterfamilias had learned verily from the mother of this so-called baby best friend that their respective filial congregation had found themselves suffering through a rather rough weekend. The whole family, one after another, had come down with a stomach bug. This baby best friend, after having been kindly invited into the bed of her longsuffering parents, proceeded to reenact a rather memorable scene from The Exorcist.
Oy vey! What a mess.
Then the mother got sick, and then the father got sick, and so on and so forth, but, I was assured, things were all better now.
And so, our babies played. Our babies laughed. Our babies lunched. Our babies shared Cheerios.
And hen my baby had some projectile vomit of her own. While sleeping. She didn’t seem to mind, however, as she kept sleeping right through it.
My wife and I were unaware of what had happened until the middle of the night, when we were alerted by the smell, and at that point, that age old adage raised her head and bellowed, “You never wake a sleeping baby.”
And so we waited it out.
She was all chipper upon awaking, that baby of mine, and, given the circumstances, that’s really a commentary upon her personal constitution.
Oh…and It was also coming from both ends now.
Consequently, the Clean Up Crew stepped in.
A few hours later, clean up was complete.
This all began in the wee hours of Friday morning.
By Saturday afternoon, this Recent Paterfamilias wasn’t feeling so hot. By 7pm, he was exorcising all over the place, on a regular basis, and the Clean Up Crew, busy as it was, had been slashed by 50%.
By 11pm, the R.P. was in a cab, alone, on his way to the Weill Cornell Emergency Room, where his exorcising continued unabated for several more hours.
After three litres of IV fluid were inserted for dehydration, several anti-nausea and anti-diarrheal medications were administered, and seven hours of observation were observed, the medical professionals finally let the Recent Paterfamilias go.
I could barely walk.
It was now Sunday morning.
By Sunday afternoon, around 3pm, the wife of the R.P. wasn’t feeling so hot.
By 6pm, the Clean Up Crew consisted of a what could only be referred to as “useless” thirteen month old.
Eventually, by Tuesday afternoon, days after our baby was feeling tip top, fit as a fiddle, raring to go, pretty and witty and gay, the wife of the R.P. and the R.P. himself were finally finding themselves wishing to rise to the land of the living, complete with an appetite for something marginally (although only marginally) more substantial than dry toast and lukewarm water.
And so, as my reader can most clearly see, concerning good taste or sportsmanlike or not, this Recent Paterfamilias has a little bone to pick with that certain baby best friend, that certain Modern Typhoid Mary, and the next time I see her, I will be sure to say, “Hey! Look here, you baby, I have a bone to pick with you!” And then she’ll look at me with her Modern Typhoid Mary eyes and she’ll curl up her mouth in her Modern Typhoid Mary way and I’ll think, “Well, that’s pretty cute,” and then I’ll consequently (and conveniently) forget everything that’s happened.
Because it’s not her fault, really. Just because a baby spreads an epidemic, does that mean you can blame her? It would almost be like having a grudge against that first dog or rat or flea who stepped into Dark-Ages Europe and thought, “Huh, that’s weird but my throat feels a little scratchy.”