You horked all over your grandfather. In public.
Actually, when you were a chubby, adorable baby of eight months, we took you to Hawaii for your Auntie Jane’s wedding. You flew like a champ (I could feel your tentative “what-the-heck-is-this-flying-thing?” nursing from under my poncho as the plane ascended and descended).
You were doughboy-plump and loved to smile and flirt with all the passengers. You were my little bundle of Buddha with a wispy hairdo and you radiated toothless love and contentment. I remember wishing I could just point you at the world’s troubled hotspots and let you beam irresistible, pure happiness at them.
I bought a special sling made of wide-weave cotton that was also sun-proof fabric so I could carry you next to me without either of us getting glued to one another with sweat. As we waited for HB to get the rental car set up with your car seat, you fell asleep in the sling and I blinked in the hot sun of the Hertz parking lot and felt grateful for the slight breeze that stirred the palms, and for you, not in that order.
We stayed with your Nai-Nai and Yeh-Yeh in a beach house in Kailua-Lanikai during what felt like the hottest, most humid and mosquito-ey month of the year. You took long sweaty naps and pressed the bottoms of your sweet sticky-bun feet against me as you slept. (Your stumpy feet were only half as long as my hand then.)
You were teaching yourself to climb and pull up in preparation for cruising. You could spend hours on the floor using my body or your father’s as a jungle gym. We’d lie on our sides and you’d hoist your body up and over us by any means necessary. Sometimes you’d play at using your mouth to help you grip onto something if you had to. Like a puppy.
You enjoyed walks along the beach in your daddy’s back carrier with the sun shade up. Where land met water, we stuck your chub-creased toes into the silky wet sand and let the cold ocean run over your feet. You were fascinated.
One day, we had time to kill so we took you to a department store so we could all get out of the sun and heat. We wandered around aimlessly. Your Yeh-Yeh was holding you.
One minute you were smiling at me, the next minute you looked surprised and without any warning, you puked up the baby yogurt you’d eaten a short time ago all over your grandfather’s shoulder.
All our languor evaporated in an instant as first your Yeh-Yeh turned you so you were facing away from his now-vomit covered shoulder; I and your grandmother flew to you, distressed, and did ineffectual things like feel your forehead and pat your arm; and your father heard the commotion and came over to see what was happening–
Just as you smiled again as all your favorite people surrounded you and you heaved up some more vomit in a giant BLEEEEAAAAAH at the mirrored column your Yeh-Yeh was pointing you toward.
We ran away.
Sorry, department store. (We had a sick baby on our hands. We were sorta panicked.)
In the car, we realized that the cold pack we’d used to try to keep your yogurt cold probably wasn’t cold enough. In the incredibly lush Hawaiian climate, your yogurt was probably one enormous petri dish teeming with bacteria. You seemed supremely untroubled, even though we raced you home with grandma calling Auntie Jane’s doctoring family in the car the whole time to get emergency medical advice.
We washed your mouth as best as we could with a few squirts from a sport top bottle of spring water. You seemed fine. We decided you weren’t ill, you’d simply ingested something disagreeable and once it came out, there was no further problem. Shockingly, you didn’t cry the entire time. That’s how we knew it couldn’t be that serious.
Besides, those were the days the Boob could cure anything short of the bubonic plague.
Even now, you still like to hear the story of how you threw up in a department store as a little tiny baby.