By Dom Cioffi
I had a conversation recently with a young mother who was pining over the sickness of her newborn. At six months old, this was the child’s first real illness so she was understandably concerned.
I could sense the nervous tension in her voice as she spoke about the child’s symptoms. “He’s not sleeping well and has a horrible cough and just seems miserable all the time,” she said. “And then last night he vomited and I lost it and immediately drove to the emergency room.”
I laughed inside my head, remembering my own early days of parenting and the shared feelings of anxiety that I experienced. I assured her that a child throwing up was completely normal and then went on to describe my own experiences.
My son’s first venture into the world of regurgitation occurred during a late-night feeding.
It was my turn to drag myself out of bed and feed him since he had yet to start sleeping through the night. I prepared his bottle, cradled him in my arms, and tried to stay awake while he munched away at the formula. After he was finished, I flopped him over my shoulder and conducted the prerequisite back-tapping to encourage a burp.
At that point, I had the exercise down to a science so I knew what to expect. But on this occasion, my son started to make some strange noises. I remember being a bit concerned because the sounds were very unnatural and guttural.
I held him up in front of me and looked at his face. He seemed a bit dazed, like something funny was going on inside of him.
“You okay, buddy?” I whispered, bouncing him a bit to conjure a reaction. Just then his cheeks puffed out and without any clear warning, he projectile-vomited directly into my face. I won’t go into details, but I was at first shocked and then horrified given the amount that covered me.
From that day forward, I was extremely careful with him post-feeding.
On another occasion, while out to dinner at a popular restaurant, I offered my son some gourmet cornbread. The restaurant was known for this delicacy, which tasted more like a dessert than the starchy version your grandmother used to make.
He initially refused, stating that he hated cornbread. I balked at this comment since I knew he had never tried it and, given his sweet tooth, would undoubtedly enjoy it. Again, he winced at the idea. “Dad, I’ll puke if you make me eat that,” he assured me.
Now, I’m the type of parent who believes in always trying new things so I promptly broke off a small piece and demanded that he at least have a taste. If he didn’t like it, he didn’t have to eat anymore, but he had to try it.
He reluctantly put the nugget into his mouth, chewed a couple times, glanced up at me with a horrified look, and then proceeded to throw up all over the dinner table.
“I told you!” he blurted out with tears in his eyes. My wife and I scrambled to clean up as nearby diners did their best to pretend the scene wasn’t that disturbing.
Which leads us to earlier this spring, when my son had his most recent experience with an upset stomach.
He had obviously eaten something that disagreed with him (or too much of something). He had been walking around holding his stomach for some time before finally admitting that he didn’t feel well. I inquired what he had recently eaten, but he was not forthcoming (which brings me back to the ‘too much of something’ instead of the ‘something bad’ scenario).
He finally wandered into the bathroom and shut the door. I then heard a few pained heaves. Within minutes he emerged with a huge smile on his face, boasting about how much he had just vomited and what an “awesome color” it was.
The things that teenagers find amusing will never cease to amaze me.
Which brings us to this week’s feature, “Transformers: The Last Knight,” a film that would have thoroughly entertained my son, but nearly made me puke.
In this installment, we find mankind at war with the Transformers, and the only hope to save humanity’s future is to uncover the intriguing history of the the strange metamorphasizing machines.
I’m officially done with this franchise. While the visuals continue to be delightful eye candy, the stories lack any true substance and are continuously aimed at those without much of a cinematic palate.
Check this one out if you’ve got a youngster in tow, just remember to bring some reading material and a pillow.
A mechanical “D” for “Transformers: The Last Knight.”
Got a question or comment for Dom? You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.