Let’s play Barf. Okay, it’s really simple. You just calculate the number of household items your child has destroyed with barf. You can’t tally up all your children’s puke together. That would be cheating. Just one kid’s vomit per game. And this does not include clothing or bibs. Haha, this is where the formula fed, reflux babies are going to kick those breast fed babies’ asses! Okay let’s play.
Here’s a comprehensive list of the things The Beast has destroyed thus far:
One glider rocker
One high chair cover thing
One bouncy chair
One jolly jumper
Two crib sheets
One change table cover
One car seat
Oh, and one throw pillow. I guess now it’s a throw up pillow. Lame. It was hideous anyway.
K, now it’s your turn. Go. Never mind, I win.
There isn’t much in the way of ‘stuff’ that I would be devastated beyond repair were it to be destroyed by vomit. It really is just stuff. I accidentally wreck stuff all the time. I spilled red wine on Husband’s laptop and annihilated the motherboard. Oops. I also dropped the camera the other day and smashed the lens. Oops. So, I totally understand accidentally wrecking stuff. And never mind that I am comparing my thirty something year old clumsy hands to the involuntary gag reflex of my infant. I’ve already forgiven him for the above mentioned list of items. It was easy to forgive him because none of it made me mad. But there is one item if destroyed by taking the short cut out I wonder how I would react.
We have a really old piano. It’s an upright grand from the 1880s. It has little intricate wood carvings all over it and real ivory keys. The Beast LOVES the piano. He zooms in with laser beam focus any time anyone is playing. He especially loves when Husband plays for him. He uncurls his tiny, white knuckle fists and presses down to play along. While Husband and Beast are having a good time, I find myself holding a bib under his chin in the event of some sort of projectile puke event. I picture milk rainbowing out of his mouth and seeping down in between the discoloured ivory keys. I picture the high C, where he usually sits, sticking and smelling of Alimentum and stomach acid forevermore. I picture whisking The Beast off the piano bench and vigorously stuffing Q-tips down the cracks between every key. But worst of all, I picture being upset with The Beast even though he can’t help that his teeny, tiny little body doesn’t have gravity on its side yet. I’ve thought about keeping him away from the piano, but there is just no way I would ever do that.
The piano belonged to my nanny. She was a cranky old bag who hated music. I was never allowed to touch the piano, so whenever I went there as a kid, I would hang out in the hallway with her Chow Chow named Su Fang and just stare at it. One day, I had the idea that I would touch one key. Then I would silently pet Su Fang 100 times between his weird, little, triangle ears. If Nanny didn’t yell at me, I would touch one more key. I would continue to do this until I got in trouble. My theory was if I pressed the keys far enough apart, then the sounds wouldn’t be considered music. Apparently Nanny was of the John Cage school of thought because after two notes that were precisely 100 dog pets apart, she sent my mother in to tell me to stop.
After Su Fang died, (RIP Su Fang. If you meet the Baby Whisperer in heaven, tell her I hate her big, stupid book.) Anyway, after Su Fang died, Nanny moved to an apartment and much to my surprise and delight, she offered the piano to my mother. We snatched it up instantly and the piano lessons began not a second later. By the end of the first year of lessons, I was tearing ‘The Happy Farmer’ and ‘God Save the Queen’ a new arse hole. I played that piano every single frigging day. And no one EVER told me to stop. I always made sure to play extra loud when Nanny came over for supper.
After I moved out of my parent’s place, the piano just became a piece of furniture again. No one played it for a long time. It slowly went out of tune and got worn and rickety. It reminded me of the hunk of wood Su Fang and I used to stare at from the hallway. It was lonely and purposeless. It looked sad. When Husband and I got married, we moved the piano to our place. The plan was to get it properly cleaned and tuned, but we never did. Somehow though, it has come to life again. Someone plays it every day. And The Beast is always there with his little fists of fury waiting to press a key. He then waits for what feels like 100 dog pets before pressing another one, and another one. And I will never tell him to stop. In fact, as I write, I realize he could puke up all 88 keys and down again and I would clean him up, sit him back down again, and yell, ‘Encore, let’s play barf!’