Over the past eight weeks, I have lost my heart to our family’s new addition. I love to hold her, feed her, even change her diapers (of course, these early scentless messes are the easiest). Perhaps it’s because we’ve waited so long (seven years!) to have another, or perhaps it’s because we know now that there are no guarantees, but I cling to little Lily and rejoice. She can do no wrong.
So last night, after the elder four had turned in and Jodi and I were getting ready to do the same, Lily was, in turns, playful and fussy — one moment wide-eyed and smiling, the next gassy and grimacing. We thought little of it, since from day one Lily has been fussier and rumblier than all of our previous infants.
When we were both finally ready, Jodi sat propped my pillows, holding and patting our daughter to elicit a burp. I turned on a small bedside lamp that glows softly gold, just enough for my bride to feed by, then settled into bed next to my wife and infant daughter. We talked a bit, then Jodi began to nurse Lily. We prayed together, then I rolled away from the girls and drifted slowly off to sleep.
I woke to “HLLLAT!” and a sudden splash of warm liquid on my bare back and shoulders. “Oh!” I shouted, immediately awake and on my feet. I could feel a viscous fluid running down my back. I tried frantically to reach it, to keep it from dripping on the carpet. I turned and in the dim light saw Lily’s innocent face on Jodi’s wet shoulder. Jodi herself looked at me with sympathetic eyes. “Oh, honey!” she said. As I bolted for the bathroom, she began to laugh.
I came back with a towel looped around my shoulders and back. Jodi was examining her pajamas and the bedding: shirt, shorts, both sheets, the comforter, and multiple pillows were streaked with milky white vomit. Lily seemed very much at peace.
“That was quite the rude awakening, Lily-bell,” I said.
“You should have seen it!” said Jodi. “It came straight out, like a hose!”
“So, more like a spewed awakening,” I joked. “Fear no fluids, right hun?”*
Never rose so quickly — or so widely awake — in my life. If Lily did that every morning at six, I’d never be late again.
* Our parenting motto, once we realized as young parents that our non-parenting friends had no stomach for stories like this one…