my sister's firm just laid off a bunch of people (it's heeeeere, the global recession) and she got called to toronto for a meeting at the same time as her husband is at a conference in chicago. "no problem!," i said, breezily (i was sweating on the inside, but what help is that to her?), "we'll take care of the kids for a couple of days."
it's not all four of them, allah be praised, just morgan (4) and everett (2). when i arrived, the house was spotless and the kids were in a great mood. nobody cried when mom left, perhaps because i'd already sat them down in front of the TV. i left them quietly amusing themselves and went upstairs to put a chicken in the oven for dinner. working in my sister's kitchen, the sun pouring in the wall of west windows onto their shiny new hardwood floors, i thought: maybe i shouldn't be so terrified of children. i'm always thinking how tiring they are, and how i've never wanted to be anybody's mother. i never consider this feeling, the quiet sense of peace and love that most people associate with 'family.'
at which point everett walked into the kitchen and projectile vomited.
we are all familiar with the phrase "projectile vomit." but the reality? whole other thing. as my friend aimee says, you think it's a dead metaphor, but it turns out to be a cold, clinical description. i haven't seen anything like it since elementary school. he stood in one spot and spewed puke, three times, in a one-metre radius. there was barf on the cupboards and barf on the floor. his clothes were soaked, and his shoes. his sister's clothes. her shoes. i couldn't imagine his little stomach could hold so much, yet there it was -- and still coming. my sister wasn't even at the airport yet.
five minutes later he was bouncing on the bed in his PJs, the entire episode forgotten.
and where was mo for all of this, you ask? hockey. we made a deal: she'd go to her hockey game in the afternoon, and i could go out to the big exposure party tonight. however, i find that the evening's events have quite sapped my urge to disco.