7pm. My wife was out, my son was in my arms, and I was dreaming of dinner. He had drunk all but the last of his bottle and was asleep, hand to ear as he does, like a disk jockey. Not long now, i thought, and I will have the evening.
He coughed and I heard it rise. A splutter first and then all of it. A torrent of puke, as if poured from a jug. No time to run, all I could do was sit and wait; make sure he could breath and watch as he coats my lap, my chest, my arm, his hair, the pillow, the chair.
He woke up and smiled at me, which was decent of him, but his chipper mood didn't last. I carried him to the bathroom, like a man crab, so as not to drip too much on the carpet, and lay him on the matt. He burst into furious tears, as I stripped us both naked, filling the bath with our clothes.
The smell was sour and sweet with that bile note that catches the throat. It reminded me of the rotten yoghurt we were served at that Persian restaurant we found. My wife had laughed so much about that, back when it was just the two of us and we went out after dark.
I cleaned him as quick as I could, and wrapped him up again holding him on my chest, his perfect brand new self, and me his ridiculous father, soaked to the balls in vomit, the very balls responsible, in part, for him that had vomited.
Which is basically what Elton john's circle of life is about.