Puke and Perspective

Not actual baby on the train.
I was thinking this week was off to a shitty start until something happened on the train this morning.

I’m standing there reading and I hear a kid crying. No biggie. But he starts crying again. So I look over. There’s a woman, a mother, standing with a baby strapped to her. The baby spits up. Blerrghh. White gloop flows out of the baby’s mouth, on the lady’s arm and clothes and bag and onto her other child who’s sitting on the subway seat in front of her.

He’s the one crying. And coughing. I think he’s gagging. And I might be doing both as well if someone–especially a younger sibling–was showering me with vomit.

The baby didn’t seem to mind at all. It’s the thing that amazes me about babies when they’re spitting up. And maybe it’s the difference between spitting up and throwing up. The white gloop–I’m assuming it was baby formula–was just coming up like there was no end and the baby wasn’t gagging or coughing or crying even. It was almost like a little vomit machine just doing its job–and doing it quite well.

I don’t know how much the woman fed this baby, but it just kept coming. And she was fresh out of napkins. And she was laughing. LAUGHING.

Now, I can’t tell if it was embarrassed laughter: Oh my god, my kid’s puking on my other kid and all these people are watching. I could just die. Or if it was maniacal laughter: Well, this is it. The last fucking straw. It is now time for me to get a gun and start shooting people. Or if it was just old-fashioned, what-a-life laughter: I’m not going to look back on this one day and laugh. Because I’m laughing now. I’m hard-core bitches!

A number of people rushed to assist her. I had nothing to offer, but luckily women just carry a shit-ton of paper towels, wet naps, Kleenex and the like in their purses. One woman even helped the older kid out, dabbing at the puke on his legs and shoes. So ultimately it was a nice little subway moment, New Yorkers helping other New Yorkers out.

But if you’re having a bad week, just remember: You could be a woman trying to get somewhere with two children, one puking all over the place and the other one crying.

Or you could be that kid, sitting there on the subway while baby puke just rains down all over you.

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