Blog: Now Would I Say Something That Wasn't True? I'm Asking You Baby Why I'm LYYYYIN' In Puke
(originally written 1/28/11)
It was Monday night, January 24, 2011. I am at home with Josie. Her mom is asleep.
Nothing is out of place.
At about 21:15, Josie has a bottle of milk, then comes over to play with me for what I’m planning to be her final waking hour of the night. Our daily routine consists of waking by 8:00, two naps, then a final bottle at 22:00 as the “knockout blow”. If executed properly, the routine guarantees a sleeping toddler. I had no reason to expect otherwise tonight.
Josie and I play, then I prepare her bottle, lay her on my lap, and dispense—just like I do almost every night. My daughter happily chugs, thinking about whatever it is she thinks about as she drifts off. I eagerly anticipate the two free hours I’m about to enjoy once her eyes close.
That’s when everything changed.
That’s when the person I was ceased to exist, dispatched in one of the most traumatic ways imaginable.
Josie gulped her last gulp of milk…but was not close to asleep. She looked up at me with a bemused expression, like someone giving a polite smile in response to a compliment. Before I could respond, I was hit.
It has proven difficult describing the sound to others, even though it has replayed in my head countless times in the days since I heard it. The most accurate description I’ve been able to muster—sigh—it sounded like somebody shoved a bowling pin up the butt of an unsuspecting moose.
The missile to my torso brought me to fast attention. It was warm and wet when it went into Josie, and it came out the same way…only a whole heckuva lot faster. Just as I registered what was happening, out came a second projectile, lower and closer to my midsection. I was defenseless; totally stunned as I absorbed blow after blow of the regurgitated milk. They just…kept…coming. It didn’t seem like it would ever end. My cries for help went unanswered.
I remember thinking, “WHY? Who did I wrong?” What a way to go out. I had SO many plans for 2011. Just the day before I made plans to hit up Tahoe in February. I was gonna play football that weekend with the guys. In hindsight, it was foolish to make any of those plans, because fate had me scheduled for a drowning on my own couch under a few liters of baby barf.
Finally, it was over. I looked around and determined I was still alive, and so was a now-empty Josie. All of our clothes now fitted very tight, and carried an unfavorable odor. I survived, but I am not the same.
We’re going to have to sell the couch. It’s too hard to have it around knowing the horror that occurred on its surface a few short days ago. Milk appeals to me about as much as motor oil now. People who approach me and smile without saying anything are now treated to flinches. I can’t help my reflexive responses. I’ve been through a trauma and I have not fully healed. I don’t know if I ever will.
We could get into the time I forgot to put mashed potatoes in the fridge for five days and how that affected my psyche, but I’m not here to talk about the past.
The clothes I wore that fateful night were soaked and rinsed immediately. They now hang suspended from our shower curtain rail. I plan to leave them there indefinitely as a visual reminder that I am a survivor. The money question is: can I bounce back from Josie’s unprovoked attack and be the Skillz I was on January 23rd?
Maybe I can.
No—of course I can.
Doubt me if you want, but would I say something that wasn’t true?