My younger sister is getting married. I'm very happy for her and the guy she's marrying. But I'm glad that my wife and I never have to go through the planning part again. It was just too much hassle and I never seemed to get to plan any of the cool stuff. I was always stuck with envelope licking or thank-you note writing or tuxedo fitting. There was far too much of all that busy work and not near enough cake testing and honeymooning at DisneyWorld. And it wasn't until recently that I was reminded of exactly how much I hated helping with the wedding planning.
We were all hanging out in the living room where my younger sister was writing somewhere in the range of 6000 thank-you notes. I was holding my two year-old son, and he was whining because he was tired. Let it be known that he was not, in fact, tired. He was actually feeling suddenly sick. And the amazing father that I am, I instantly realized that he was feeling ill and gave him the proper care and medication. No wait, I didn't. Instead, I told him to "stop whining" and proceeded to tickle him to get him in a better mood. So apparently, I'm stupid and irresponsible.
So I realized that the tickling was a mistake because he might genuinely not feel good. I then saw (too late) the signs that he was about to vomit. He started to turn pale and then burped a small toddler burp. So again, being the great father I am, I didn't run outside or sprint to the bathroom with him. Instead, I sat down and cradled him. You probably see where this is going. He erupted with an explosion of bright red throw up that covered my shirt, arms, and pants. I've never experienced anything like that before in my life. And don't get me wrong... I've been puked on more than my fair share. And I've definitely been puked on by my son before. But this one caught me unaware and unprepared. And it was the temperature that I imagine liquid hot magma to be. I don't know what it felt like to produce that. So I really feel for my son on that one. All I know is that it wasn't all that pleasant to be receiving it.
It turned out to be a quick stomach bug, and he was back up and running the next morning without any ill effects. But the part that really brought it into perspective for me was the fact that, in retrospect, I prefer to have toddler-grade lava vomit spewed all over me rather than be forced to write thank-you notes.