Being a new parent is challenging in five thousand ways. One of which requires a steely stomach, as California dad Ben Patterson discovered.
Nothing prepares you for the violent and spontaneous onslaught of bodily fluids that come for the littlest creatures and invariably wind up all over your hands, face, clothes. It seriously baffles the mind. Let's be real, babies do disgusting things at will. Having a child is not for the meek or the faint hearted.
In the first year of new life alone, none of us is immune. We collect and swap poop and puke stories, racking up points for the most explosive, most disastrous incidents.
I concede though, Patterson may have the rest of us beat. While he was driving his son Declan home recently, the tot suddenly projectile vomited in his car seat.
With mom hanging with friends for the evening, dad was forced to take matters into his own hands. There's nothing worse than the smell of fresh vomit in the confines of a car.
Unfortunately for queasy Patterson, he couldn't simply offload the unpleasant task on his other half.
He had to man up and clean up.
Trouble is, Patterson is what you would call a "sympathetic vomiter" - that is to say, just the sound and smell and sight of sick is enough to incite the urge to gag and heave in another person.
Patterson tried to overcome, and failed. He wound up puking by the side of the road. Even more unfortunate for him: a bystander happened to witness the grown man upchucking in broad daylight and came to the natural conclusion that he must be drunk - and driving.
One thing led to another, and the cops were called. Patterson was submitted to a breathalyzer test.
"YOU OWE ME SO BIG," Patterson texted. He has since admitted the breathalyzer bit was added for effect (no doubt to make his wife feel extra guilty).
Still, a grown man upchucking by the side of road is pretty classy.
My son wasn't a vomiter. That's not to say we escaped his early years unscathed. Once upon a day we were enjoying a meal at a small Middle Eastern restaurant. The diaper failed to contain the explosion. It was like Vesuvius, travelling down the inside of my son's leg. The stench was legendary. Then we discovered this particular restaurant had no baby changing facilities.
We could not get out of there fast enough. The experience ruined baba ghanoush for me forever.