Reflections on motherhood...


Monday, July 4, 2011

The pukester

Milkbaby's a puker.  And when I say "puke", I'm not talking about your usual baby posseting.

Posset (the Old English kind) 
"Posset" - isn't that such a lovely polite Victorian word?  You can use it next time your co-worker turns up to work with baby vomit on his shoulder ("is that posset on your shoulder?").  Or to tell your friend that your baby's spilled on her new carpet ("sorry it's just a bit of posset").  It doesn't sound as horrid as "vomit".  Actually "posset" is Old English for "a spiced drink of hot sweetened milk curdled with wine or ale" (mmm).  But I use it here to describe the small amount of curdled milk that's often regurgitated onto your shoulder after a feed.

Milkbaby was definitely not a posseter.  He didn't even start this puking thing until he was around 6 months old.  But since then he's made it his special talent, to be practised at least once a week, sometimes every day.  And when I say puke, I mean stomach-emptying, projectile barfing.  I often wonder if it's payback for all the vomiting I did throughout my childhood - on pretty much any car, plane, bus or boat trip longer than 30 minutes.

It's been a bit of a household mystery.  The start of the puking coincided with the introduction of solids (and unless you're new to this blog you'll know that Milkbaby is all "meh, solids, schmolids - just give me some milk please").  The puking also coincided with the arrival of teeth.  So our list of possible causes have been:
  • food allergy (I even kept a Puke Diary for a while - but no clues)
  • teething
  • constipation (the Plunket nurse suggested this)
  • motion-sickness
  • a series of bugs (this was the doctor's suggestion - then she suggested I keep Milkbaby isolated from other children for 6 weeks...)
  • wind
  • overactive gag reflex
  • all of the above??
Last night's puke, and the inspiration for this blog, caused Mama a few tears.  After a weekend of eating very little, Milkbaby finally had a semi-decent dinner, scrambled eggs and some avocado.  I dared to think that I might get a decent night's sleep - or at least a stretch of longer than 3 hours.  He then proceeded to jam his fingers under the bathroom door, and in the midst of the screaming, vomited said dinner.  My hopes of a decent sleep went down the gurgler, literally.  I wept with frustration as Milkbaby, now happy, threw bath toys out of the bath.

These I'm-so-upset-I-need-to-puke pukes don't really worry me.  They're unusual, but sometimes crying's a violent habit.  It's the I've-been-sleeping-for-2-hours-puke for no apparent reason that's a bit baffling.  We're no closer to working out the cause.  And I have my suspicions that the puking is linked to Milkbaby's lack of interest in solids.  But in the meantime we've got a great list of puke spots - all christened by Milkbaby:
  • down my chest
  • the floor of Noel Leeming
  • the floor of his room and every other room in the house
  • the bathroom sink (bullseye!) or the bathroom floor
  • the grandparents' houses
  • into a sick bag on a plane (another bullseye!)
  • the back of the rental car in Australia
  • the back of the complimentary car while the VW was in the shop
  • the garden bar of the Southern Cross pub (we'll remind him of this when he's a teenager)
  • in his crib
  • in his carseat
  • outside the fish & chip shop (in the gutter)
  • outside Queen Sally's Diamond Deli (in the gutter)
  • in our bed (I've never seen the DH move so fast)
  • in a friend's car and carseat (sorry about that!)
I'm sure I've forgotten to list a few places.  Perhaps I should start carrying one of these around:

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