Existential Vomit

I’m not sure if there’s something wrong with my daughter Florence, but every time she sees her own reflection, she vomits on herself. At first we thought it was just a coincidence. We’d held her in front of the mirror twice and both times she’d spewed cascades of semi-digested breast milk which would soak through whatever she was wearing and splatter artfully on the floor – disgusting, but hardly statistically valid.

Now while Normal-Kent was busy giggling and Pragmatic-Kent was wondering if a spewy mirror needs to be windexed, Science-Kent was considering the possibility of correlation and causation in the case of Florence vs Florence. Now, Science-Kent is generally not to be trusted. One only need review his past hits “Burning the Garage with Napalm” (1993) & “There’s No Way We Could Get Pregnant Doing it Like This” (2009) to know that he’s a reckless idiot with little regard for consequences (or the highly flammable nature of a gel-based flame fuel). But Science-Kent had his interest piqued and was going to test his mirror-vomit theories no matter how many times it meant cleaning the floor in the hallway.

At this stage, before any of you decide to call child services, I should probably mention that at no time in the following experiment did Florence become distressed. If anything she’s a cheerful vomiter who is just as happy throwing up as she is eating her own fist, playing with her toy rabbit or bending the laws of conservation of mass with the incredible volume of shit she produces.

So with the aim of determining if there was any relationship between the mirror and the throwing up, Science-Kent presented Florence to her reflection every day for a week to see what would happen. What happened, was that he spent a lot of time cleaning the floor. Not only did Florence spew on herself every time she looked in the mirror, but the time it took her to spew grew shorter and shorter with every session. By Sunday of “Science Week”, we only needed to walk past the mirror with Florence in our arms and she would spurt a torrent of hot surprise down the length of both of us. Despite our concerns, Florence seemed to think the whole thing was delightfully funny. She’d see her reflection, giggle, wave, fart and then blaarrgggghhhh before laughing to herself and then jamming her fist in her mouth – such a lady.

It didn’t really offer any clues as to why she spewed, but at least the laughing did rule out the possibility that the vomit was triggered by existential terror. I’d been concerned that when she saw herself in the mirror she realised the bare reality of existence which manifested itself as a warm stream of curdled horror – so the laughing was a load off my mind. Some parents worry about illness or strangers, I worry that my daughter will be petrified by the nature of her own existence.

One week in and still no closer to the truth, the experiment was called off after my fiancee Charly asked me why I was scrubbing the floor again. When I told her about my quest to learn the secret behind the mirror and spewing, she just looked at me with a mix of pity and despair “She gets excited when she sees her reflection and she vomits when she gets excited.” Smart arse.

There’s nothing quite like the humiliation of discovering, the hard way, something that was as obvious to everyone else as hot chunder on a freshly cleaned mirror. Of course, I didn’t feel bad, but Science-Kent is very proud and he moped around the house for weeks, not even motivated enough to watch old, clips of “The Curiosity Show” on you tube. Thankfully he recovered from his melancholy after hearing about what happened when Charly forgot about Florence’s affliction and took her into a changing room at The Gap.

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