Chocolate fondue

We kept Rafa at home from kindergarten yesterday and today. I’ve been fighting a sinus infection myself since about a week, and around the time I seemed to have conquered the bug, Rafa seemed to have picked it up from me. That is, he picked it up again, as I’m pretty sure I got it from him in the first place. Our lives our pretty much like that. We’re reservoirs of respiratory filth, and inside us, the buggers evolve into something wilder, more intolerable. And so we keep on getting sick. The good thing is that the worst period seems to be behind us. Now it’s just minor struggles. We’ll make it to spring I think!

Anyway. The boy was at home, and he was an absolute champ. Despite his loss of appetite, he insisted on eating a part of his chocolate Easter bunny. What can I say. I’m a dad, and I’m human, too. If I can find a reason to take my share of my son’s chocolate, I will do it. The days that he accepts this will soon be over. I’ll take all I can now.

I should have realized that his loss of appetite was unusual. That chocolate, perhaps, was not the best load of nutrients to put in his stomach. But he was so happy (and I wanted the chocolate). He devoured it. Munching on it like a hyena on some leftover carcass. His face covered from ear to ear in molten chocolate. He went all in.

Then nothing. All afternoon, he only wanted to watch television. He’s sick. I let him. In the meantime I managed to finish a review for a manuscript. It’s win-win.

By the time I was done, he was done with television. He looked hot. It turned out he had a mild fever. Despite not having eaten anything other than the bits of chocolate, he didn’t want to eat. That was clear. Mom and dad wanted pizza, so we ordered a delivery.

Rafa didn’t join us at the table. I came to sit with him and brought him a slice of vegetable pizza. I offered him a bite which he eagerly took. Okay… Then another.

Then he just sat there for a minute.

I held the plate with the slice in front of him.

Then he started gurgling like Geysir. A rumbling roar that came from deep within.

I knew it. I knew exactly what was coming. I was practically unarmed, aside from the tiny lunch plate with the slice of pizza. This was going to be challenging.

The vomit burst out in three chocolate-colored waves. I caught every last bit of it with the plate. Not a drop reached the floor, or worse, the couch! The plate filled up to the edges with chocolatey goo. I’ll take some credit, because catching liquid on a rimless plate is challenging, but I’m up for it. The whole scene reminded me somewhat of those chocolate fountains you see sometimes on cheap-fancy buffets. They look cool at first, but towards the end of the event they look like – well – Rafa’s plate.

I looked at the plate and couldn’t help but feel sorry for that almost untouched slice of pizza. And to be honest, for the chocolate, too.

I looked at Rafa, and he looked relieved. I asked him if he felt better. A whole lot better, he said. Good. He looked better. He ate a rice wafer, and wanted to go to bed not long after. I hope it’s enough.

He’s asleep now. I hope he’s better tomorrow.

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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