All choked up

February 12, 2007
All choked up

My God this child has hawk vision! She can find the tiniest piece of filth that most people would require a magnifying glass to see. She has mastered the pincher grasp and immediately puts any scrap she finds into her eager little mouth. What she lacks in dexterity she makes up for in perseverance. If it doesn’t make it into the mouth the first time, try try again!
Today her fascination with small chokables partnered with her mother’s inattentiveness nearly cost her her life. And NO, I’m not being melodramatic. I sat her down in front of the full-length mirror by the bathroom while I brushed my teeth. Next I put her on the bed to change her diaper before we left for another round of house hunting. While I was changing her she rolled over onto her belly in an attempt to scoot away. I flipped her over which caused her to laugh. Her wide smile revealed a dull grey rod tucked up against her cheek! I immediately made a grab for it. It turned out to be a spring about an inch long, similar to what you would find in a pen or mechanical pencil only wound much tighter. (I found out later it was part of The Boy’s electric shaver, which had been dropped on the bathroom floor the day before.) I finished diapering the little trash compactor and gave a silent thanks that we avoided choking, bowel obstruction, punctured intestines…
Three hours later found us riding around with the realtor looking at town houses. Karis was fidgety and bored with the toys I had brought so I gave her my hat to play with. She loves to touch the yarn tassels and I let her play with it all the time. Just as we were arriving at our destination Karis started choking and gurgling. I checked her mouth but didn’t see anything. She spit up a little drool and finally got her breathing under control and I assumed she had just inhaled extra saliva or something. Not until we were back in the car on our way home and she started choking again did I realize what was going on. I looked over at her as she was hacking again and saw what I thought was a rubber band in her mouth! I pulled it out and found it to be a piece of yarn from my hat tassel.
How is it that I successfully kept numerous children safe and healthy for over ten years while working as a nanny yet I can’t seem to keep my own child from eating mechanical parts and offering her unsuitable toys?

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