Irritable troops in the heat often bewilder me. Sometimes nothing I can do or provide for them appeases them. The phone rings a great conversation with a good friend is consistently intruded upon by whining individuals getting into everything. On the other end my friend notices my “niceness” fading away. Those little ones sure know how to push my buttons and many of you know trying to diffuse them and redirect their attention while you are fielding a phone call and cleaning house is no easy task.
The afternoon leads to a semi-calmer evening (for a bit). Dinner goes relatively smoothly and bedtime is soon underway. Whilst getting things squared away and wrapping up some things in the living room, a child tells me her sibling has money and it was taken from the baby’s piggy bank. Great, a preschool thief. Hand it over. Do not go in your brother’s piggy bank again.
I search the bedroom and am sure all of the money is confiscated. Good. It’s all taken care of. I go back to wrap up what I was working on. Not even five minutes later a little cherub comes skipping towards me. Mommy, I have money in my throat.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS?
I immediately go into panic mode. I’ve never had this happen before—amazingly enough. Though, if it were any one of my children to swallow coins, my money would have been on her (sorry for the pathetic pun).
Scooping her up the grilling commences: Is it stuck in your throat? Can you breathe? What color was the money? Does it hurt?
Okay, we learn that it’s not stuck in her throat. She is conversing and the money was “gold”. So, I’m 99.9% sure she swallowed a penny. At least it wasn’t a quarter. Sitting her on the couch, Okay honey, I want you to open your mouth, stick your tongue and say Ahhhhh. Peering in with a Maglite, I discover nothing. I don’t really know what I expected to see. I guess part of me imagined the penny would be sitting there on the back of her tongue ready for me to pry out safely. Well, no such luck. At this point, she says, It’s in my belly now.
I panic and call my husband who is still deployed. That was another “huh?” moment of mine. What did I think—he was going to rescue the penny from thousands of miles away over the phone? I tell him, I’m going to go to the ER. Down the hall, one of my other children starts to panic. My calm husband says, Just call the doctor. Whilst, I’m calling the on call doctor, my other daughter totally goes into freak out mode. She gets severe anxiety attacks about anything medical. She goes pale and clammy. Great, I’m now expecting her to pass out on me. What the…
The phone rings back. It’s a nurse from the doctor’s office. She asks me about it and as I’m telling her the story, I do realize that millions of children probably do this a year and that I’m far from the first parent to lose my mind over the simple situation. The nurse assures me that as long as the child is breathing, eating and drinking, that the penny will just make its way on down and out (at some point). I chuckle at my ridiculous panic and the nurse reassures me that it’s alright to worry about this kind of stuff. You’d have thought I was a brand new mom or that something far worse had happened.
After I get off the phone, I struggle to calm the other panicky child. She’s pleased that we won’t have to spend the evening in the ER. Though, she’s still very concerned about her little sister. It’s okay. She’s going to be fine. Mommy shouldn’t have gotten so worked up, honey. It’s alright. So, off to bed, she went. The money-swallower is now back to normal and running and jumping and getting into stuff again. She never stops! The baby, thankfully, had slept through all this craziness.
Lest I forget, that during all this chaos, the money-swallower also managed to mess her pants twice. This is completely out of character for her since she's been potty trained, and I have no explanation. So, you can imagine how unamused I was when I had to change her twice. For fear of setting her into regression (which we endured last year), I didn't yell. I didn't pitch a fit. I just calmly asked Why? To this, she replied, Because I did. Oy.
At this point, it’s after 9 pm and I’m exhausted and hoping that all the children will be safely sleeping and not causing concern for the rest of the night. The hubby calls to check on me and the kids. Why couldn’t he be here? Why does he miss all of this kind of stuff?
Well, fast forward a few days, as I’ve said, he’s home now. I’m sleeping like a baby at night (which is very unusual for me) and the extra set of hands with the troops is greatly appreciated.