All things change over time…or so I am told. I guess I should believe this.
When my first child was born every little sneeze, hiccup, cough (Heaven forbid) had me if not on the phone to the doctor (begging for an emergency appointment) at the emergency department of the Children’s Hospital demanding x-rays, surgery …help immediately…please! Should the soother drop on the floor (accident) I would race to replace it with another sterilized one and banish the one that fell on the floor from any further contact with the baby (i.e. the trash or to be burned later).
Over the course of being the keeper of many more kids than the average goat (9 to be exact) I have come to either be more relaxed or less careful as each subsequent child entered our family. I had no idea how much I had changed from those first baby careful- new mommy-isms until recently something happened that made me reflect how day-to-day life with kids can certainly change someone. The jury is still out as to whether or not it is an improvement.
When I am not presiding over my washing machine or chauffeuring kids around, I somehow find time to work 40 hours a week outside my home at a fulltime job (husband and I work opposite shifts to accomplish holding down fulltime jobs without daycare costs…besides WHO would sign up for that job?). My source of employment does require business travel out-of-town from time to time.
Recently, after supper one night while preparing stuff to travel early the next morning for this job, the five-year old presents himself in my kitchen crying as though he was being tortured. I asked “what is wrong?” – He responded with “my throat hurts… I am sorry Mommy… I know you told me not to that”-(??) Great…let’s see…this kid is told “no” hourly…this could be anything. (Really hoping knife swallowing was not being practiced …it was the wrong night for that) I asked the child to further explain what he did. At this point I am expecting almost anything…you know…ate shaving cream, gargled with the Draino, had played doctor and tried an at home tonsillectomy. With this kid…this list of possibilities is endless.
Between huge sobs and little screams he blurts out that he had a “Lego man” in his mouth and that BY ACCIDENT (always by accident) he swallowed it! But it was now stuck half way down his throat…hence the pain! I look down his throat and could see nothing discernible…need a flashlight…(no point even looking for one of those here… each time I get one in the house some kid takes it apart to see how it works) Ah , yes…my phone has a light on it. After further investigation of the innards of the mouth of the howling child there was no trace of any lego man present. (and not because heroic efforts were not uses or the child did not gag enough).
At this point this little boy is crying and begging me to take him to the hospital. The 14-year-old pops his head into the kitchen to say “Mom-don’t worry Lego has changed their design now all Lego men have holes in them so if they are swallowed you can still breathe.”-Marvelous. Who knew? The Lego-swallower now is whimpering wondering why I am not freaking out as I take a piece of bread, slather it in butter, pour a large glass of water and set the patient at the table with the instructions to eat the whole piece of bread and drink the WHOLE glass of water. Bewilderment is an understatement.
This kid was sure he was going to escape being in trouble as I would freak and pack him in the car to head to the hospital. I calmly went back to my phone and dialed my husband at work. After explaining what had happened, (the bread/ butter and the hurriedly swallowed water), I sweetly told my husband that he was on “standby” to watch the” other end” for the exodus of the Lego man…likely sometime the next day…as don’t you know I would be out-of-town.” (!!)
My life is often a blur. I finished all I was doing that night and it was not until I was on route on the train the next morning when I realized just how much I had changed since the birth of the first child to the eighth one. I can only wonder what I will be like after another ten more years in this job…my littlest (number 9) is only two years old…comatose(?) Maybe…I might relish the break!