As Mark and I head to bed in the evening one of us (usually me) will stop by Lily’s room and check in on her. She’s usually slumbering peacefully, nowhere near her covers and with some random object inserted in her ear. So, I’ll throw a blanket over her, remove and inserted item(s) and yes, check to make sure she’s still breathing. What is it about parenting where we believe our children will simply stop breathing or their hearts will cease if we are not ever vigilant?
Last night, as I checked in on her, I was pleased to see that she was still under cover, one hand resting lightly on piggy and breathing as expected. I listened to the gentle sounds of her slurping away on her thumb and just stared at this perfect peaceful being that I have the honor of calling my daughter. I tiptoed out of the room and was ready to head off to bed when something in me said “stop!” So I waited for a moment.
Then coughed again.
And then I heard the noise that strikes terror in any parents heart. Lily started choking. And I’m not talking about that cough-cough choke, no. This was clearly the sound of my baby choking on something wet… drowning in something as yet unseen. I spun around and dashed through the door just in time to see her pushing herself into a sitting position, vomit spewing out of her in record amounts. She burst into tears, the side of her head wet and sticky, her shirt beyond use and lifted her arms to her mom.
When I was a child, the sight of vomit… no, the mere sound of someone vomiting or the ever so pleasant aroma of it would set me off. I’d start a yack fest of my own and then the lucky adult nearby would have the pleasure of two vomiting children to comfort and clean up after.
But when it was my child? Not even a flutter in the tummy. What is that? Why is it suddenly OK if it is our own child’s bodily fluid? Maybe for some it is not.
Anyway, I let Mark know I needed help and he came up to strip her bed and remake it with clean blankets while I washed Lily’s head off and stripped off her jammies. She settled down quickly and laid against me for a bit, sucking her thumb and recovering from her ordeal. She was very happy when I whipped out the dinosaur shirt and put it on herself (inside out and backwards, of course). Mark took her to the bathroom and brushed her teeth, then plopped her back in bed where she immediately settled down and slept peacefully until almost 7am. She was ravenous at breakfast, eating everything in sight. She’s happy and silly this morning, so I guess the offending food item was properly ejected. It’s really a brilliant system when you think about it. Something doesn't agree with the belly? GET IT OUT!