And that is what my daughter gave me last night, when she swallowed a five inch sheet of Toy Stories Tattoos.
I am getting choked up even typing this... the entire ordeal was so scary, I hate to think about it.
Let me back up- I want to tell it exactly as it happened.
This is definitely one we will tell and re-tell as she gets older.
|(Before my mental break down courtesy of my Girlfriend.)|
Okay, here goes:
I am not really a phone talker.
I more or less don't feel comfortable chatting away when I am responsible for the welfare and safety of my children (which is funny because if I recall babysitting as a teenager, I had no problem talking my face off while I watched someone else's kids).
I make a point to make phone calls when I am alone in the car, when Husband is home, or when one of the chitlin's is napping... that's it.
For whatever reason, last night I ignored my own rules and chatted away to my bestie while I made dinner.
Both kids were in the kitchen with me, Lovebug at his little table, and Ladybug in her high chair... both kid's were within two or three feet of me.
I had given Ladybug a washcloth with a long tag to monge on (she is one of those weird kids that likes tags).
Not only was I on the phone, and minding my children, I was also cutting a spaghetti squash... which is hard as Hell anyway, without doing two other things at the same time.
This is where I am going to tell it like it is, and you are going to see it how you want.
I am hard on myself, I know this.
I was only being human and doing what most people do everyday.
I do not allow myself to do this many things at once... and here is why.
At some point, Lovebug stood up from his table, walked over to the counter top, grabbed a sheet of tattoos, pulled the plastic off the front of it (thank God for that)... and handed it to his sister.
Who shoved the entire thing down her throat.
I imagine she was all, "Woo! Free tattoos! Nom.. Nom..Nom."
I was listening to her chomp-chomp behind me, but assumed she was still working on the tag.
Instead, she was eating Buzz Light Year and Woody tattoos like they were candy.
The next thing I knew; the chomping had stopped, and the choking had started.
She was spitting up, and crying.
What happened next is kind of a blur to me.
I yelled something at my friend, threw the phone, and shoved my fingers into Ladybug's mouth to swoop anything that was in there, out.
At this point, I was certain the tag from the washcloth had come off.
And then she spit half a tattoo into my hand.
I knew immediately what had happened.
I attempted to pry her mouth open but she was getting all Venus Fly Trap on me; she was not happy about me shoving my hand down her throat.
For .3 seconds I felt bad about this, and then decided she could get the eff over it AFTER I made sure Buzz and the gang were not obstructing her breathing.
I felt a piece of paper flattened completely to the roof of her mouth.
I took my nail to it and ripped it out of her head... it was two inches long, and folded in half.
The paper was a thick as card stock.
I am feeling sick writing this.
I want to throw up even thinking about it.
After I got the piece off the top of her mouth, she seemed to calm down a bit.
I quickly called my friend back so she wouldn't worry, but within two minutes Ladybug was gagging again.
I put her over my knee and patted her firmly on the back until I heard the gagging stop, and the chomping start.
The last piece was now floating around in her mouth and she was happily chewing on it; like no one in the room was currently having a fucking heart attack or anything.
I pulled the final member of the Toy Story cast from her throat and she immediately started laughing and clapping (she does that now).
As soon as I knew she was really okay, I burst into tears.
I have never felt worse about myself as a parent than I did in that moment... I 100% blamed this accident on myself.
It may have happened anyway, even if I wasn't on the phone; Lord knows cutting a spaghetti squash is hard enough as it is.
But my little Girlfriend trusted me to take care of her, and I truly felt that I had let her down.
I should have been more careful, I should have watched Lovebug more closely.
I know it was an accident, but my heart felt so heavy and sad that Ladybug could have been seriously hurt under my own watchful eyes.
I cried into her shoulders, and clutched her like a doll... squeezing her tight and breathing in her scent.
I cried and cried because I felt like a failure, I kept whispering in her ear, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry...."
Instead of putting her to bed, I let her sleep in my arms until midnight.
I wanted to watch her to be sure all of the tattoos were either up, or down; and not somewhere in between making her gag in the middle of the night.
Husband walked me off the edge of my own personal cliff before bed.
He is always the voice of reason and told me accidents happen, and I really need to cut myself some slack every once in awhile; I am after all, only human.
I didn't sleep much anyway... I kept seeing Ladybug's little face choking and struggling to get the tattoos out on her own.
I re-educated myself today with some YouTube videos on how to perform Infant CPR, and how to react when a child is choking.
I was happy to see that I actually did the right things; but hope to never have to do them again.
I also had a long talk with Lovebug, (who still doesn't understand) about the dangers of giving anything at all to his sister.
I remember when I got pregnant with Ladybug, my worst fear was; how will I ever protect them both, all the time?
The truth is- life happens, and I can't possibly watch every move they make.
I can just do my best, and hope and pray that that will always be enough.
We all learned something last night.
I learned to not do so many things at once, and maybe, every so often, to cut myself a little slack.
Lovebug learned not to put things anywhere within his sister's reach... for she is a hungry human garbage disposal.
Well, I hope she learned to stay the F away from boys with tattoos... especially free ones.