Is it just me, or are kids are bent on placing themselves in harms way despite our best efforts to keep them injury and illness free? It’s like they have some uncontrollable primordial urge to reach into snake dens and lick road kill.
Take for example the day I took my then 9 month old son to the grocery store. I had him loaded in the shopping cart clipped securely into the seat atop one of those covers that go over the entire front of the cart. Now I don’t want to brag, but I’m somewhat of a professional germophobe. Therefore my shopping cart seat cover was about the size of a queen comforter with bright colors, wild patterns and interchangeable toys that clipped to the front. When the whole shebang was assembled, my cart vaguely resembled a float from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Perhaps my son was just hungry. Perhaps he was embarrassed. Perhaps he did not want to be the Grand Master of Cerimonies at the parade. Anyhow, he was cranky so I sped through the store as fast as I could which was just below the speed of sound, because neither of us really enjoys grocery shopping and one of us screams loudly when he’s had enough.
Much to my chagrin, my son was not content to play with the half dozen age appropriate (and carefully selected to provide optimum visual and tactile stimulation) toys clipped to the front of the float, uh cart. Instead, he felt my grocery list was much more engaging. And hey, who could blame him, I mean it’s a piece of paper…with writing on it…..fascinating. Anyhow, over the next few minutes a small tug of war ensued which resulted in him tearing off about half the list. Seeing that it was the half with the stuff that I had already put in the cart, I just let him have it. That was my first mistake. Shortly thereafter, I was putting a poorly wrapped package of chicken in my cart and got slimey raw chicken liquid all over my hands. Having nothing else to wipe it on,I used the underside of the comforter, uh cart cover and made a mental note to wash it in copious amounts of bleach after we got home.
So, now I’m disgusted and distracted and just trying to get the heck out of there when I look at my son to find him smiling at me with blue lips. Not suffocation blue, mind you, more like pen ink blue. He had been gnawing on the grocery list and was still chewing on a sizeable wad of ink-soaked paper. Upon seeing this combination choking/poison hazard unfold before me, I promply sprang into action. Having forgotten my samonella chicken juice hands, I promply stuck my fingers in his mouth and thoroughly swabbed his inner cheeks and gums with rancid chicken slime. It wasn;t until I had wrested every last scrap of paper from his little blue maw, that I realized what I had done.
Figuring that they probably wouldn’t take me seriously at the ER, I decided that I had time to pay for my groceries and go home to give my pediatrician yet another panic induced phone call. The nurses at the doctor’s office were super patient and sweet and did not even laugh (too hard) when I told them the story. They said he’d be fine, (which he was). I, however, have still not made a full recovery.