July 24, 2006

Bones the Cat

When Bones was 22 months old and I was coming off a scare, after telling the story I remarked, “If this child has nine lives, the rate he is going, he will be dead around 4 ½. He’ll never see his 5th birthday.”

The boy was burning through lives at a rate of one every six months while taking time in 10 year increments off the other end of my own. It started when he was just over six months old… this keeping me on my toes… and he’s not stopped since, although he quit burning through his ‘lives’ at that last incident occurring at nearly two years of age.

It was the 2nd week of January, putting Bones at nearly 8 months old. My mother in law had just passed and we had just taken down the Christmas tree. Typically we take it down on the Epiphany, but since she died that day, we were running behind, worn out from funeral plans, grief, and the fact my husband had caught some hideous hospital strain of that year’s flu while sitting vigil with his dying mother.

We had berber carpet at the time and deep in the folds of the carpet, under the couch, at crawling baby level laid a bright green shiny Christmas tree sequin. Some of our Christmas tree ornaments were handmade from pre-school by the older boys and one of the sequin decorative parts had come loose from the glue and gotten stuck in the fibers of the carpet.

With his little chubby clubby fingers, he clawed at it until he got it out and… popped it into his mouth. I had turned my back for just a second as my father in law was over, and I found my baby choking. I immediately did the mouth swipe and found nothing.

Still he choked, so while I did it again, I called 911 and talked to the paramedic who was about to dispatch a truck while I swiped again and again, finally dislodging the sequin, which was too big to go down his throat, in a cough of sputum, blood and Christmas green.

The paramedic on the other line and I were both drained from adrenaline… I could hear it in his voice and feel it in my body.

That was life #1.

Six months later, my husband was traveling on business and Bones at around 14 months old, was jumping on the couch. I went over, sat him down and told him if he jumped on the couch again he had to get off. He sat.

I walked out of the room to get something, I swear I was gone for no more than 30 seconds, when I heart a crash.

He had commenced jumping on the couch, bounced too hard, bounced off the couch, slammed into the sliding glass door, bounced off the door and took out the lamp and the table it sat upon. He hit the top of the lamp with his cheek, just centimeters from his eye, giving him a well formed bruise, instantly, the exact shape of the top of the lamp.

I found him on the floor, next to an overturned table, a lamp that miraculously did not have a shattered bulb, and with what I thought at first was a gaping hole in his cheek, only to find it was an immediately black bruise. But in the split second I thought it was a hole, time stood still as I wondered why blood wasn't pouring out and also wondered if I needed to do 911 or if I could take him to the ER by myself.

That was life #2.

And now we come to life #3, which is the real purpose of this post. The last life he tore through, thankfully.

Bones was 22 months old.

I was cooking dinner when Bones came up to me, motioning that his belly button hurt. I thought nothing of it, someone always complains something hurts, so I picked him up, put him on my hip and cooked dinner one handed.

After a few minutes he was fine.

He came back in later complaining that his lower belly hurt. I picked him up, put him on my hip and continued to cook dinner.

After a few minutes he was fine.

So as I continued to cook dinner, I heard the boys yell, “Mooooooom! Come change Bones! He smells like Poop!”

I stopped what I was doing, grabbed him up, and when I opened his diaper, in it was a Lego, not a small one, but one of those bricks that is a 2 by 3 nubby kind, immersed within his poop.

I nearly stroked out.

Immediately I’m thinking bowel perforation and I started looking for blood in his stool or diaper. Nothing. I’m looking at his little buns for signs of damage… Nothing.

He was fine, I was hyperventilating at the thought of what could have been, and he’d passed a huge Lego. I’d seen everything at that point… pieces of Southern Living magazine baby poop (cellulose does not digest), bits of crayon or play doh speckled poop, but the Lego thing scared the crap out of me.

No pun intended.

The day before the two older boys were playing Legos as I watched. Bones was doing empty fill. Empty the bucket of Legos, fill the bucket with unused Legos, empty the bucket of Legos, fill the bucket with unused Legos.

If the need for variety in toddlers is the sign of high IQ, Bones was destined for the short bus.

He was also teething and I must’ve turned my back or spent too much time focusing on helping the two older boys, when I think he tried to bite the 2 by 3 Lego with his back gums, against his molars, and swallowed it.

He was actually never an oral child and other than the sequin incident he never put things in his mouth. That was his older brother, who had to feel everything with his tongue, as if it were an antenna.

But not Bones.

There are things you never forget. That was life #3.

And what prompted this post? Over at Army Wife Toddler Mom’s she had THIS post about it being time to go to Legos for Dash. My kids love Legos. My only recommendation is keep them from teething toddlers, of which she has none!

And if you can, keep AWTM in your prayers. Tough times have been in her life journey as of late. I am fortunate enough to feel that I can call her a dear friend of mine now… speaking to her regularly on the phone and feeling as if she is a kindred spirit.

Positive thoughts and prayers her way would be much appreciated by me.

Posted by Boudicca at July 24, 2006 09:30 PM | TrackBack

I was visiting my friends in Fla. They had two daughters, 5 and 2, at the time. The 5 year old swallowed a quarter. The doctor said, it would just have to pass. So every time the 5 year old would have to go to the bathroom, Mom would have to go with her to examine her stool. But the funny thing to witness was the 2 year old kept beating on the bathroom door yelling, "I wanna see the quarter!!" The mom was mortified at her offspring.

Posted by: Jerry at July 25, 2006 01:26 AM

Whoa - scary stuff. I think I'll take planned surgeries over Bones-thrills any day (and we've had 18 of them in 8 yrs)...yikes!

Posted by: Lisa W. at July 25, 2006 05:56 AM

all is well here this morning....

thanks for the prayers....they are always good.

Posted by: armywifetoddlermom at July 25, 2006 09:12 AM

Woman, you are either a saint or have nerves of steel because you have trouble times 3. When my son swallowed a small metalic magnetic sphere last summer and nearly choked in the process I nearly had a heart attack.

Now I realize that's probably why I was having such a hard time in my Pediatric CPR course yesterday. I kept envisioning him choking and I couldn't focus on what I needed to do.

Posted by: Michele at July 25, 2006 12:46 PM

Oh gosh. They are always doing stuff to scare their mommies!! Wowie about a Lego tho, you'd think that would definitely hurt!

Posted by: MamaDuck at July 25, 2006 06:49 PM

How did we ever survive our own childhoods?

No seatbelts in cars...playing in undeveloped lots...riding bikes every damn where with no helmets...

At least my brother and I were not Lego-snarfers. Back then, it would have been Block City, but same deal. Not digestible, and tough on the ol' kishkas.

Posted by: Elisson at July 26, 2006 08:14 AM

The "first life down" incident recalled the time our son--about the same age as Bones was for his sequin incident--found a penny in some shag carpet (yeh, was a while back). I was alone with him at the time and still recall how time stood still until I could get the thing outa his throat.

Every gray hair I have is well earned... :-)

Posted by: David at July 27, 2006 12:10 PM