I know I’m only seven months on the job, but I am ready to accept my “Mother of the Year” award. But if I were going to choose a category to win- I guess it would have to be for incompetence. *sigh*
Every stage of Gibs’ development has come with its own challenges. As a newborn it was nursing and trying to adjust to having a baby. And then the weeble-wooble stage where I’m constantly trying to keep my boy from hurting himself as he tries to sit up unassisted. He just likes to lunge forward for a toy or one of the cats at random and throw himself face first on the floor. Now we’re teething and using a walker.
I’m sure every mother has an opinion about walkers. My pediatrician doesn’t recommend it because they feel babies are more likely to hurt themselves. For him, the cons outweigh the pros. But on our carpeted floors, I feel like Gibson can’t get enough speed to really make things dangerous…. that is until Sunday morning.
While I was making breakfast, Gibson was exploring the kitchen. He loves to be in the kitchen because it has a laminated floor which is a lot easier for him to navigate. But the kitchen isn’t very large and he really only has about five feet square he can get around. HOWEVER- he somehow managed to work his way between the recycling bin and the cabinets to make it into the pantry. And I thought, well look at that. He’s getting better and better at that navigating thing.
Gibs disappeared into the darkened pantry. I figured I’d hear a cry of either loneliness or frustration very soon… but I didn’t. So I peeked in. He had the cord to the food processor in his hands. The food processor that was poised just on the edge of the shelf. It was perfectly situated to fall straight down on Gibs head if he’d had the strength to pull the cord hard enough.
Obviously, I quickly escorted Gibs out of the pantry and scolded myself for being so careless. For allowing him out of my sight. But you know, he’s only been mobile for a little while now. I can give myself a one time pass on this incident.
Too bad that later the same day I had to consider the self-flagellation again.
Gibs loves to play with paper these days. Loves to crinkle it in his hands. But, of course, this must be closely monitored. You shouldn’t allow the baby to get a hold of a piece of paper while, say, both parents are watching Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels. And you certainly would want to occasionally look away from the screen to make sure your son isn’t eating it. Because if you did, you might avoid our situation.
Yup, he got enough paper into his mouth and tried to swallow it causing him to gag and choke. I did back blows as he made horrible gurgling noises. I used my pinkie finger to clear his airway. This made him throw up. But he was still making funny noises. My husband grabbed the bulb syringe aspirator and that finally brought up the chunk of paper Gibs had managed to lodge in his throat. The entire ordeal probably lasted 15 to 20 seconds.
Longest 20 seconds of my life.
Hearing those gasps and seeing him throw up a chunk of paper.
It was awful.
And so, I nominate myself for most incompetent mother of the year.
Thankfully, I knew what to do to help my son in the emergency situation I put him in. But after that ordeal, I feel like I need a refresher. So I’m going to grab these online First Aid and CPR courses from the American Red Cross. Just in case it happens again and I have to do something more invasive to help my son breathe, I’d like to have a more recent memory of the techniques. Obviously it’s not the same as actually meeting with a professional in person, but it’s better than nothing. The last time I practiced on Little Anne was in college.
Needless to say, Gibs is no longer allowed in the pantry or to have any paper if my attention is divided. I’m sure it could have happened to anybody, but when it happens to you… well you just hate yourself for a while. Thankfully, Gibs was smiling and laughing again a few minutes after his ordeal. But I’ll never forget. That’s my burden. And my warning to be more vigilant.