So today it happened…it may as well have been today, cold, windy and raining, a pretty awful day, so it figures that before it was even 8 in the morning that I would have experienced my first ever, dreaded, choking baby!
Now, my gorgeous little boy has just turned one, so I suppose that I have been pretty lucky to escape it thus far, maybe I’m overprotective and cut his food too small, maybe it is just luck? It’s something that has been filling me with thoughts of dread since I found out I was pregnant. After having a serious choking experience when I was ten my relationship with food has been a somewhat rocky one, which I was determined (much like my fear of spiders…who could possibly need eight legs anyway) not to pass onto my son. I went through weeks of not being able to eat anything without washing it down with a glass of water and often to this day, when out and about I still carry a “just in case” bottle around with me, any way, I digress.
Nappy changing has become a fairly challenging experience since Isaac started walking, he just does not want to be pinned down at all, so in an effort to make changing time a happier experience for all of us (it’s pretty stressful for mummy and daddy too) we decided to give him a biscuit to chew on while we change him. Yes, I know; bribery with food…bad mummy! Anyway, changing the nappy was fine, happy chomping. Off he toddled to look out the window so off I crawled after him. When I got to the window I noticed he had stuffed the rest of the biscuit in its entirety into his mouth, he is by nature pretty greedy. After chomping for a while he started to make a stifled coughing noise followed by gasping, mummy went into auto pilot.
I shot over to him and gave him a tap on the back, nothing, just a little red face and more coughing. I was getting no where so I picked him up and put him over my knee, resting his chest across my arm and with my free arm gave him three stiff taps on the back, the third of which was greeted with a shower of soggy biscuit onto Grannies carpet and a pleased little face returning to its normal shade of pink, he pushed himself off my knee and toddled off towards his toy box only to realise what happened and toddle quickly back for a fleeting sad cuddle before he decided it wasn’t that big of a deal and he didn’t really need a cuddle from mummy, never mind that mummy REALLY needed a cuddle from him.
After this I had two choices, do what my initial instinct was to and burst into tears or to pretend to brush it off for the sake of the rather concerned and pale looking Granny on the sofa. “So, I think that went pretty well mum”. Why is it that when you are a mother you find it impossible not to mother EVERYONE?! She’s my mum, she’s been mothering me for years, she was the one desperately smacking my back when it was me chocking I’m sure she doesn’t need me to hide how scary I found that? I just couldn’t do it, I couldn’t tell her! You read all these books when you have a new baby, and see all these things in the media about how you have to be a strong mother, don’t do this, it’ll damage your child, don’t do that, it’ll cause behavioural problems, no E numbers, no squash, don’t touch the animals…worms eek, you feel under so much pressure to be not just the best mum that you can be but the best mum in the world that there is no way you can tell them how scared you were so I pretended to be fine and saved my tears until I was sitting alone in the car, looking like a mad woman sobbing into her steering wheel, although I’m sure that if anyone with a child had walked past my car and seen the car seat and the sobbing lady they would have felt the “sisterhood” pang of empathy. All of this drama before 8 in the morning…who knows what the rest of the day will hold, it’s tough being a mummy!