Last night I had quite a scare at home. Jim was at class, so it was just me and Molly hanging out together for dinner. We had pulled chicken and cucumbers, both of which Molly has eaten before without any problem.
At one point, late in the meal, she put a whole cucumber slice in her mouth. She's a good eater, and chews well, so I told her to be careful and watched her closely. Because I watched her closely I noticed her eyes get large, her mouth open up, no sound come from her throat, and her skin start to turn purple. Because I let her have an entire cucumber slice, my baby was choking.
I panicked hard. I remember screaming "No, no, no Molly, NO, NO, NO" and I swiped my finger down the back of her throat. The piece was down there quite a ways, and was most definitely blocking her airway. Luckily it was easily removed, and I crumbled in a heap on the floor crying and rocking my baby girl. I have never in my life been so terrified, and even as I write this hours later, I'm tearing up.
I'm not writing this to be scolded for giving my child a piece of food that was obviously too large for her. I'm writing it because I think that as our kids get older, we start to get more comfortable, and begin to forget some of those safety measures we were so anal about in the first year or two of their lives. Once they get the hang of it, things like eating, or climbing, or running become such a normal part of our days, and we forget that our kids are still little, and not fully capable of taking care of themselves. And while cuts and bruises are bound to happen, it doesn't take much for something routine to become quite serious quite quickly.
My husband associated it with riding a motorcycle. He says the motorcycle becomes deadly when you stop riding it like a motorcycle, when you take it for granted and forget the dangers that come with riding. Don't take your kiddos independence for granted, and don't forget they are still kiddos. I'll be watching with a much closer eye after last night.