My son slumped over in his chair at the dinner table. “Is he okay? Is he okay?” my husband asked, alarmed.
“He’s just looking around,” I said. He was. Like a turtle, pivoting on his neck, with a sleepy look on his face.
“He’s choking!” my husband said, and sprang into action. He thumped my son’s back. So did I, and my son’s head slumped. I stuck my finger into his mouth and felt teeth.
“OPEN YOUR MOUTH! OPEN YOUR MOUTH!” I said.. Oh my God, this could be it. We could lose him right now! I always thought if someone was choking, their mouth would automatically open but his didn’t. Thankfully, he did open his mouth when I said so and, as I worried my nail was too long and would scratch him, my finger reached for the back of his throat. I swept it, got some small pieces of sausage, and my son began to perk up and breathe. Breathe. It was the most beautiful breath I’d ever seen him take. read more
This is how it all started. My daughter wanted to take a toy into camp. Camp has a no-toys rule, but the last time I told her she couldn’t bring her toy, she clung to me and wouldn‘t go in until I let her. Then, when I picked her up in the afternoon, she left the toy on the floor at camp when we left.
So today she wanted to bring her My Little Pony “Princess Celestia” in. I let her get to the door and asked the camp counselor to explain the “no toys” rule. The counselor gently said that toys get lost or hurt at camp. Did she want her toy lost or hurt?
“No,” she said and handed the Princess to me. The counselor said, “I think that’s a good choice you made.” I bent down and kissed my daughter goodbye. Everything seemed normal and then she clamped her arms around my leg and wouldn’t let go. read more
My daughter graduated from preschool yesterday. We sat on a grassy knoll at the park, as the teachers called the kids up, one by one, up to get either certificates or “diplomas.”
The teacher called a name I remembered — Owen – not because he was my daughter’s friend, but because he wasn’t. Months back, she’d refused to go to his birthday party. When we got the invitation, I’d accepted, like I do for every birthday party, and told my daughter. “I don’t wanna go,” she said.
I figured the kid was mean to her or otherwise a jerk and made an excuse, but I never questioned why she didn’t like him. I did notice, when I changed my RSVP, that there were only a few “yes” responses to his invitation. read more
It was Thanksgiving Day. I had food in two ovens and I was at the counter getting started on the candied sweet potatoes when she came in.
“I’m gonna cook something for everyone,” my five-year-old announced.
“Well, you can help me with the sweet potatoes,” I said.
“No, no, no! I want to cook my OWN thing,” she said. read more
Photo by freedigitalphotos.net
I thought we were over this. Back when my daughter was one or two years old, she was painfully shy. Faced with new situations, she’d cling to me, not letting go. Now she’s confident, outgoing and adapts well to new situations. Or so I thought.
I guess I should have had an inkling that the “slow-to-warm-up” behavior was back when I dropped her off at sports camp this summer. Even after getting dropped off at day camp for two months, when we changed to sports camp for a week, she clung to my leg. Every day, one of the coaches would have to pull her into the game. But every day, when I picked her up, she’d say camp was “Great!” read more