Is That Me?

She stands about 2 inches tall. She has a slightly lighter complexion than me and her hair is neatly done in a chin length bob. She wears a moss green pants business suit and carries a very HOT caramel color briefcase. Oh yeah and she wears low, but classy black heels on her feet. At first glance she definitely handles her business.

So how did we meet? Well, three days per week my son is in day care. I am sure you all know the drill. You have to sign them in the morning when you drop them off and you sign them out when you pick them up. I always ask additional questions, like did he have a good day? Did he take a nap? Was he kind to his friends? So apparently, they have grown used to my inquiries and when I went to pick up my last week he was proudly carrying something, or shall I say someone in his left hand. One of his instructors approached me and said he’s been carrying her around all day. “He found her this morning,” she said. “He brought her to me and said, ‘this is my mommy’.”

She went on to say that he gave her lots of kisses, introduced her to his friends in his class and held onto her during nap time. WOW. Did he miss me terribly today? Is this how my son sees me? I immediately got teary eyed. Who knew, certainly not me. I mean for one thing the boy just doesn’t have a whole lot to say. Second, I am blessed to work from home two days per week and my mommy uniform consists of yoga pants and a tank top. That’s a far cry from my office wardrobe.

Office days are different. That’s when he sees me in my business attire. In fact, that’s how I am dressed when I wake him up. But I wasn’t aware he was paying attention. What a pleasant surprise. Who knew that a ceramic looking plastic toy could make my day? I thought a lot about the little lady, I was trying to figure out why she was even in his classroom, but I am assuming she was a prop in a make believe city.

Now, for whatever reason I didn’t pay attention to her face. So, I have no idea if she was smiling or not. I sincerely hope so, because I smile a lot. I smile, because I am so amazingly Blessed and grateful. I have an awesome family that is perfect for me. I have great careers and the flexibility to spend a lot of time with my little one’s.

My son presented me with a great gift that day. With little words, he spoke volumes on how he sees his mommy, who he thinks I am and what he thinks I look like. It was clearly one of those moments that I could never have imagined just how special it would be prior to mommy-hood.

black doll



His Turn

My four-year-old daughter does not allow grass to grow under her feet. In fact, I am sure I spend more time on her appointments than my own in any given week. She has ballet, too many birthday parties and of course her personal favorite – play dates. Some times her baby brother gets to tag along, but for the most part she prefers all girls play dates including dress-up, good snacks and lots of high pitch screaming. So imagine her surprise, when her 20-month-old brother spread his wings this week and had his first very own play date; no girls allowed.

“Why can’t I go,” she asks. “Because they are much younger than you, they’re babies,” I reply thinking the term was a deterrent. “Well, I know how to play with babies,” she responds “I do it all the time. I play with him every day.” That was just the beginning of a 5-minute dialog on why she should be allowed to attend his play date, but I wasn’t budging.

Now he attends a day care, three days per week and knows all his classmates by name, especially the girls. But his first play date was not with a classmate, it was with two cousins that he doesn’t get to see often. All three of them were born in 2011, one in January one in April and Garrett in July. One recently moved to Greenville and one lives in Georgia, the later was the motivation to get these boys together.

Their auntie, a dear friend of mine agreed to host their get together. I’m not sure Garrett knew what I meant when I picked him up early and said we were going to a play date, but I do know he was surprised his sister was not in tow. “Where’s sissy,” he asked on the way. “She’s still at school,” I said. “This is your play date.”

When we arrive he walks up the sidewalk kind of slow. He is looking at the open garage door, lots of toys and mini vehicles and two little boys about his size. He doesn’t speak, but makes his way to the bright red tricycle. Before he mounts, the oldest of the three approaches gently and asks his auntie “who’s this?” She makes the three way introduction and I ask Garrett to give the boys a pound. I know, I know, in some circles it may be considered a terrorist threat, but in my circle it’s a peaceful gesture. The boys are silent, give a few pounds and immediately make their way to separate toys to play. For two hours, they are quiet; pleasant, but silent and I am thinking this is a bust. They didn’t fuss, they didn’t hit each other, they were just chilling.

And all I can think of is how noisy Morgan’s play dates are compared to this one. How many times I have to remind her to use her inside voice and not to run and how come she can’t paint her nails for the 50th time. Are boys really that different? Is it their age? Will this be their dynamic when they are together? Were they just feeling each other out? Or are they psyching me out? I have no idea. But I do know that so far, so good. I made it through the first of many all boy play dates.

G Play date

Penny for Your Throat

It’s amazing how your day can change in lickety split. Last Sunday got off to an awesome start. After a hectic week, I was looking forward to our family’s first visit to the Dogwood Festival. The weather was great, not too hot, not too cold. When we left, we stopped by Sam’s Club to pick up a few things to throw on the grill. With two kids in tow, we decided my husband would go inside and I would stay in the car with the children. As I am on the phone with him, I hear Morgan in the backseat counting money from her cup holder. No matter the size of the coin, she counts it as one.

“One, two, three…” I hear her counting sing song like until she reaches “nine.” All of a sudden I hear her kicking and panting and yelling. I jump in the backseat and ask her what’s wrong. She is holding her throat with both hands and says she can’t breath. “Morgan,” did you swallow something?” “Yes she yells; money, I can’t breathe.” She’s panicking and I am trying not to. I ask her what color was it and she tells me it was brown. I open her mouth and put two fingers to the back of her throat. I am hoping I can see it. I can’t. I am hoping I can cause a gag reflects and it will come out. It doesn’t. “Morgan, if you can yell, you can breathe. Please calm down, breathe out your nose and tell me where it is.” “It’s stuck, right here,” she says panting slow but calmer.

She points to the center soft spot at the bottom of your neck, right before your collarbone. I feel for it, but I can’t feel it. I look down and realize the phone was still connected to my husband and I tell him he has to come and we have to go the emergency room. His initial response was one of little concern. “What did she swallow,” he asked. “A penny I respond, we have to go now, leave the basket and lets go.” I sense irritation in his voice, but he comes out and when he gets to the truck he understands the emergency and heads to the hospital.

When we arrive, I rush her in and explain she swallowed a penny and is having trouble breathing. The doctor on call is Dr. Smiley and he enters without hesitation. When he comes in we explain the situation he seems somewhat nonchalant and says  “sometimes children feel like it’s still stuck, but they have passed it to their belly, so the x-ray will determine our next step.”

Now, I have to tell you all, that yes, I too have swallowed a penny and yes, I know most children will pass it to their stomach and the parents have the unfortunate job of searching for it in their stool for the next few days. On the surface, I am familiar and understand that kids live through this type of thing. In fact, my husband too has swallowed a coin and our parents yelled, gave us some castor oil and played the waiting game. But this was different, and I knew it and I know Morgan. I knew if she said it was stuck….then it was stuck. And I knew, I had tried all the basics and I couldn’t see it or make her throw it up or make her finish swallowing it.

In X-ray we need two technicians, one to help position her and one to take the picture. I explain to her it’s a photo op and we will see her skeleton and she seems cool with that. As soon as we hear the buzzing sound of the camera click, the technician yells “Is she still wearing a necklace?” And that’s my confirmation that a foreign object is definitely stuck in my baby’s throat. No, she was not wearing a necklace; it’s the penny. It was placed perfectly in the center of her throat, like a choker.

By this time, it’s been about an hour and she is calm, but starting to drool and puffs her cheeks in an attempt to get more air. She squeezes my hand every now and again when she gets nervous. She can speak, but is scared to and I can understand that. Upon review of her X-ray, Dr. Smiley calls the Gastrointestinal Doctor on call. Within an hour we are headed to an operating room for an endoscopy to hopefully retract a penny that is lodged in my four-year-old daughter’s esophagus. Really, I mean, I was just at the Dogwood Festival watching her on kiddie rides and now she was being prepped for surgery.

Inserting the IV was the worst part for her. For the most part, under the circumstances, I was extremely calm; until it was time for her to go to the operating room, without me. Now, that was a problem and the nurses on staff knew it. The saving grace was Dr. Josie. She was calm, beautiful and sincere and put me somewhat at ease about my absence. I was grateful for her demeanor, cause Lord knows I was thinking about setting it off when told I had to leave my baby.

An excruciating 20 minutes later, Dr. Josie hands me the most expensive penny I own and a color picture of the inside of my toddlers esophagus and stomach. She then explains just how stuck the penny was and that she had to push it down into her stomach and retract it from her belly. There are a few lacerations on her throat and in her stomach, but it’s the emotional scars her daddy and me went through that will never heal and they certainly cannot be bought with a penny.

When Morgan wakes up from surgery, she looks at me dimly and I kneel down to her bedside and say “Morgan, you can talk now.” She whispers softly “Is the penny gone?” And when I tell her it is, she smiles and loudly says “it’s gone, it’s gone, it’s really gone.” A few moments later she thanks Dr. Smiley and assures him that she has learned her lesson and that’s why parents say not to put money in your mouth. I am grateful for her lesson, but my oh my it sure did cost a lot more than a penny.

Penny PickPenny Pic

Hospital pic