Sunday, June 3, 2012

Another One about Various Other Nasty Phobias.

Do you ever know in advance just exactly what Complexes (Complices?) you are going to give your children? Like, are you a neat freak and you just know you are going to breed children who cannot go to sleep if their stuffed animals are out of place? Or maybe you are super stranger-danger-phobic, and you have instilled in your children a deep fear of all people, and they will assume that every person they pass is going to accost and torture and murder them? Perhaps you are afraid of sheep and your children scream every time they hear "Mary Had a Little Lamb." You get my point.

Well, I already know what my kids' neuroses will be. HAH! You think I'm going to say germs! Well that goes without saying. I plan to raise tiny tiny robots who use Clorox Wipes as toilet paper and who take bleach baths and who drink shots of Purell thrice daily. Bygones.

However, my other deepest darkest secret is that I am a choke-phobe. I am terrified that my kids will choke. And I know I'm instilling this fear in them. I must say at least 40 times a day, "Stop talking while you eat you'll choke." "Do not laugh and eat, you'll choke." "Please take super little careful bites, I don't want you to choke." "Tiny bites! I SAID TINY BITES!" "Stop doing weird inhaley things while you eat your sandwich, you'll choke." "We do not sing whilst we eat." "QUIT LAUGHING." "STOP FUCKING AROUND WHILE YOU'RE HAVING LUNCH, YOU'LL CHOKE GODDAMMIT." (That's only on a bad day.)

I just know my children are going to grow up thinking that they'll die of sandwich-asphyxiation or carrot-hack. I am just waiting for the day when I walk in on Maya playing with her dolls, and hearing her admonish them, "Take tiny bites of cake, Runchel,* I don't want you to gruesomely die right before my very eyes. RUNCHEL YOU COULD CHOKE!!111122!@"

*Runchel is the name she invented for her very favorite dollbaby.

Anyway. I don't know how to fix this situation. I don't know how to find a happy medium. As it is with so many other things in my life.

How do you ever let your kid gnaw on a raw carrot? How do you ever give them a whole apple without slicing it tissue-thin? How do you let them eat the shit out of a hotdog without dicing it into microscopic pieces? Godsakes how do you let them eat innocuous things like cereal and not tell them, "Fucking quit fucking laughing with your baby sister right fucking now, you'll both fucking DIE!!"

Above all else, how do you let them eat OMG whole grapes?! When is the day you decide, "OK, now my child is ready to shovel perfectly sized choking hazards down her gullet"?

When I was 19, I choked on a bite of salad. CHOKED-choked, not just sort of got it halfway down the wrong pipe. I was with a friend and I was just about to laugh, and I inhaled, and *thwap* a piece of lettuce completely sealed off my airway. With an audible thunk. I stood up, flailing, unable to even cough. Eventually I managed to push out the last remaining air I had in my lungs and barely dislodge the lettuce, enough to gasp and wheeze and let air whistle & screech through my windpipe. I coughed and coughed for like an hour, trying to fix things. Through the grace of God I am here to tell you this tale.

Yesterday I choked on a minuscule piece of ground beef. A crumb, really. Like, choked quite badly. Thought, "What if I sit here and die right in front of my two children because I can't get any air in or out?" Finally managed to get my lungs to cooperate and un-seize so I could cough.

So I know that choking can happen at any age, with any food. It's a lifelong hazard. But I am just terrified it will happen to my kids.

How do you get over something like this? Or, how do you just accept the fact that you are creating mini-paranoiacs?


  1. choking is such a crazy thing. i mean, we can't stop eating and yet, eating is the cause of potential choking situations. and you can't go through your whole life eating only things smaller than peas. that's why we have teeth.
    when i was about 12, i had just taken a first aid/cpr course and i was babysitting my baby sister. she was one and she choked on a piece of dried apricot and i had to put those first aid course skills to work. flipped that baby over and did the upside down, wrist to chest thing that i'd so recently learned and saved my little sister. scary!

    1. That's crazy. Scary, but with such a good outcome. My husband also saved his sister with the Heimich once when she inhaled a jawbreaker. I've had to flip Maya a few times too. Scary shit.

  2. Choking is totes scary. When I was a teen, we were having dinner over at my grandma's house & she (Grandma, the 60 year old matriarch of our gigundo family) choked on a piece of steak that she hadn't chewed (chewn?) up enough. My uncle did the hiemlich & then they rushed her off to the hospital while I stayed there & babysat my younger cousins. Crazy scary.

    Granted, she recovered fully & went on to live to be 92, but still. Scary crap.

    I myself once choked on half a mozzarella stick...because the cheese was crazy-stringy and the part I had tried to swallow was STILL ATTACHED to the piece that was in my hand. (I survived...obvs.)

    But yeah...I can totally understand this phobia. I may only feed my kids mashed potatoes. Forever. But I mean...who doesn't LOVE mashed potatoes? They'll be fine. :D

    1. Oh my God I know just what you mean about choking on a stringy moz stick. I've done the same thing. That is SO scary.

      Brb, mashing some potatoes.

  3. I may not be able to fully understand your germ phobia, but I completely empathize with your fear of your kids choking. I will buy grapes at the store, trying to convince myself that TODAY I will just bite the bullet and give them to Caius in his lunch. Then they rot in the fridge, uneaten.

    I don't have the solution, babe. :(

    1. Ugh. Same here. The other day I thought, "Other moms give their toddlers Goldfish crackers, maybe Naomi can have some. They're little and easy to eat, right?" I gave her one and promptly freaked out because, no, they are not small enough and easy enough to eat. I tried breaking one into bits, then just realized, fuck it, this is a scary food to me and I'm not giving her any. Not yet.

    2. these "I almost choked/I choked/I saw the light" stories are killing me...however, I must share the only time I have ever choked was on pizza cheese. damn you mozzarella. you are causing problems all over the world. so now i watch A when we eat pizza, especially if it is not cut up and I am letting her bite it.

  4. I don't know how I deal..I just kinda be prepared and take the necessary precautions. Evangeline has always been a good eater, skipping basically right past purees into bite size pieces of foods. She was eating tiny cubes of roast beef at 8 months old. I have to have first aid always up to date for my job so I always make sure I am case..but then I also cut food into appropriate sizes (cut grapes in half, same with hotdogs) but that being said..there is no way to prevent it completely, just tell her to chew well and be careful.
    Life is scary like that, nothing we can do but hope for the best. My cousin got killed by a drunk driver at 14 years old walking on her own street, two houses down...I supposed life has just taught me we can go crazy trying to remove all possible death inducing variables...cause it's never enough, so just live for today and hope to God nothing horrible happens to our little ones. :(

    1. You're right, of course. It's best to be prepared but just try to relax about things that are out of your control. Still, it's what I do best, stressing out over unnecessary crap! :)

  5. get two comments from me today (count yo blessins')

    I will never forget my mommy fail about the pediatrician for her 18 mo check, he said, "she can start having hot dogs." I was like, "huh? she has been eating hot-dogs for like 6 mos." He kind of looked at me like, don't you ever read any parenting books??? I was all, "she does great, I do cut them up. I am not just stuffing them down her throat whole. blah blah blah, don't call social services."

    as far as carrots go, she still does not like to swallow them. just chew them into tiny shreds, like a baby beaver, and then spit them into her hand/on the floor/on the table/onto my shoulder. i think they are hard to swallow. the only thing thing she has ever chocked on is apples. I swear they are hard to chew up because they chunk, they don't mash. I think she does way better if i give her a whole apple and she takes little bites. If I give her a tiny slice, she shoves a whole bunch into her mouth. SHe has been eating whole grapes for a while. Mostly b/c seh refuses to eat them if they are cut.

    That's all I got. I would agree with the other peep who said be prepared but don't worry about the things that are out of your control. But, I am pretty sure that is moot.


    ps>how about you don't wait so long to between posts? it makes it difficult to stalk you.

    1. You never know what kids are going to choke on. Maya had a severe choke a few months back, but it was on diced avocado. AVOCADO. Like, mushy mashy soft squishy avocado. But *thwap* it sealed off her windpipe for a minute. You never know. Could be apples that they choke on, but could be, like Jello.

      PS: Still waiting for my blogging JoJo mojo to come back, yo.

    2. Just push will come back! I keep a list on my phone whenever I think of something to write about.
      I am sorry you have all the worries. I know it makes for a very stressful life at times.

      No worries. I will continue to relentlessly stalk your page.