What a g-o-r-jus day today! All sunshiney and spring-like. The kind of day that you drive around with the windows down and the music blaring. The kind of day where after a Zumba class, one might decide on a refreshing iced coffee. Don't mind if I do!
I pull into the McDonald's drive-thru because:
A) The Starbuck's doesn't have a drive-thru
2) I'd rather pay $2 for a 4-gallon iced coffee than $20 for a 4-ounce iced cafe
So, I order my "large, don't give me that sugar-free french vanilla crap I'll take hazelnut," and the talking box says:
"That'll be $2.12, please pull around to the first window."
Ha! twelve cents.....that brings back a funny memory. The kind of funny memory that is only funny long after the event actually took place. So here it is....my first "Flashback Friday."
One late summer morning in 2001, I suddenly woke to the sounds of a child gasping, coughing, crying....choking??? I sprung out of bed (I could spring back then) and ran to Deuce's room - the source of the frightening sounds.
Me: Deuce?!? You okay? What's a matter? You okay?
Deuce: (wheezy cough, tired crying) Oooowww.
At this point, he's doing a Tom Hanks in "Big" impression. You know the one. Where he's just eaten some grown-up hors d'oeuvres and has to spit it out .
Me: Did you swallow something? *
Deuce: (gasping) Yeah. (cough, hack, cough)
Me: What? What did you swallow?!?
Me: Money?? What money?
Deuce: (whine, cry) Big money.
Me: Big money? Where did you get big money? And why are you holding out on Big Mama?
Me: Okay, okay. You're okay. Can you breathe?
(I do a quick survey and realize he's still just pinkish red, not suffocating blue, so I'm losing my panic. Now I'm more puzzled).
Me: What kind of big money, sweetie? You mean like a quarter? A 50-cent piece? Or big like value and less like size? Like a Susan B. Anthony, perhaps? Was it a gold-foiled chocolate coin?!? Cause that makes more sense. The smell of chocolate induces sleep-eating for me, too. It could totally run in the family.
This is where I lose the 2 1/2 year old. I show him all sorts of coins, but nothing jogs his memory. Nor can he tell me where he found "big money" at 6:30 in the morning.
Inner dialogue: Hmmmmm....I suppose I better call the doctor about this, seeing how this is just my third year being a parent and I still really have no idea what the hell I'm doing.
Lady: Hello, Dr. Stupidparents' office.
Me: Hi, I think my son swallowed big money at 6:30 this morning.....
10:30am: I'm at Dr. Stupidparents' office telling him how things went down. Of course, to be on the safe side, he suggests a chest x-ray. Can't have big money rattling around in a 2-year olds lungs. How would we ever get him through a metal detector at the airport. Oh! And there's that whole, "he could eventually die, thing."
11:30am: We're in the ER, waiting for an x-ray. Our "take a number" ticket falls somewhere between the guy bleeding through a kitchen towel and a young kid on crutches. Finally, we're in...x-rays are done...and shortly thereafter, a super-fine ER doctor comes in to break the news to me.
George Clooney: There's nothing there.
Me: There's nothing there, like, his lungs are clear, but the coins are in his stomach?
George: No, there's nothing metal anywhere. Nothing foreign anywhere. He didn't swallow anything.
Me: So he's not going to die.
George: Not today.
Me: I'm gonna kill him.
You might think that that's the end of the story. But I haven't gotten to the twelve cents yet. Keep reading....
A couple of months after this first incident, Deuce did, indeed, swallow money. It was confirmed by someone around him at the time. Luckily, it was more of a tattletale moment than a medical emergency.
Me: Why did you swallow money?
Deuce: I didn't mean to. I had it in my mouth.
Me: Get a wallet! What kind of money?
Deuce: A quarter.
Me: A QUARTER?!?
Lady: Hello, Dr. Stupidparents' office.
Me: I think my son swallowed a quarter.
Later that day.....
Me: Do we need to do an x-ray again? Is it safe? What if he starts glowing in the dark?
Dr. Stupidparents: If you feel it's necessary, he can safely have another x-ray. I've listened to his lungs, and everything seems okay. I suspect the quarter will be coming out the other end within a day or two and he will be fine.
Me: Do I need to look for it? To make sure?
Dr. Stupidparents: If you want confirmation, that's up to you. I would consider that cruel and unusual punishment. Although, a quarter in the diaper might be pretty obvious.
Two days later, Big Daddy is changing Deuce's diaper.
Big Daddy: Mommy! Come look.
Me: What? Did you find the prize in the Cracker Jack box? Seriously, did you find the quarter?
I hold my breath and survey the specimen.
What the - ?!?
A DIME AND TWO PENNIES!
Me: Either he has no idea what a quarter is, or this miser is making change.
Big Daddy: Do they still have circus sideshows?
And that, my friends, is the story of the twelve cents.
* the power of suggestive thinking