Friday, March 19, 2010

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: The Story of the Twelve Cents

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 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?!?

Deuce: Money.

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?

More crying

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.

Ring! Ring!

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.

Ring! Ring!

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 - ?!?


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