For some reason Caedmon has choked on food three times this past week. Choking has to be one of my greatest fears...I even had a nightmare once that my nephew was choking and I was the only one there to try to save him. Well, I'm not sure what happens to me in the moment of crisis, but I have surprised myself with my ability to act swiftly and calmly until the choking episode is over. I think it's part of the whole "mothers' intuition" package that gets mailed to you when you have a child.
For instance, last night as we were finishing up dinner, Andy and I looked over at Caedmon and realized that he was choking. We both immediately jumped up, but our responses were quite different. Andy is standing behind him trying to somehow do the Heimlich with Caedmon still strapped in his booster seat. At the same time, I was getting Caedmon out of his booster seat, turned him face down across my arm and hit his back a couple times until he was able to throw up. After the incident, Andy was literally shaking. This is my husband who can respond with swift decisiveness and remain uncannily composed in the midst of an organizational crisis. In stressful situations that would cause me to lose my sanity, Andy always seems to know the wisest and most logical next step. But in this split second crisis involving a 28 pound little boy, he was at a loss. I felt quite good about myself knowing that I was so needed and useful!
Then, tonight, Caedmon was chewing up a chip and started to choke. We never let Caedmon in the living room with food (especially since we're at my parents' house!), but he had just walked in the living room from the kitchen and was standing right by their very nice, very cream-colored ottoman. I could tell Caedmon was about to throw up (right on my parents' very nice, very cream-colored ottoman) so I dove across the room and put my hands under Caedmon's mouth just in time to get a handful of vomit! I'd like to point out that not a drop got on the ottoman! Andy, who had been sitting in the chair beside Caedmon the whole time, just looked at me as if to say, "What should I do? What should I do?" As I washed my hands Andy said to my, "You could be a Major League outfielder. That was a great catch!"
I'm not sure exactly when that transition takes place. How can a woman go from being freaked out and grossed out by puke all her life to voluntarily catching it in her hands? Well, I think it all goes back to a statement that is becoming more and more common around our house: Kids change everything!