It was bound to happen. A baby learning to eat solids with only two teeth will most likely choke on something.
But when it happened today; when in a split second he went from happily munching away to a look of panic, it didn’t matter that it was bound it happen. It was happening.
We were with friends at the local coffee shop and it happened in the quarter of a second it took for me to turn my head and sip my drink. When I realized he was choking, I went into instant overdrive and while I always hoped to stay calm in this situation, I was downright panicked.
I instinctively did exactly what you’re NOT supposed to do and shoved my finger in his mouth to dig out the piece of food. With my other hand I was unbuckling the straps of the high chair to yank him out and when I did, I started banging on his back. I could hear the table of old ladies behind me in a twitter, but it seemed like a dull buzz rather than words.
Just as quickly as it began, it was over; the offending food now a mushy blob on his chin. As I covered him in kisses, he shook me off in favor of the bag of toys next to me. I’m fine, Mama. I’m fine.
It wasn’t until later at home as I read over the pamphlet describing the correct way to help a choking infant (hint: don’t shove the food down their throat) that the tears came. The reality of what could have been.
There will be worse moments to face, I know. Bigger scares, greater fears. This was the first of many. And I wish was the last one we have to face.
Being a parent means putting your heart on the line every single day for the life you created. It’s a heart breaking thing, really.
He may have been the one who choked, but I am the one left all choked up.