I wasn’t going to tell you about this because I’m so consumed with being labeled a bad mom, but then I thought what the hell, it’ll be cathartic. So here goes.
A few days ago the baby crawled down the hall and into our bedroom. I was doing some sort of chore, finishing up before I chased after her. She wasn’t in our room for more than half a minute. She hadn’t even made it to the hubby’s side table yet — her intended target. Just as she got one little mitt on the table, I snatched her up and we returned to the living room. How I failed to notice she had something in her mouth, I don’t know.
When Daddy got home, he asked what she was chewing on. Had I given her some puffs? Nope. I squeezed the sides of her cheeks, looking inside her tiny mouth. I saw something beige, like a rubber stopper. Freaking out, I put a hooked finger in her mouth and pulled out the culprit. She protested, wanting her prize back. When I saw what it was, I gagged. It was Daddy’s lost earplug! Ew! Ew! Ew!
This was mummy fail #1. Not only was my baby sucking on a disgusting, used earplug but she could’ve choked! I laughed in repulsion and shame.
The next day, baby cruised down the hall in her walker as I cleaned up her room. I heard her playing with the knobs on the small TV cabinet in our bedroom. I wasn’t worried as she was confined to the walker, and can barely reach across the tray attached to the front of it. I should have known better.
When I went to check on her, she had a small bag of screws in her hand, a huge smile on her face, and one screw on the tray in front of her.
Mummy fail #2.
It’s safe to say I freaked out again! But this time was worse because I had no idea if she had already ingested a piece of hardware. I grabbed everything from her, prompting another meltdown, and berated myself for being so stupid.
I know babies eat marbles and pennies and end up just fine. I counted the screws: 2 big pointy ones with washers, 3 small ones, and 1 tiny one with a little bolt around it. An even number would have made me feel better.
I knew that if she ate one, she’d pass it in a few days. So that left me with one thing to do: gross examinations of her poop. This is where my experience working in a veterinary clinic has paid off. Smooshing the contents of my daughter’s soiled diapers to make sure she didn’t ingest a piece of hardware is no problem at all. Scary thing is I’ve done worse.
Good news–no screw yet! And now I know to shut all the doors in the house when that little klepto is on the move!