Thursday, October 20, 2011

A (not so) funny thing happend on the way to parenting class...

Tonight, my son's school was holding a parent education night, and the speaker was actually giving a lecture on parenting.  (Sometimes these educations nights are more "see what your kid is doing in class, but tonight was actually parent education...)  Life has a funny way of taking something you think is super important and can make or break you, and showing you what actually is important.  I was so excited over the class and already thinking about how this guy would make a great parent out of me... when life decided to remind me what the number one job of a parent is...

#1 Responsibility of a Parent.... Keep your child alive
After all, alive kids are the happiest kind of kids.  So, if you keep your kids alive that has to be at least half of the battle. 

I ordered pizza tonight to get everyone fed, including my sister who was coming to watch the kids, before we had to rush out the door to our parenting class.  (Also, it did occur to me that maybe I wanted to learn how to be a parent before creating 2 miniature people of my own).  I gave the baby some ravioli, which he promptly ate before I even took a bite of my own food (baby crack, I swear).  So, I broke up a slice of cheese to hold him while I warmed up some veggies for him.  While I was cooking his veggies my sister said "Um, is he choking?!", and I turned and looked.  What I saw was so confusing because babies do not grab their neck with the "universal choking sign".  She said she saw him jerk his chin twice, and when I looked he was rolling his head and eyes funny, so I rushed over to him and already started ripping his highchair straps off of him when he turned purple and collapsed over on himself.  Then he let out the worst cry ever, so we had hope the food came loose, but then it was stuck again and he wasn't breathing or able to cry again.  I had him out of that chair so fast and had flipped him over on my arm, head down at an angle, and started the back thrusts you do for a choking infant.  He'd get bursts of air and cry and then nothing, and finally, they said he was spitting stuff on the floor, and I turned his head and saw the food.  He had shoved a ton of cheese pieces in his mouth and they formed a wedge together that blocked his airway.  I swiped that out, and another piece, and he was crying, a little weak at first, but then very loud (and also frightening).  That was one of the worst moments of my life, and I never care to experience anything like that again.  BUT  I did my #1 parent job, and thanks to my sister doing her #1 Aunt job, it was just in time before anything terrible happened.

That made me think, I think they should have a first aid for parents of young children course.  Perhaps that should come before "how to properly reward and punish your kid" because if something tragic happens to your kid, and you don't know how to help them, you may not have a kid to punish or reward.  If I didn't know what to do, it's very possible we would've had to call 911 and by the time the ambulance got to us it would be way too late.  Trust me, as a nurse, I've heard these stories.  They never end well.

So, sorry this isn't a funny post.  I tried to lighten it somewhat because that is how I deal with stress, sadness, and fear.  But, really this is an important reminder to be alert, and get some information on what to do in these situations.  These things happen in literally the blink of an eye, and choking, is silent.  A baby doesn't know to wave their arms at your, grab their throat, or get your attention.  You turn away for a moment to refill a drink, think they are happily eating their beloved cheese, and turn back to see something out of the "parents' worst nightmares" book.  Know what to do if you find yourself if one of those nightmares. 

Now, hug your kiddos close, and the next time they are getting on your nerves or are misbehaving... just be glad they are there, safe and sound.

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