Today was one of those very rare productive days. I was feeling great about having accomplished everything that needed to be done. I’d even had time to prepare a little afternoon craft session for my almost 3 year-old twin daughters. Fueled with an “I can do it all” super-mom attitude, I fluttered around giving them all sorts of creative items like paints, plasticine (modeling dough), feathers, glitter… you name it. Create! I told them. I should have worn a flowing scarf for drama.
Within about 5 minutes one of my daughters had managed to come up with the most creative idea of all, taking a small ball of blue plasticine and putting inside of her nose. “Look Mommy” she said smiling and pointing to it in her nose. I started to panic, ran over and told her (rather loudly) not to move, I would get it out. At this point she thought it would be funny to shove it way up her nose so far that I couldn’t see it anymore.
Then, she started crying, and my other daughter joined in shrieking and then, complete chaos erupted. Where was that super-mom / art teacher now?
On the recommendation of the Dr.’s office and the provincial nurse health line, I decided to take her to the Children’s Hospital. Five hours later, they couldn’t find it and told us to come back the next day to see a specialist. Back the next day, my poor little thing endured a long wire-like camera scope up both of her nostrils. But, it wasn’t there, the little blue ball must have passed into her throat and she swallowed it, they told me. My daughter was fine, she was in good spirits, especially since she got a special treat for all of her troubles.
Relieved but more exhausted and frustrated, I drove home from the hospital thinking over the events of the past two days. Why did it seem like every time I started feeling like I was in control of things, something had to go wrong for the universe to prove that I wasn’t. So, I started beating myself up for not handling the situation correctly, what if I hadn’t panicked and just stayed calm like I was supposed to do? Should I ban all play-doh from our house forever?
After about an hour in traffic, I came to some sort of acceptance, or maybe I was just too tired to think about it anymore, who knows. Stuff just happens. We make mistakes, and we do our best in the moment. Parenting doesn’t come with a manual, though sometimes I really wish it did. What it does come with is a whole lot of funny stories that we can share, even if they are only funny to us in hindsight.