Apparently there’s no end to the lessons parents must learn. Really, before Little Friend came into my life, I felt like a mostly responsible, reasonable, competent, well-rounded human being. I had the world mostly figured out. Or so I thought.
Then Little Friend pooped a penny.
My first thought as I looked at that little poop encrusted offering was to muse, “Huh. Look what she dropped down her diaper.” Then the part of my brain that was once-upon-a-time entrusted as the responsible, reasonable, competent, well-rounded component spoke up. “Pennies don’t drop into diapers. Pennies drop into digestive systems.”
So my brain flashed backward in a speedy rewind to all the things I didn’t worry about over the past few days: a penny lodging in her windpipe. A penny rotting in her gut. A penny causing a digestive blockage found much too late. A penny occasioning x-rays and exploratory surgeries. A penny causing unspeakable toddler hemorrhoids. Who knew worry could be retrograde?!
I decided to investigate the fecal mystery a little more closely while throwing the extra-brown penny in the diaper bin.
“Little Friend,” I queried as innocently as possible. “Did you put a penny in your mouth?”
“Did you put a penny in your mouth and swallow?”
“Yes,” accompanied by that sly smile.
“When did you do that?” I prodded.
“When the penny turned into food,” came the answer. More sly smiling.
I launched into the requisite lecture about not putting small things in your mouth as I hurriedly stuffed all pennies laying out in the open into the relative safety of the piggy bank’s gut. Because you never know when one of those other copper discs will take it upon itself to turn into food.
I can’t say that Little Friend learned a lesson from all of this. I don’t think she even had to do a penny’s worth of pushing to get the darn thing out. But I’ll tell you what I learned: Sometimes as a parent, there are things you’d rather not know about.
At least not until after the fact.
By the way, for obvious reasons, I won’t be posting pictures with today’s post. I’ll spare you those gory details, at least.