So today, for the first time - and what I am sure will not be my last - I stuck my finger into my daughter's mouth and scooped out a piece of hot dog while she sat there kind of, sort of, choking.
What? What? Yes. That's what I said.
We were at Dairy Queen for lunch, after a nice swimming lesson, and she took her first bite of her lunch and that was that. We could tell that she was stuck. It was stuck. She couldn't cough. She was scrunching up her little face and visibly stressed. She did not turn blue (thank G-d), she was not coughing or making any noise, and she basically scared the sh!t out of me.
I put my arm around her and said, 'You're okay.' And in an instant I had my fingers in her mouth. I'm not even sure what happened, but by the time I had my finger in there and scraped the back of her throat the piece of *meat* was already out of the way. She started crying. I pulled the hot dog out of her mouth and just watched as she settled down.
She cried some more, and proceeded to hug me, wiping ketchup from her mouth onto my shirt shoulder. I teased her about it, and made her laugh. She cried some more and started spitting a little bit. A new found fascination with spitting is one we're addressing on and off these days. Especially with swimming lessons, she's learned to spit the water out if it gets into her mouth, so she shoves it out with her tongue, has her mouth lay a certain way, etc. and so here she was, doing this, and we're trying to settle her down, and stop the spitting and at the same time, I take a moment and look at my hands, which are shaking.
My eyes filled up with tears, but at this point my daughter has moved on to my grilled chicken wrap and her french fries. She proceeded to make her way through my lunch, and then back to her hot dog. Yes. I let her eat it. She let me cut it, and "make it in half," and we moved ahead.
My husband looked at me and said, 'Don't.' And so I didn't. I let a few tears slide and thought to myself, well, there goes that hurdle.
And tonight, as I watched her show her moves to my in-laws, and prance around in half her PJs as she asked her Papa to kiss her belly, I thought to myself, Thank You, G-d. Thank you so much for whatever it was that led me to stick my fingers in her mouth, to whatever it was that pushed it back (reflex or panic or an attempt at coughing or whatever) out of her throat instead of down further, and thank you to my child, for reminding me how so many moments are so precious and despite my own insanity and thought process in the day-to-day thank you for my little girl.