Thursday mornings in our household are busier than a department store Santa in December. We start by taking Fireman to school around 8:45am and running home to get B down for a nap around 9am. I start the laundry, wash the dishes from breakfast, and if I’m lucky I sneak in a shower. I try to putz around on the computer sneaking a peek at some of my favorite blogs and tweet a few “What up, partay people!” shouts.
Around 10:30am I wake B up from his nap, change his diaper, put on his shoes, his coat, my shoes, my coat and throw him in the stroller. We run about a three quarters of a mile down to Gymboree and enjoy forty five minutes of high voiced teachers and baby songs that sear your brain. While there we visit with some of our close friends, Fireman’s best friend’s brother and mom. Then as soon as we say good-bye to Gymbo the Clown we pack up with our friends and run the three quarters of the mile back home with two half full double strollers so we can big brothers from preschool “on time”.
Usually we have lunch with our friends and this Thursday was no different. We went to a local pub/tavern and sat ourselves down for a good and chaotic lunch. The older boys got cheeseburgers as they sit and giggle as they drove their cars around the table. The babies were happy at the change of scenery and the antics of their crazy brothers while us moms tried to talk between parenting our kids about what we each had going on in our lives.
Yes, this Thursday lunch was no different than any other. That is, until Fireman got silent mid laugh and looked straight at me with panic flashing in his beautiful brown eyes.
“Fireman, are you ok??”
He made no noise and stared at me in horror. I was not clear what happened next or how exactly I leaped over the table, but suddenly Mommy Instinct took over and I knew my baby was choking.
I grabbed him and start the Heimlich Maneuver on him.
One, two, three, four pulses I pulled trying to get air to dislodge the cheeseburger caught in his throat.
“Fireman, are you ok? Baby? Are you ok??”
He shook his head and pointed to his mouth. I tried to listen for air, but nothing was there. I began to administer the Hemlich again.
One, I looked up to see everyone staring. My friend in disbelief, the waiter unsure of what to do. Two, how long will it take for the ambulance to come if I can’t get it out?? Three, I looked up and try to plead for help, but I’m too panicked to do anything except what I’m already doing. Four, how long can a person go without air?? I’m sorry I yelled at you this morning, Fireman I thought as I tried to help him breathe.
“Fireman, are you ok?” He shook his head again.
I tried again and this time I plead “Help me!” as I was pulling on my son’s diaphragm. One, two, three…suddenly I heard air. I heard my friend say “I think it’s dislodged.” I heard the waiter agree. I stuck my finger in Fireman’s mouth and scooped out what has come up.
Fireman started crying. I held him as close to me as I could. I kissed him and asked if he was ok. He whimpered “That scared me.” Then, in that resilient way only children can, he turned to his friend and says “Where’s my car?”
I sat down panicked. My heart racing like a Ferrari at a Formula One race. I was and as my friend apologized for not realizing he was choking (How was she to know?? She had nothing to apologize about. She calmed me afterwards and that’s what a friend is for and what I needed most.) I realized that I somehow knew what to do in that situation. I knew that I could have lifted a car with the amount of adrenaline I had rushing through my veins.
Yes. Mommy Instincts are strong. A Mother’s Love even stronger. So much for a normal Thursday morning!
Everyone should know how to do the Heimlich Maneuver. I had learned years and years ago and just at the right time I remembered. Here’s a refresher course for all of you!