Elaine could have died today.
Well, I suppose we all could die every day, but Elaine was closer to it today than on most days.
She put a small, flexible, clear square of plastic in her mouth. If I hadn't checked in on her when I did I might not have seen her funny face or heard her periodic gagging noises or seen the river of drool flooding down her chin... she might not be all that healthy right now.
The problem with having kids who crawl earlier than other kids is that they can put more things into their mouths. Things you don't necessarily see or notice until it's too late and they're grinning at you from across the room. And, at six months of age she's not accustomed to dealing with much else in her mouth than her fingers/toes, teething toys and a bottle. She hasn't yet learned how to move things around with her tongue, and using her actual hands to remove something from her mouth is a long way off.
So she found this practically invisible shred of plastic on the floor and decided to eat it. And then breathe it. Fortunately Superman is a trained first responder because I am embarrassed to report that my infant CPR training was mostly overwhelmed by my motherly instinct to yank open her jaw and dig my finger into her mouth even though I know you're not supposed to do that unless you can SEE something (or you could push it in deeper and cause an even more dangerous situation.) It's hard to SEE clear plastic, by the way.
I alerted Superman as I scooped up my gagging/coughing baby and tilted her forward slightly, hoping that gravity would help. Trying to look in her mouth was impossible. Superman hit her on the back a few times and then was able to feel and remove the plastic piece which was about an inch square.
Elaine coughed a few more times and then grinned and kicked as if we had just played a wonderful new game and she was ready for round two! Please, never again in your life, kid.
I vacuumed that floor less than a week ago and regularly scan it for possible hazards because we are moving, and sometimes things will fall out of passing boxes or Val will relocate items that haven't made it to their (child proof) home yet. I have no idea where the plastic came from.
Parenting. It's heart-stoppingly terrifying at times.