Checking for Quarters…and Staples

Our youngest ate a staple yesterday.
It reminded me of words I jotted down years ago when our big kids were still little kids and our other little Littles hadn’t joined us yet.
Because yesterday–

Our youngest ate a staple.

Thankfully–and I do mean that–
Thankfully she managed to chew it hard enough that it was fully impaled in the roof of her mouth.
Because the alternative of praying it through her little digestive system actually does sound worse.
But it still broke my heart to pin her down, as she screamed in pain, while I tried to pry it out of her bleeding gums.

She also chewed part of a tube of chapstick, sprinkled beta fish food pellets throughout the carpet, and fed our dog her taquitos at dinner before I noticed what she was doing.

She’s completely fine.
She actually better than fine.
And yes– she’s monitored (quite literally–in fact).
But, she’s fast, and creative, and she’s a problem solver.
All attributes with great potential…
When she’s twenty instead of almost-two.

Yesterday’s escapades took me back to so many mama-memories…
And yesterday, I was just thankful to no longer be:

Spiderman webbing a bad spider & viking.

Checking for quarters…

I just finished filling out a medical release form….

I had to write:

May still have a quarter in him. I checked–
(a very nice way of putting that–for those of you who know what they ask you to do when your child eats a coin)
for over a month, but never found it, so please make sure to x-ray him before giving him a MRI or CT-Scan because he can’t have one if the quarter is still in him.

Why…or WHY…do they do things like that???

At what point does it sound like a good idea to put dried pinto beans or tiny Legos up your nose?

Do they really think I will be pleased–
That their rainbow, drawn in the middle of the family room carpet, looks “just like the one in the book”?
Or that they used the liquid dishwashing soap toclean the carpet” for me?

And how do you recover from calling 911 before you realize that it’s just red nailpolish smeared across the bedspread and throughout your toddler’s hair?
What do you say when you see the same look of panic in the young police officer’s eyes before the smell of varnish brings relief?

How do you stop your heart from pounding when the thud on the tile entry turns out to be a pile-o-kids, who’ve emptied out their laundry baskets and climbed inside to take wild rides down your very steep staircase?

And there’s just not much you can do, when your toddler walks up with half a worm and you realize she’s chewing the other half…

Or when you are cleaning and pull up the floor vent and find it crammed full of empty candy wrappers…

Or when you discover your sleeping newborn decorated in Vaseline…

Or when you see something brown on the carpet and you realize that your toddler has “changed” your baby’s diaper….

Or when your dog’s breath smells “minty fresh” and you decide it’s probably best that everyone gets a new tooth brush…

But there is a point in the journey of being a mama when it actually (kind of) makes sense that “the bathrooms were all full” so using a soldier’s helmet as a chamber pot was the “only thing” he could do.

And eventually you get past (SO far past) trying to impress other people…that when you hear your pastor’s wife came over to clean your house because her daughter was babysitting and your boys used teen-mascara to decorate their room…you’re just thankful you had carpet cleaner.

You start to understand them and believe that the 12 inches missing from their sister’s hair really was “to help her get the gum out”….

And when you find your son’s decomposing-worm-collection in the seat-back-fabric-pocket of your mini van and you realize that he’s been collecting daily worms in there for the last month…you groan outwardly, but inwardly you know you’re thankful for your bug-loving, rock-collecting, worm-stashing little guy.

You LOVE how they “hide” under their dinner napkins when their daddy gets home from work….

And how they yell “chase me” and dart away in screams….

And how they plead for “just one more story” night after night…

And how they actually do stop and pray for the “sick guy” they pass in the hospital…

And how they tell you things like when they grow up they’re going to be “a vet during the day and a circus clown at night”…

And that “you & Dad are my best friend”…

And when they say….”even way down under my covers Jesus can still see me”…

And “God is real, but Superman isn’t, but even if Superman was real, God would totally be stronger”….

But there is nothing….nothing….nothing…like the day you get your first real note from your child.
Not one you told them to make…
Or one you made for them and had them sign….

But one that they planned and cut and pasted and drew all out of love….
That they hid and brought to you, giggling from the joy of the surprise…

Mine said:
 “I luv mom”
And it meant the world….

I will praise Him because they are fearfully and wonderfully made…



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  1. How sweet! I laughed and snorted during some of those moments – I can safely say (at this moment) that my girls haven’t made those memories for me! {yet!!}

  2. Ah yes. Vaseline in the hair. We had a baby with a head COATED with it. After repeated washings of a mad and squirming baby, we found cornstarch does the trick. LOL

    Love the outlook. I’m still struggling through not losing it when they make their little (or semi-little-more-like-big) messes.

  3. Kari–I know…I’m with ya…
    Lydi’s new trick, when she can see that I’m less-than-pleased is to say:

    “You good girl Mama…you good girl…”


  4. You write so beautifully. I laughed and cried, and then remembered. Thank you for sharing so many wonderful memories.

  5. Ahahahaha!!! Wow, did all of those things really happen? So funny…now…and also because they didn’t happen to me. :)

  6. Ha…ha…Elizabeth…just you wait! A lot of the escapades began when we added #3 :)

  7. FUN FUN FUN post!
    At 2, Saige swallowed penny when she was supposed to be napping. I still get a knot in my stomach when I think of what could’ve happened. I wouldn’t have known because I would have assumed she was sleeping. Ugh.
    And I agree with your comment above, #3 adds a WHOLE NEW element that you can’t prepare for! ;)

  8. Elizabeth–I forgot to answer…yes–unfortunately this is all US! :)

    Cheryl–I know you can appreciate. And I’m sure you did the “checking” too…such a fun process.

  9. Ok so I read this earlier today and I just had to stop back and say that “C is for cookie” has been in my head all day :-)
    Anywa – someday we will miss these messes! I’m glad you keep your sense of humor about it – you seriously had me cracked up!

  10. Oh sweet Jessica…you’re clearly my kind of girl :)

  11. Oh man, motherhood should come with a medical degree, a counselling session, and a strong cup of coffee, don’t you think? So glad to hear she was ok after it all. hope you were too!


  12. This is a very sweet post. It isn’t until you have kids that you realize all these things really can and do happen-sometimes in one day :) And the picture of your little girl is one of the sweetest I have seen-so cute! Glad she is OK.

  13. Okay, it’s official. I don’t have it nearly as bad as you do! :) You’ve got some pretty “busy” kids, Kara. So funny. :)

  14. This post was so cute. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts and it brought back some memories of my own. Also, I have experiences with grandchildren that have been exciting too.
    Thanks for the memories and blessings to you!

  15. She chewed it enough that it was stuck in the roof of her mouth. O. M. Goodness. I can’t imagine!

    And your description of removing it made me remember when my daughter stuffed Playdoh up her nose and my husband held her down while I tried to pull it out with tweezers. One might have thought I was pulling a staple of our her nose instead of a wad of Playdoh.

  16. Bless your heart!!!! I felt like laughing and crying for you at the same time! :) Today, my youngest made a big hole in the wall — with his HEAD!!!! Mothering is certainly not for the faint at heart! :)

    Visiting from the “Encouragement is Contagious!” linky party on my blog! :) I would love for you to link up again next time! :)


  17. OH.MY.WORD. Hugs, just, hugs. :) Love you, friend. Praying for you and would SO take you out for an iced coffee if we were closer…or would offer to give you an afternoon out by yourself ( I would take L for you and would hide all my staples!! ha, ha)

  18. =) Not for the faint of heart. Keep your chin up.=)


  1. [...] But– We’re in a tricky parenting stage right now with one of our kiddos. And it means we need to really be here. And thankfully, We’ve walked this road before with other children, So- It’s not completely new territory. [...]

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