While trying to wrap up my workday yesterday, Brinn called and frantically recounted a horrifying experience. Ian was choking on a piece of tennis ball! After my initial freak out, I realized that I heard a very healthy set of lungs screaming along with Brinn. After pointing this out to Brinn (you know, that screaming = breathing), he still wasn’t coming back down to planet Earth. Granted, he was the one holding the screaming child (particularly the child who rarely cries or screams) and had watched the tennis ball fragment disappear as he grabbed futilely for it. Reasoning with the husband was obviously out of the question. He only found solace when I agreed to call the pediatrician. Dr. Batson’s nurse assured me that unless he has having trouble breathing, he would be just fine. Brinn refused to believe me, however, and had to call her himself. apparently pediatric nurses don’t carry enough credibility as far as procedure for infants consuming tennis ball fragments, so Brinn also called his sister, a doctor in Chattanooga. She finally managed to persuade him that it wasn’t a big enough piece to hurt him, and that if he swallowed it, his airways are clear. So did any of this really get through to Brinn? Of course not. He still sat up over half the night, kept Ian up half the night, and kept me up quite a bit to constantly check Ian’s breathing and color.
Now, let me add some context to this tale. Brinn cares deeply about everything he holds dear. Four summers ago, Mogwai choked on a stick. Brinn scooped him up, ran to the car, screamed at me to come on (without letting me lock the house) and had me calling the vet from the road. When one vet told us to wait until he came back in an hour, Brinn flew to the Interstate to drive all the way to Crossville to see my horses’ vet. Brinn refuses to ever visit the unavailable vet again. This is how Brinn reacted to his 3 month old puppy’s suffering. Now we are a bit indulgent of our fur-babies, BUT that’s nothing compared with how much Brinn cares for his little boy.
More context: Ian is congested with a cold right now. He was having trouble breathing before the tennis ball entered into the picture. Ian has also cried a lot the last few days because his little throat hurts. I know exactly how he feels. Well, almost exactly. I have the same cold, but I can blow my own nose so I don’t have to endure the dreaded snot sucking bulb. Oh, how he hates this bulb! Ian cried quite a bit last night, and today. Brinn’s convinced it’s due to the tennis ball (which has passed, by the way).
Brinn’s solution: the poor puppies aren’t allowed to bring their toys inside any longer. I feel like I’ve truly become a southern woman today; every time I think of Brinn I want to say, “Bless Him.” But he’s beating himself up for an accident. Brinn gets down on hands and knees at least once a day to try to see the world from Ian’s perspective so he can identify potential hazards before Ian does. Brinn’s convinced he’s a bad parent for letting this one thing slip through his radar, so tennis balls have become a strictly outside toy in the Kiser home. I haven’t broken the news to Mogwai yet.
My poor little boy is such a tough trooper. He tries hard to not cry, and he’ll even ask to go play in the floor. But then I’ll feel tiny hands using my jean’s to pull himself up, then a little tug on my shirt tail. Looking down at those big blue eyes just about kills me. It doesn’t matter what I’m holding; I have to drop everything to make him first priority. This has caused dinner preparation to drag by extremely slowly.
See how hard he tries to be tough and cheerful despite his congestion!