While there are no “walkers” living (or unliving may be a better term) in my home, I do have a “crawler.”
The “crawler” in my house is a small, female human, less than a year old, that constantly scuttles through our floors, looking for something to devour.
For the first seven months of her life, our little Joy Hallelujah was basically immobile, but she soon learned how to army crawl and can now make her way across the floor as fast as I can walk.
With the little one becoming mobile, we’ve had to make a concentrated effort to make sure nothing is in our floors. With three other kids, that can be a pretty difficult task.
We’ve gone through the house and found any toys that could be considered a choking hazard. Andrea does her best to keep the floor swept, but this little weasel is always finding some kind of foreign object to put in her mouth.
One morning this week, I heard Joy making a strange sound just after we awoke. She wasn’t choking, but it sounded like a smacking. I asked Andrea if she had seen Joy attempt to eat anything but she hadn’t. I stuck a finger in her mouth (trying to avoid her two sharp bottom teeth) and located a piece of plastic that she had tucked away in her jaw.
When I retrieved the plastic, it had the words “tear here” at the top of it. I think it came from a piece of string cheese. I looked at Andrea and said, “It’s like we have a goat for a daughter.”
Our other children have never been very bad about putting things in their mouths, so this is fairly new behavior for us.
Andrea said her brother attempted to swallow a marble and a piece of cement as an infant. He also later in his life dined on a large hunk of poke salad. With that information, I’ve tried to blame Joy’s attempting to eat anything on a faulty gene from her side of the family.
The crawler’s latest attempt at eating something out of the floor may be her last. A couple of nights ago, we had Chinese takeout, which included some delicious Mongolian beef. That particular dish is made with crushed red peppers. Somehow, one of the small peppers must have found its way to our den floor without us knowing it.
The next afternoon, I got a call at my office from Andrea. She said, “I thought we had an emergency situation on our hands.”
Andrea said Joy had been playing in the den floor and out of the blue starting screaming and pointing to her mouth. Joy screamed again and Andrea saw the red pepper on her tongue. By this time, Joy’s entire face was red and her eyes were really watering.
“I tried everything to give her some relief — water, bread, a popsicle — but nothing was working,” Andrea told me.
After a few moments, Joy settled down.
I’ve accidentally bit into one of those red peppers before, and those things are extremely hot. I felt really bad for my little golden child.
Hopefully, the crushed red pepper may make Joy think twice the next time she goes to put something in her mouth. She’s only 9 months old, so I doubt it. We’ll probably just have to continue to keep a close watch on her for a while. At this point, we’re constantly checking to make sure she doesn’t sneak something into her cheeks.
The Daily Mountain Eagle is continuing our food drive to benefit Backyard Blessings. We will accept food donations, as well as monetary donations, for the program.
For those interested in bringing food items, the group needs donations that are individual serving sizes and non-perishable. Typical food given by Backyard Blessings include microwavable soups or pastas, Beanee Weenees, juice boxes, fruit cups, raisins, individual serving cereal boxes, pudding cups, cheese crackers, instant oatmeal or grits, hot chocolate mix and cookies.
The Eagle will accept donations Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monetary donations may also be mailed to Backyard Blessings Food Drive, c/o Daily Mountain Eagle, P.O. Box 1469, Jasper, AL. Checks should be made out to Backyard Blessings. We will accept donations for the food drive beginning Monday and will continue until 5 p.m. on July 27.
The group will also accept donations at its second annual fundraiser concert on Saturday, July 28, which will feature music from a variety of bands, including the Kool Katz, Rick and Jilda Watson and Old Machines. The concert starts at 7 p.m. and will take place at the football field adjacent to the Sumiton Community Center.
James Phillips is Editor of the Daily Mountain Eagle. He can be reached at 205-221-2840 or firstname.lastname@example.org.