…it is a foolish thing well done.
-Samuel Johnson (1773)
Shannon e-mailed me the other day, “There’s a show on tonight called, ‘Your Kid Ate What?’ It’s about weird things that kids have swallowed, and I had to laugh. You could
have put me on it 19 years ago!”
She was seldom sick growing up; we would go to the doctor mostly for well checkups and routine inoculations. Every so often she’d have an ear infection or some such minor thing. She never got the chicken pox, even after being exposed to it numerous times (finally, she got the shot for it). And she never even threw up on me until she reached middle school. Thank goodness for that, because I don’t handle throw up very well!
After her initial pediatrician retired, we switched to a different clinic and had her records transferred. The new doctor took a look at her record and said, “Wow!” I said, “Wow, what?” She said, “Shannon hasn’t had a sick visit in over 12 years!”
But there was one time I had to call Dr. Ragan early one evening. Shannon was 4 years old and she had just swallowed the grog ladle. The WHAT? Yes, you read correctly. The grog ladle, otherwise known as “the golden spoon”.
It was my birthday, and Shannon and her friend JD were upstairs playing with her Playmobil pirate ship, an elaborately detailed hard plastic ship outfitted with stumpy little pirates and all their regalia. Joel had spent hours rigging the sails that Christmas Eve (oh wait, I mean SANTA), and it was a big hit on Christmas morning with a wee little girl who loved Peter Pan and pirates.
Shannon was pretending to sip grog from “the golden spoon” on that memorable day, and as she slurped, down the hatch went the spoon! As Joel and I were getting dressed to go out for dinner, we heard the thumps of frantic feet pounding down the stairs. Both came in with wide, frightened eyes, and the spokesman, JD said, “Shannon swallowed the golden spoon!” They both looked so worried, which made me anxious because I wasn’t sure what we were dealing with here… but of course, I had to remain calm so as not to escalate the situation into hysteria and/or tears.
Joel asked what the golden spoon was, and after they described it, he found the box which had a picture of all the parts. We determined that this ladle was maybe an inch long at best, very narrow with rounded edges. I called Dr. Ragan, thinking we were in for a trip to an emergency room for x-rays or worse. Happy birthday to me!
When he called back, I explained the situation to him. He asked, “Can she swallow?” Yes. “Can she breathe?” Yes. “Well,” he said, “Just go on out and have fun, and look for it in about 24 hours!” I loved Dr. Ragan; he was always very pragmatic.
So off we went to dinner. Shannon was rather quiet in the back seat, and she didn’t eat much. The next day, sure enough, we looked carefully at her “bm” and there was the golden spoon! Except that it wasn’t so golden anymore…
You know, at the vet’s office, there are all sorts of odd items on display that have been surgically removed from various creatures over the years, things like golf balls, sewing needles, fishing lures and assorted buttons. Perhaps we could have kept the golden spoon as a souvenir of this experience, but we opted to wave goodbye to it instead!
Shannon ran next door shouting to JD’s mom, “Mrs. Collado! Mrs. Collado! The golden spoon has arrived!” Kathy and I got a big laugh at Shannon’s exclamation that day, and now, 19 years later, we still laugh about it.
I didn’t watch the show that Shannon mentioned above, so I have no idea what all the other kids swallowed. But something tells me that swallowing “the golden spoon” is unique only to Shannon, and that we will be telling the story about it for years to come.
Note: Pewperson will return on Friday, Oct. 9