I suppose that there must come a time in every parents life when they look at their offspring and wonder not-so-secretly if they are intelligent enough to care for this young life until they leave the home (by DCFS or not). I’ve often mused that people who want to become parents should really take an IQ test prior to trying to make the babies.


(This coming from the person whose children BOTH had a deep and abiding love for Diet Coke and all of it’s battery acid goodness. Don’t hate the player, hate the game, people).

Well, my Moment of Truth (to borrow the phrase from that new lame TV show. Seriously, I had high hopes for the entertainment value of that show. Hopes that were immediately dashed.) came this Saturday morning, when Dave burst in, Alex in tow, interrupting my sleep and a fantastic dream in which I was sleeping on a bed of cake frosting AND EATING IT (my dreams are always bizarre as hell), and not-so-gently urged me awake.

“Alex swallowed a dime,” was the phrase The Daver used to nudge me awake.

“Mmmmm….pink frosting with sprinkles,” I replied, “Oooohhhh, how I love you.”

“Becky, wake up!” Dave pleaded, “Alex ate a dime.”

Well, if there is anything in the world that can rip me indelicately away from beautiful dreams of frosting mountains, that would probably be it.

Because I am non-alarmist AND a health care professional, I wasn’t too worried. I mean, I could have rushed him to the ER, had a full set of X-rays done, so the doctor could inform me that my son had ingested a dime, and that I would simply have to wait and make sure it passed. THEN, I would have gotten a lecture about proper childproofing, like my home was just riddled with loose change strewn about on the floor, and THEN he might tell me that I should probably remove the Lye and Rat Poison from it’s storage space on the kitchen floor, and THEN where will I be?

So, The Great Poop Watch of 2008 begins with a bang. I’ve threatened to make Dave stay home until the elusive dime is passed, rooting around in our son’s diaper like a dog, searching for gold (well, cadmium and nickel), as this did happen on HIS watch (which I remind him of approximately every 2.5 minutes), but I don’t think he’ll do it.

And have no fear, if that nasty dime doesn’t pass in a couple of days, I’ll take him to the doctor for X-rays and a lecture on proper childproofing habits (to be completely fair to us both, Ben never got into a damn thing in his life. He was–and still is– the least adventuresome child on the planet.).

The question is, what do I DO with this dime once it passes? Do I leave it in my wallet to gleefully give to the nastiest cashier that I encounter? Or do I just toss it in the garbage and figure that there isn’t much I would spend a dime on, after all, now that I’m not 5 or 6.

What would you do with a dime that had passed through your child’s digestive tract?

39 thoughts on “Moments In Great Parenting Vol. 9,473

  1. Ashley is right, clearly you must give the dime back to him at some point. Either tooth fairy money or perhaps you save it for his wedding.

    I’m laughing because yesterday I watched BG pick up a scrap of paper from the floor and put it in her mouth. My reflexes are not good because she only recently started sticking things in her mouth. I tried to get it out of her mouth but she kept fighting back and now with those sharp little teeth…not worth it. Then she kept rubbing my bad parenting in my face, sauntering around chewing and swallowing the paper.

  2. I think you should definitely keep it. I saw a display once in a museum of psychiatric medicine (yeah don’t ask how I got roped into that afternoon adventure). They’d kept everything that this one patient had ever ingested and then glued it onto this huge board and then framed it. It was fascinating really, and you wouldn’t think that someone would want to swallow a pair of fingernail clippers, or a gold locket – chain and all and yet there they were along with several hundred buttons, thimbles, coins and other items.

    I’m not saying that Alex will end up being a patient in a mental institution but you know just if this becomes a habit you should keep that dime as the beginning of something that might someday be museum-worthy.

  3. Hmmmm, well when my daughter told me she had something stuck in her throat and she thought it might be the “ball” I was perplexed. After much prodding, my then 3 year old showed me the “How To Build A Better Mouse Trap” game which, lo and behold was short one shiny silver ball. Said ball later appeared at the bottom of the bowl, infuriating as I had been painstakingly searching her sh*t for days and then it just landed in the toilet all by itself. I’m still bitter. I say give it back, under cover of darkness, but only when you’re sure he won’t do it again!!

  4. two words: Scrap book. Someday that child will have a girlfriend, and he will suffer no *end* of embarrasement if you show his date the dime he injested.

  5. Save it, and then spend it somewhere the check out clerk deserves a shitty dime!! If you don’t use cash (because who the heck does in today’s world) act like it was on the floor and hand it to the deserving cashier as if it was dropped.

    Wow, I did not realize how angry I am today, must be the hormones.

  6. Eww– throw it away with the diaper.

    No worries– as my grandfather would have said– don’t worry unless it comes out as two nickles.

    I am just glad that there was no choking involved!

  7. Ummmmmm…….I don’t have children, but I raised a Wheaton Terrier. When she was one she ate a double A battery at 2 in the morning. Why else would she eat a battery unless it was 2am ? It was a long exhausting vomit filled night. Children may be easier than dogs, because at least to my knowledge, and I could be wrong, children don’t eat there own vomit.

  8. When I was in college, we took a group trip to Europe. While in London, we started to play quarters in a bar. The first bounce went in a beer and was given to a burly football player, who was over eager and promptly drank the quarter. After 95 people stuck their fingers down his throat trying to get it to come back up, they broke down and informed the management, who called an ambulance. Of course it took hours both ways, because there was a bomb scare. A friend and I took the subway to the hospital and saw the x-rays. Quarter, yes, definitely.

    The next day he came running in my room at the hotel, pants half zipped, and tossed a blue, purple, and fuschia quarter on my bed. He swore it came out alone. I refused to touch it.

    We had one semester left in college and he kept the quarter in a change dish on his dresser. His little brother came to visit and used the wayward quarter in the drink machine.

    I suggest you save it more carefully, as the babe will really like to keep the souvenier, beer or not.

  9. First I would wash it. then I would put it in the baby book.
    This has happened to me with my 3rd, son. He just didn’t
    swollow a dime he also swollowed a pennie, that I still have 18 years later…

  10. Don’t wash it- keep it for him to gnaw on next time he gets another bright idea like that.

    Just kidding! I vote baby book (aka pages and pages of future embarassment for Alex).

    Or you could slip it into Dave’s pocket 😉

  11. My dog swallowed a penny once. I followed her around for days going through her poop. Clint thought I was insane. I can only assume she passed it in one of the few times I did not follow her around. (She’s had X-rays since then for other reasons and no penny showed up, so I’m sure she passed it.)

    If it had been Landon I would add it to the pile of stuff I’m collecting for his scrapbook, but that I will probably never get to and hand it over to him in a ziploc bag.

  12. Scrap book it, baby. Because by the time he’s old enough to be humiliated with it, he’ll have earned it from all the sources of annoyance and suffering he’s caused you.

    My kids swallowed a nickel once. Sadly, I didn’t have the forethought to keep it once it passed. Damn it.

  13. I downed two pennies out of my Strawberry Shortcake purse while my grandmother was keeping my the night my sister was born. I was three then, and I still remember having to announce my business so old mom and dad could root around in excrement. Thankfully, it was NOT saved in my baby book – but that is an excellent idea for young Alex ;)!

  14. I’d totally throw that thing in his scrapbook. My alex swallowed a quarter once. He was 2 1/2. I never did find it… I guess when he gets his first set of x-rays, we’ll see if he’s amassing a small fortune in his tummy. 😛

  15. The more I thought about your post, the more I realized that I swallowed all kinds of crap when I was a kid and nobody went fishing around in my poo to make sure that things passed. Who knows what kind of glory is lodged within me!

  16. Becky, this is going to sound weird but…I think that was my dime. I lost one about a week ago and it’s too much of a coincidence that it ended up in your child’s colon but I’d like it back. Sorry about that.

  17. Oh, we went through this. Yuck. And any dime that I dug out of my child’s feces? Would be promptly donated to George Bush’s retirement fund. Oh. There I go being all opinionated again.

  18. I too was a dime swallowing child. My mother luckily did not save it. However, I’m liking the idea of scrapbooking it or putting it in the baby book (after washing it of course).

  19. put it on a pendants and save it for a wedding gift. now i’m going to stop reading and commenting lest you think i’m a stalker. good stuff though.

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