Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mouth Fishing

I knew a young boy who swallowed a bug, I don't know why he swallowed a bug ... but he's not dying on my watch!

This morning I had to fish out several pieces of ladybug from my nearly 1-year-old son's mouth. To say this took an extreme amount of fortitude would be an understatement.

I grew up on a farm and am no stranger to bugs, but I have become more squeamish about them over the years. And the thought of them crawling all over my baby, let alone in his mouth, is just a bit too much to stomach.

The first one who tells me that bugs are just protein is going to be forced to eat a plate of them.

Since I didn't want the bug to go into Max's stomach, I knew I had to get it out of his mouth. I'm always swiping a finger through his mouth to remove all the other weird things he manages to find and put right into his most exploratory baby part -- mostly little stones of grout from the aging tile in our kitchen.

Thankfully he seems content to roll around these stones and leaves and bits of fuzz in his mouth until I notice the telltale signs on his lips and come in for the swoop. Unfortunately he has gotten wise to my efforts and now will clamp shut his jaw instead of submissively letting me dig around in there.

It made my knees week this morning to discover he had a ladybug in his mouth. We have a real problem with them getting into our house, but I haven't seen many yet this spring. (Centipedes are another matter, they're everywhere, but hopefully they are too fast for his pudgy baby fingers.) I think he must have discovered a dry old dead one in some corner missed by the vacuum.

I had to mentally instruct myself to get this out of his mouth. I had to convince myself that to feel the crunchy bits of wings and legs and disembodied head of the ladybug with my finger wasn't nearly as nasty as them being on his tongue.

Let me tell you, ladybug bits don't come out easily. They want to stick to that wet tongue, and the baby wants to keep exploring that new texture. It was quite the battle, complicated because I was holding him over the kitchen sink so that I could fling away the bits of bug as soon as I captured them. I didn't need to worry about them landing on the floor where he would just find them again and put them back into his mouth.