Rite of Passage

Last night at bedtime Miss A was clutching a costume jewelry pearl necklace and of course refused to hand it over. Being a mother of weak fortitude and one that would probably let her kids sleep with a pet monkey if it meant they would sleep soundly all night, I shrugged it off and told her I’d be right back. I had a nagging feeling about her holding the necklace as I’d seen her put it in her mouth, but I went down the hall to check on Miss C.

“Right back” turned into about 5 minutes and of course my wild girl was awake and out of bed when I opened her bedroom door. She scampered across the room and scrambled on to her bed, an impish grin plastered on her face, and I saw she was still gripping the necklace, only I could tell it was broken and some of the fake pearls had spilled on her rug.


“Miss A, you didn’t eat one of those beads did you?”


“How many did you eat?”

“Um, one, two, three, four!” She wiggles her fingers as she counts aloud, clearly amused with herself.

The inquisition begins.

“Are you kidding mommy? How many did you eat? One…two?” My voice reaches a new level of pitch with each question.

“Yes. One! Two! Three! Four!”

Miss A responds with pride as if she’s just eaten brussels sprouts.

I assume she was just feeding off of what I was asking, but I don’t doubt that she swallowed at least one pearl.

I gave her a stern talk about not putting things in her mouth because she could choke.

“I could CHOKE?”

“Yes baby. You could choke and DIE.”

Her eyes got big as saucers.

Hey, you don’t mess around when it comes to ingesting foreign objects. I’ve never had to perform the Heimlich and I don’t want to start with my own children.

Then I feel bad and soften it with, “Oh but you’re just fine. You’re just fine. It’s in your tummy and you’re going to poop it out. But it might hurt.”

Her eyes grow wide again.

OK, so I am a sadist. I don’t want this to happen again. I mean business!

“Oh, it will be fine. Just fine. Just don’t EVER do that again. We only eat food, OK?”

“OK…not gum?”

“No, just food.”

I spoke to the nurse at our pediatrician’s office and we’ve launched Operation Poop the Pearl. She laughed and assured me that kids eat weird things all the time.

But Southern ladies in training should wear their pearls, not eat them.


  1. heather says:

    Poor kid! I saw a video on AFV of a little girl who swallowed a quarter. Her dad kept using the metal detector on her until the day it didn’t beep any more when over her belly. She obviously pooped it out and was no worse for wear. Hope all “goes” well!

    heather’s last blog post..Confession of a Distracted Mom

  2. rachel says:

    I am rolling over the wordplay in the title and over Miss A swallowing her pearls. I think Princess would rather Die than swallow her pearls or any jewelry… now Monkey. If it fits, it goes in 🙂
    Bless your heart. 🙂
    I’m a weak mom, too. Monkey now has a huge stuffed dog (bigger than him) in his crib with him. He loves his ‘dog dog’ and sleeps so peacefully and quickly curled up around it.

    rachel’s last blog post..Less than Wordless (Wednesday)

  3. Nicole says:

    Better that she swallow the things than do what my twins like to do. I’ve had to go to the pediatrician multiple times to have items extracted from their nostrils. Once my son lodged a pea so far up his nose we couldn’t get it out. The doctor said he would probably suck it up and swallow it eventually, but to come back if his nose started to ooze and smell rancid. He then prompty send us home. I didn’t sleep for a week for fear my son would choke on a rotten snot covered pea.

  4. Blonde Mom says:

    Miss A’s daycare teacher thinks she was pulling my leg. Still, she is so devil may care about everything, I wouldn’t doubt she swallowed one pearl.

    And I have to tell ya’ll it was all I could do to not use the word shit in this entire post.

  5. Jolly Green Dad says:

    Yes, hade a similar incident this morning, except it was with a pencil head. Seems my brilliant 7 year old was trying to sharpen the pencil with her teeth and snapped the top off!! She didn’t know if she shallowed it or not, but I but the fear into her so she wouldn’t swallow again. It’s not sadistic telling them what could happen, it’s keeping them safe!

    Jolly Green Dad’s last blog post..Fields of Green (Part II))

  6. Amy says:

    My daughter didn’t eat things, she put them up her nose. That took a few trips to the ER & doctor’s office to cure.

  7. familyonbikes says:

    My boys have eaten their share of beads in their lifetime, seeing as how I’m a bead artist with thousands of the little suckers lying around the house. Fortunately, they’ve never once had a problem – they just pass right through.

    Thankfully, my boys are older now, so those fears are minimized. That’s an expecially good thing given the fact that we’ll be taking off soon to ride our bikes from Alaska to Argentina – lots and lots and LOTS of fun stuff for little kids to eat along the way!! (You can read about our journey at http://www.familyonbikes.org)

  8. Amy says:

    Now that really made me giggle! My six year old nephew decided to try eating legos and they waited for some lego shaped poop to come out after that incident. I shoved a peanut up my nose when I was a kid. Maybe they just like to check body boundaries or something 🙂

  9. Ken says:

    I stupidly handed my 3 year old daughter a shiny penny while she was in the back seat of the car and learned that she swallowed it when we arrived at home as I was looking for it in her car seat. My wife was not happy, but thankfully the doctor reassured us that it would pass, which it did uneventfully thank goodness. She and I received a lecture about that one, but all is well as she’s a healthy 8 year old now.

  10. Southern Mom says:

    I totally get ya! Been there when oldest was 4…way too old to be swallowing things (in my case a steel marble…which happened just 3 weeks after we had to pick him up from preschool because he stuck a cheez-it up his nose at lunch.)
    THANK GOD that this age doesn’t hang around forever!

    Southern Mom’s last blog post..Exhausted

  11. Classy Mommy says:

    This story is too funny. Love it.Proof to always trust that mommy instinct telling us what our kids will likely do when we leave the room…… I need to read some more posts now to find out if she’s pooped it out. You’ll probably never know!

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