The little boy is swallowing and pale white as he announces that he needs a drink, Daddy, because he just swallowed a marble.
Turns out it was actually closer to a ball bearing (it's all ball bearings nowadays); it's a small metal ball from one of his toys.
He claims, at first, that his sister threw it into his mouth and he swallowed it. The only problem with that, I explain, is that his sister had been sitting with me playing Super Smash Bros. on the GameCube for half an hour before coming into the kitchen with me for a snack. Then the truth tearfully comes out: He put it in his mouth, was rollng it around while he was lying on the floor, and it being small and round and slippery, slipped down his throat. He thought I'd yell at him for swallowing it. So you explain for the eleventy-seventh time that even when you yell, you still love him, and that it's more important to tell me what really happened, and if it's really just a mistake, I might be worried but I won't be angry.
Very small voice: "Okay, Daddy."
Also, don't lie to try to get your sister in trouble, you little con artist.
Hysterical wife: "He swallowed what?!?!"
Me: "One of those metal balls from the toy thingy."
HW: "And where, exactly, were you??"
Me: "In the other room. With her."
HW: "That's no excuse."
The Doctor is called. The Doctor laughs. The Wife is not amused in the least. She gave birth to him, you know, and finds the idea of unbidden foreign matter inside his pristine body to be unacceptable. The Doctor, a mother herself, reassures my lovely and concerned wife that she's only laughing because the ball bearing has no rough or jagged edges and is not small enough to become lodged somewhere where it might cause real problems.
"No, no, I don't think a trip to the Emergency Room is necessary. You'll just have to monitor the situation."
Um, how's that, again?
So, what you do is, you check to see if the foreign object has "passed."
Can you guess how you do this?
Right. You check his shit to see if the offending ball has completed it's Incredible Journey. For 3 to 6 days. If it hasn't exited after 6 days, only then do we consider going in to get it. Which, you are told, will be a relatively simple process, but now there's a tiny little lump of fear in the very back corner of your mind, because this is your child.
My wife pokes at it with a pencil, which is then hurriedly discarded. Wuss. You gotta get in there with both hands - dishwashing glove-covered hands, to be sure - and check.
5th day. Success. The shiny coating is gone from the ball bearing - your enzymes at work! - but it appears otherwise unchanged.
"Here it is."
"Well put. Don't ever think that your mother and I don't love you, dude."
"I know, Daddy."
He hugs me. Sigh. I'd do anything for him and his sister.
Posted by mikeski at 4:45 p.m.