My Anxiety Over Choking
It’s taken a while for me to write about my anxiety over choking. I just kept putting it off, probably because I didn’t want to admit it is and has become a problem.
Ok, so lots of parents are worried about the hazards of choking, in fact it’s in the news a lot about which foods are best avoided for toddlers, and which foods should be cut up, and in certain ways.
But I have taken worrying to a whole new level with our youngest Carson. He’s 21 months old, to the point that James and I have argued about it on numerous occasions.
So where did it all start. I’ve always cut the kids food really small ,especially fruit and veg. I didn’t give them the obvious like nuts, marshmallows, hotdogs, hard or chewy sweets. A bit like most people, but I would always have a little panic if someone gave them something they hadn’t tried before.
It was when the twins were about three, that something happened to trigger my anxiety over choking. We had all gone out for a family meal at a buffet type restaurant. Casey started to eat what he thought, or what we all thought was an onion ring. It wasn’t, it was squid. James wasn’t at the table at that point and I glanced up to see Casey struggling to breathe. I instantly knew it was serious, there was no noise from him at all he literally couldn’t get his breath.
The next moment feels like it went on forever. I jumped up ran around to him and started patting his back hard. It did nothing, at the same time I was aware of lots of people jumping up and making their way over to the table. I could hear people saying “Oh no! he’s choking!” I then opened his mouth wide, tilted his head, and put my fingers in his mouth. I hooked my finger around what I could feel, and pulled and pulled this long white thing that kept coming out (squid).
He was instantly fine, but I wasn’t I was an absolute state. A lot of people asked if they could help, but as quick as it started it was over. James came back and was none the wiser. He wondered why people were looking over and why I was close to tears and in shock. In a way I think this is why he doesn’t fully understand as he wasn’t there. Of course I explained, but Casey was fine and just carried on eating!
That was the trigger. Carson of course wasn’t born then, but that is what has started us down this road. So how bad is it. (Deep breath) well for a start he still has baby food from jars. Not every day, it depends on what I’m cooking. He doesn’t have them because I can’t be bothered, it’s more because I know he can eat it without me worrying the lumps are too big. I haven’t let him spoon feed himself yet, but he does have food that I’ve cut up small that he picks up with his fingers. When he has this I jump up at least once throughout our meal if I think he’s put too much in his mouth. But I don’t run to him. I run into the hallway with my hands over my ears yelling at James to empty his mouth. All the kids are used to me now, and will watch him eat for me sometimes.
He’s had no fruit yet but has mashed vegetables and bread cut up into cubes. Giant chocolate buttons were given to the other kids as I was worried they were too big. He doesn’t know how to bite something with his front teeth as he’s never had the chance.
There are other things, but I think you get the picture. I realize this is totally my problem and completely agree with James when he says that I will end up making a bigger problem and that it’s not fair to him.
What finally made me write this, is because for the last few weeks I’ve known something has got to change, before I damage his eating permanently.
Last Saturday I was filming Carson for my weekly vlog, when all of a sudden I opened the biscuit cupboard and offered him one whole cookie. He looked at me, looked at the cookie, took it and started taking little bites never taking his eyes off it. Halfway through, it broke and he didn’t know what to do, so he just shoved half a cookie in his mouth. I froze, the camera was still filming and he just chewed and chewed. Behind the camera I was in full blown panic, but tried not to let it show. When he finished I was so proud of him, that he knew what to do with the cookie and how to bite it. but I was also proud of me. That was a big achievement and a step in the right direction.
Of course I had to show James, who was really pleased. I think this is one of those thing that people may find hard to understand, especially when it’s detrimental to him. No one in my life gets it, they just think I’m a bit PFB ( precious first born), except I’m totally not, he’s my fifth.
I’ve told James to start trying him with new things when I’m not around or in the room. This is a massive step as I didn’t trust anyone to give him anything. I think we are now on the road to normality, and it started with that cookie!
See you soon