Submitted by Andy McKennan
So there was this time that my wife was on an extended business trip. She was out of the country and gone for a full week. During that time my eldest daughter, who was 7 or 8 at the time, was playing at a friend’s house. The phone rang, and it was the friend’s mom. The mom was very upset, and clearly trying not to panic.
Apparently my daughter had swallowed a penny and the mom wasn’t really sure how serious the situation was. Now, I honestly didn’t think this was something to be panicky about. I had vague notions that either my brother or I or one of our friends, when we were young, surely must have swallowed a coin and lived to tell the tale. But I dutifully called the pediatrician’s office and eventually spoke with a nurse. She did indeed confirm that swallowing a penny wasn’t life threatening and nothing to be too concerned about. She advised that the coin would eventually pass out of the body in the normal course of events.
“Yep,” I said to myself, “just as I thought. All’s well.” And then the nurse said, “But you have to confirm that the penny does come out.” It took about three seconds for the ramifications of this to sink in, and I said, “Oh.” She replied, “Exactly.”
Like I have always said, it helps to try and see the humor in many parenting situations.