Actual Conversation with Zeke
Tuesday morning. 3:20 a.m.
Tired Tina decides that she deserves an Oatmeal Cream Pie. Ben nurses and Tina eats the delicious Oatmeal Cream Pie, taking care to hide the wrapper under a burp cloth on the couch so that, if she forgets to throw it away, Zeke won't find it the next morning.
Tina forgets to throw away the wrapper.
Tuesday morning. 7:12 a.m.
Zeke comes into the living room, at full speed, saying, "Mama! Baby!" Tina is nursing Ben (again) on the couch. When Zeke approaches, Tina begins to burp Ben and quickly grabs the closest burp rag at hand. Zeke immediately sees the forgotten wrapper. He holds it up and says,
"It's a wrapper," Tina says, caught red-handed.
"Eat." He gestures with his mouth and hand.
"Yes. Mama ate it."
"Yes, mama ate it all gone."
"Treat!" he accuses.
"Yes, it was a treat," Tina admits sadly.
"Zeke!" he cries, insistent and pointing to himself.
I recently had the opportunity to take Zeke, Ben, and their six-year old cousin, Legoman, to the park. I brought snacks, some healthy and some not quite so. Of course, Zeke quickly found the two pouches of fruit snacks I had brought. I opened his for him and he jammed two pieces in his mouth. Then he held up the second bag and asked me to open it. I told him it was for Legoman and we went on an instant search of the playground to give it to him.
Legoman accepted the fruit snacks reluctantly and asked me what they were. I thought it was impossible that any American child under ten would not know what a fruit snack was.
It took Legoman 5 seconds to open the pouch, another five seconds to pull out one and put it in his mouth, and 3 seconds to empty the rest of the pouch and stuff everything in his mouth.
Then he was back on the swing, leaving me to wonder about the choking risks.
While at a park with Zeke and Ben, I nursed Ben on a park bench, using this amazing, gigantic nursing cover my sister-in-law gave me. Just as Ben and I were getting comfortable, I looked around for Zeke and noticed that he had gotten quite far away from my position, near a slide and ladder on the far side of the playground. I watched while he started up a really tall ladder that lead to one of the biggest slides there. When he was on the second rung, I detached Ben, cradled him close to me under the nursing cover, and made a run for it shouting, "Zeke! No! Come down!"
When I got there, Zeke had climbed to a spot taller than my head and two rungs from the platform. He was nervous and not moving, but happy that mama was there. I started shouting encouraging things like, "Stay right there! Mama's going to get you. Hang on!"
I needed to get him down but both my hands were busy holding Ben. For two seconds I considered placing my six-week old baby on the astroturf at my feet. Not a good option. I looked around and saw two women sitting on a park bench ten feet away. I hustled over to the closest woman, still carrying Ben under the cover.
"Would you please hold my baby?" I asked, trying to pull him into view quickly. "Just long enough for me to save my other baby," I said, not taking no for an answer. I was placing Ben in her arms before waiting for her answer.
Completely trusting this total stranger, I dashed away to rescue Zeke. Better than the astroturf option?