As with any story I begin to tell, there is always a back story. I am a paranoid freak about kids and hard candy. This goes back almost 20 years to the day a woman was shopping in our store and had her 4 year old daughter with her, and the girl was eating a peppermint candy. As we were talking, suddenly the little girl began to choke on the candy. The Mom started to panic and pound the little girl on the back, and I turned around and grabbed the two on duty firemen who were getting some electrical parts less than 10' away from me. They intervened and saved the little girl's life.
Throughout the years I have made it a priority to know how to correctly handle a child choking situation, and have had to use those skills. Once, when my nephew was 4 months old, he was happily hanging out in his father's lap sucking on a piece of watermelon while we all visited. He managed to break the end of the watermelon off and get it lodged in his throat and my sister saw this and grabbed him from her husband and began to pound on his back. I reached over and grabbed him from her, leaned him forward in my lap and did chest compressions on him until he puked the watermelon into my lap. I handed him back and walked away because I had just yanked her baby out of hands without a word. I let about 15 minutes go by before carefully approaching and saying "I'm sorry that I grabbed him like that, but you were doing it wrong, and making it worse." She thanked me for intervening and from that point on we all knew the procedures.
When I had Andrew, I was a little nervous that he might be prone to choking like his cousin was, and I watched and hovered as he tried new things. I cut things into such small pieces to ensure his chewing safety. And I steadfastly refused to allow hard candy, including suckers. Whenever we were somewhere that they would offer one, I would politely decline.
One day when he was about 2, maybe 2 1/2, I decided to let him have a sucker after he got his hair cut. I was so nervous about it that I hovered and after a couple minutes I ended up taking it away. Thankfully, Andrew is not really that into candy, and he doesn't ask for them, and he accepts my no as no when he asks for one and I say, "No, that's hard candy and you don't have that."
As anyone who has been around us knows, Andrew has speech delays and we are working on articulation and making letter sounds correctly. He recently finished his first school year of speech therapy and has made huge improvements. He is getting much clearer and easier for others to understand too.
Yesterday I took him to get his hair cut, and unlike most other people who usually ask the parent first if it's ok for him to have a sucker, she asked him directly, "Would you like a sucker?" "A sucker??? Sure I'd love a sucker!!" my child excitedly proclaimed. I cringed a little, but decided to let him have it. We left the salon and went down to the Dollar Tree to get some graduation cards, and to let him pick a toy for being such a good boy. He happily chatted about his sucker the whole way there and all through the store.
When we got home I texted my husband and said, "I broke down and let Andrew have a sucker. On a related note, I think that as long as his S's are still coming out as F's, we should refer to them as lollipops!"
So to anyone who may have overheard the apparently foul mouthed toddler in the Dollar Tree yesterday, I promise you, he was really just talking about the lemon-lime Dum Dum he'd received.
We also don't talk about socks, or shocks in public anymore either. He went grocery shopping with my sister one day and the cart apparently had a lot of static electricity, and so he kept getting shocked, and he would loudly say "Bumpie, stop "shocking" me!!" "You "shocked" me again!!!"
S's are at the top of my priority list for his articulation goals!!