Apparently at some point this morning a string of beads from the girls' dress up basket was broken, leaving small black beads strewn about the house. I had no idea of such occurrence until I was cooking dinner tonight when I looked over at Shortcake as she walked out of the bathroom and I immediately noticed the look of concern on her face. Also, seeing her walking with her hands around her neck raised a red flag.
Me: What's the matter?
Her: I'm really sorry.
Me: What happened? What's the matter?
Her: Well, Punkin broke one of her necklaces.
Her: And I found one of the beads.
Her: And I picked it up and it was in my mouth and my mouth did this and then it went down in my throat.
Me: Are you okay? Why would you put one of the beads in your mouth? You know that's dangerous.
Her: I know! But I didn't do it!
Me: Oh really?
Her: No! I didn't do it. My hands did it!
Me: What do you mean, "your hands did it"?
Her: Like this. My hands went in my mouth and put it there and then I swallowed it.
Me: So it's your hands fault that you swallowed that bead even though you know you shouldn't put them in your mouth?
Me: Are you okay?
Me: Did it hurt your throat?
Her: Well, it hurt when it was here but now it's gone.
Me: Where are the beads now? (at this point I wasn't sure if the necklace had recently been broken or if it had happened earlier today)
Her: It's gone.
Me: I know the one you swallowed is gone, but where are the rest of them?
Her: They're broken.
Me: I know they're broken, but where did you find the one you swallowed?
Her: It was in the bathroom and my hands picked it up and put it in my mouth and then my mouth swallowed it.
Me: Can you show me where the beads are now?
Her: (look of total fear) But I can't because it's in my tummy!
Me: Not that one, show me where all the other ones are.
Her: Daddy put them in here. (looking in the garbage can)
Me: So someone broke them this morning? When you were home with Daddy?
Her: Punkin did it.
Me: You know why we don't put things like that in our mouth, right?
Me: Well, because you could have choked on it. And that's very serious. You could have been hurt.
Me: And you know what happens to that bead now?
Me: Right now it's going down to your tummy.
Me: And then you know what happens? (oh yes I did)
Me: It's going to come out in your poop.
My hand to God, I have never in my life seen such a look of combined dread and disgust in my entire life. It's probably a good thing that I burst out laughing at this point because it broke the tension. I think the thought of this black bead making its way through her gastrointestinal tract was causing some serious anxiety for Shortcake. While I found the whole situation rather comical (given that it didn't require me to do the Heimlich maneuver and all), her desperate attempts to find anyone, anything to blame for the whole incident was rather pathetic. Am I really that mean of a mommy that my child feels the need to blame her own hands for doing wrong? Next thing you know she'll be going through my closet making sure all the wire hangers are hidden. I'm thinking it's just a personality thing though especially considering how upset Shortcake gets any time she's in trouble. Now had this been a conversation with Punkin, she would have fessed up at first inquiry and not thought twice about it, perhaps pausing only briefly for a quick "I sorry" and hug before setting off on her next mission.
Ah, the differences. They're what make the world go 'round.