Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Little help here...

So, I pick up my daughter from school today and find her sitting at a table outside, eating "second lunch" (basically, whatever is left in the lunch box at about 4:00). She sees me coming and looks less than excited. When I sit down next to her, I realise that she is actually trying to hide something from me, as she turns her head down and away from me.... Last week when she did this, she tried to secretly spit a little rock out of her mouth, as she knew that it shouldn't have been in there and she was about to be caught. Today.... it was A PENNY!!! The reason the penny is getting capital letters and a number of exclamation points, is that since that moment, hours ago, I have been reliving a memory from my childhood.

When I was her age, for no good reason, I put a penny in my mouth and choked on it. People, the fire department was involved. It was a big, choking deal. I ended up swallowing it as soon as the big fire truck rolled up outside of our house and, try as we may, we never did find the darn thing.

Why did I do that?!?! I have no idea. I wish I did, because now I'm asking my daughter the same question and she is answering with "I don't know." And, I believe her.

Do you have any theories? More importantly, do you have any ideas of how to stop her?... Falling short of learning the lesson the hard way, because I REALLY do not want to call the fire department. Really.

I had an impromptu parent teacher conference on the spot, and discovered that her teacher has noticed her putting things in her mouth as well (rather harmless things though, like bits of paper). We brainstormed for a bit, and then decided with Little Miss that when she found something and felt the need to put it in her mouth she would bring it to her teacher and say "Quick! Take this away from me before I put it in my mouth!" (a little humor always helps with the little ones) and she will put it into a jar. Every so often, I will check the jar. I'm not sure what the reward ought to be for her filling a jar with things she really wanted to put in her mouth, but it ought to be something.

I am not sure how this is going to work out, since she is at the age where she is living in her limbs and asking her to think about what she is doing is not really developmentally appropriate. Deep breath.... This is a tough one. Seriously, ANY suggestions...?...


  1. Maybe it is like fidgeting, some of us put things in our hands, she puts them in her mouth? I have no ideas on how to stop it, but maybe the reward should be something she CAN put in her mouth, like a scoop of her favorite ice cream or a cookie? That way it provides a teaching moment, that making a good decision about what to put in her mouth leads to edible desirable things, versus eating inedible undesirable things that could be potentially dangerous? Good luck!

  2. That actually happen to my little miss when she was 3. She also had a "oral fixation" of some sort. Crayons, stickers, woodchips it didn't matter...all went in the mouth. We constantly were telling her not to do it, removing anything small...but she would always find something and sometimes it was funny to it became a game. Then one day she did accidentally swallow a penny while she was laughing at being caught. After speaking privately on the phone w/a dr and he said there was nothing to worry about just wait for it to pass (which it did a few days later)...we fibbed and said the Dr needed to chck her out NOW! Took her to the dr anyway...made a BIG DEAL out of it (put a little scare in her) cause for all we know next time could be something really hazardous! The trip to the dr scared her straight... And never did she put ANYTHING in her mouth again for "fun".