a story for Alice...and for Middle

Middle was always a quiet boy. 
A silent baby, a subtle toddler, he could sit for long periods with one little toy or a book. 
One day I let him do one of his favorite things: play with my wallet. 
He liked to take all the cards out and rearrange the money and take the coins out of the coin purse.
He'd stack the coins, pile the coins, play with the coins...but, he also liked to put things in his mouth. Bad wee tiny Middle.
And I saw him with my coins and I thought I saw him put one in his mouth.
A quarter, I thought, and I asked him about it. 
Did you put some of my money in your mouth, I asked my two year old.
I have a quarty in my tummy, he said, happily.
Really! I gasped.
He shook his head with all seriousness.
I sighed and called the doctor.
She sent us for an x-ray. 
The quarter might be stuck somewhere, she advised. We wouldn't want that.
He never changed his story - not while I made the calls, not in the car, not while waiting for the x-ray, not while being set in front of the machine, not when they told me I couldn't stay in the room.
I scooped him up after, finding myself worried, by then, that the doctor might be right, that the coin might be stuck somewhere.
He smiled at me.
I made a joke, he said.
I raised my eyebrows.
Quarty in the wallet, said he, not in my tummy.
I looked at him.
He laughed a tiny laugh.
I hugged him tightly and took him home.


Crazy Mom! said…
Middle had a bit of the devil in him! What a hoot!
Paola said…
I bet you understood there and then the power within that teeny tiny tot.
Duyvken said…
I adore this, bb. Adore.
Hilary said…
Oh Middle! This reminds me of my mom. When she was little, she took a hearing test at school. She didn't like the way the person giving the test spoke so she didn't answer the questions (or got them all wrong). The school called her mom and told her that she had a hearing problem. My grandmother made an appointment at a fancy hearing doctor in the city and dragged my mom from Brooklyn there. In the elevator (probably weeks after the initial call) my mom fessed up and told her mother what she did... She says about 65 years later, she still feels the slap....
Poppy B. said…
All I'm saying is Middle is lucky you're his mom. I wouldn't have survived to adulthood if I'd pulled something like that on mine.
Ginnie said…
I love this! A quarty. That Middle - such a droll sense of humor, even at two.
Anonymous said…
Oh, MIddle, I love you. But I would not have been so gentle with him, I fear.
L.P. said…
You've got to watch those quiet ones. :)
Anonymous said…
I can only imagine the thoughts running through your head at that very moment.
alice c said…
Being out-witted by a two year old is terrifying. You suddenly wonder what the future holds and if you will be able to cope. I know, I've been there.
zephyr said…
And, if he has children someday, he'll have more than one opportunity to share the panic, relief, and wonderment.
RW said…
that is some story.