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.