I hastily apply eyeliner, as Tadpole and I are invited to a party tonight. It is one of those Parisian fêtes I have read so much about where the residents of an apartment building gather together in their communal courtyard with their guests for an evening of eating, drinking and merriment. In this case the apartments in question are in an über-trendy converted industrial laundry, with a huge cobbled courtyard.
It is the first time that Tadpole and I have gone to a party together, so something of an experiment. I am a little unsure as to how she will react when I decide that it is bedtime, or whether I will feel comfortable drinking in her company. Tadpole however is very excited, as she has been allowed to wear her fairy outfit. She is playing on the bed behind me, arranging the pebbles I brought back from Nice on the duvet so that the larger one forms a body, the smaller one a head.
“Maman! Regarde! J’ai fait un bonhomme!”
I glance over, mildly irritated that she is doing that thing where she refuses to speak to me in English.
“Yes, that’s lovely,” I say, and turn back to the mirror to dab on some lipgloss. We are almost good to go. I wonder whether there will be any eligible bachelors at the party.
“Maman! Where did the stone go?”
I whirl around immediately, hearing the urgency in her voice, and see Tadpole clutching at her mouth in a panic. There is nothing in her mouth, and no apparent obstruction in her throat, but the small pebble is most definitely missing.
She has swallowed it whole.
Once I have established that nothing is hurting, and Tadpole has simply given herself rather a shock, I grab the telephone. None of the SOS Doctors phonelines I call will give medical advice over the telephone, and it seems a little extreme to rush Tadpole down to casualty when she is happily singing songs by my side, so I call Mr Frog and ask him to phone his GP friend. I also make the mistake of calling my mum, which achieves nothing other than to make her worry needlessly.
In the meantime, phone cradled between my ear and shoulder, I look back at my previous post to see what the pebble actually looked like, as I can no longer picture it.
Next I google “swallowed object” and read that a small, smooth object such as a stone should pass through the intestines without incident, and it will simply be a matter of inspecting Tadpole’s stools for the next few days to ensure that the offending article has been expelled successfully.
I smile to myself, realising that as Mr Frog is taking Tadpole to stay with his parents for a few days, it is he who will be on stool duty.