petite anglaise

June 26, 2006

ne pas avaler

Filed under: Tadpole rearing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 6:37 pm

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.


  1. Sounds like a great conversation starter…if there were any eligible bachelors at the party.

    Comment by BlondebutBright — June 26, 2006 @ 6:50 pm

  2. When I taught at infants’ schools it was amazing how young children managed to swallow coins (brought for dinner money). It was sufficiently commonplace for no-one to get upset about it. Parents were just warned to keep an eye out for it. Let’s hope Tadpole is no longer in ‘retentive’ mood or it may still be there when she comes back to you!

    Comment by Sablonneuse — June 26, 2006 @ 7:43 pm

  3. Oh my goodness! Hehe :)

    Comment by kirsty — June 26, 2006 @ 9:05 pm

  4. Ah, besides her brains and beauty, Tadpole is also blessed with an impeccable sense of timing.

    Comment by quinn — June 26, 2006 @ 9:20 pm

  5. At the risk of being one of those towards the front of the ‘don’t worry my child swallowed a ring/candle/horse/home computer’ chain; one of mine swallowed a small lego brick and carried on with life as normal.

    That said she always liked sitting in the lego box, I’m not sure if the two events are related.

    Comment by Greavsie — June 26, 2006 @ 11:10 pm

  6. One of mine put a small round stone up his nose. That one did necessitate a trip to hospital, but no harm done.

    And one occasionally swallowed lengths of cotton thread. Which was a bit painful on the way out – trust you don”t need an explanation…….

    Hope you both enjoyed the party.

    Comment by Z — June 26, 2006 @ 11:47 pm

  7. Keep her away from your jewlery hmm … =D

    Comment by eric — June 27, 2006 @ 12:06 am

  8. Somehow, this blog manages to return to the topic of poo. :0l There should be a category simply entitled “poo”.

    Comment by Noire Dire — June 27, 2006 @ 1:54 am

  9. I thought eating stones was part of every child’s life. Better than beans up the nose, which do not come out on their own as the stones do. But I guess city kids miss out on all the things like this.

    Comment by joeinvegas — June 27, 2006 @ 6:33 am

  10. Did you go to the party or was the swallowing incident (unfortunately near the fisting incident actually…) a party pooper?

    Comment by Paris Lights — June 27, 2006 @ 7:54 am

  11. Hey thta’s nice that you need not to be on stool duty. Did you went for the party and enjoyed out there?

    One thing I just wanna say that if in ner future you encounter with same situation just make that person eat papaya as it contains fibre that will help that obstacle to come out easily!

    Comment by Barney — June 27, 2006 @ 9:44 am

  12. It’s just a scheme to fart very loudly in front of your new lover. Ignore it. He’ll be impressed.

    Comment by fjl — June 27, 2006 @ 10:48 am

  13. You could always resort to my mother’s trick when I did something similar, and give Tadpole a hearty dose of whatever foul-tasting oil is meant to speed the passage through – I never inadevertantly swollowed an inanimate non-food item ever again…

    Comment by sas — June 27, 2006 @ 12:44 pm

  14. In the front entrance of the hi-tech children’s hospital in my city there are two display cases. One entitled “Removed from Airway Passageways” and the other “Removed from Digestive Systems”. Mounted in each are a selection of stones, buttons, coins, small cars, war toys, miniature people, and the more alarming pins, hooks and hair ornaments. Most of these look like they could have passed through on their own. They need a third case for my daughter -“Removed from Ears”. There we’d find an assortment of beads, flying insects and now that she’s older, her ipod earbuds. I swear those are going to have to be surgically removed eventually.

    Comment by nancy — June 27, 2006 @ 12:58 pm

  15. My sister once swallowed a screw

    Comment by Lucie — June 27, 2006 @ 1:17 pm

  16. Hmmm, stool duty doesn’t sound very fun, but the party does. Here in Toulouse there are “Repas du Quartier” which can actually be quite a hoot, with roads being blocked off and neighbors, who had previously been strangers, meeting.

    Comment by Lost in France — June 27, 2006 @ 3:40 pm

  17. Flashback to several years ago when my niece was lying on her back on the floor and she put a quarter in her mouth, and it lodged in her windpipe. She sat up looking terrified with her eyes SO big and scared… I was sitting across the room with my leg in a cast (that’s another story) and couldn’t get to her, so I pointed and yelled out to get my sister’s attention. Sis grabbed little Beth and stuck her finger down her throat and JUST managed to hook it around the quarter to pull it out. No lasting harm done. The infuriating part was that Beth wasn’t a toddler like Tadpole — she was 7 years old, old enough to know better than to put non-edible objects in her mouth!

    At least Tadpole’s stone will pass on through (with Mr. Frog having to be on the lookout – tee-hee!) Glad it worked out and I can appreciate how scary that was for you. Guess it’s time for more “don’t put things in your mouth” coaching for Tadpole!

    Comment by The Bold Soul — June 27, 2006 @ 4:41 pm

  18. I hope everything is fine with Tadpole of course, but the thing that actually wetted my curiosity is the reason why you don’t accept her to talk to you in French?
    Is it because you want her to build up a proper “linguistic system” or is it because you think French is Mr Frog’s area and thus a no-go zone?!
    Maybe I got a little carried away on that one but I truly am intrigued –

    Comment by new comer — June 27, 2006 @ 5:05 pm

  19. I have never commented before, but I must say, I always laugh at your poo stories. I mean, how can you not laugh at poo? Dont worry about Tadpole. My sister and I swallowed all sorts of foreign objects as kids and we are fine as adults. I’d hate to see what came out if we ever had a high colonic though!

    And I want to live in France. If I tried to have a gathering in my courtyard it would erupt into a fight over who keeps what on their doorstep and who stomps loudly so that the neighbors below cant sleep. So sad.

    Comment by Wide Lawn — June 27, 2006 @ 8:19 pm

  20. I love the trademark toddler sneakiness in the ‘Maman! Where did the stone go?’ I’m guessing that she knew exactly where the stone went, but that was her way of alerting you without actually admitting that she had done something she maybe thought was naughty. I laughed out loud when read this, could just imagine that look of panic crossed with the slightly beady-eyed guilt. I’m laughing again just thinking of it now! Glad she’s okay. Poor ol’ Mr Frog…

    Comment by redlady — June 27, 2006 @ 9:24 pm

  21. When I was little I used to put coins in my mouth and then run and hide because every time I did, my mom would yell at me. The very last time I ever did it, I hid behind the door of the bathroom and promptly began choking on the coins. Even though I was only three, I vividly remember the feeling of terror as I realized that the coins were in my windpipe and were not coming out. Fortuantely, my mom found me and heimliched me over the toilet. Plop, plop! The coins were ejected into water: one dime and three pennies.

    The funny thing is, I don’t remember whether my mom punished me with anger, or hugged me with relief. I never put coins in my mouth again.

    Comment by Byron — June 28, 2006 @ 2:20 am

  22. glad she’s ok. this is one of those great stories that’s going to embarrass the hell out of her in 10 years… hi 13 year-old tadpole!

    Comment by maitresse — June 28, 2006 @ 9:37 am

  23. I don`t understand. You are happy because you ex will have to babysit your kid who swallowed a peeble when you had her? This is just stupid. What if she died? Would you be happy cause your ex would have to go to a funeral while you would be off somewhere doing god knows what?

    Shame on you!

    Comment by janice wilkinson — June 28, 2006 @ 10:55 am

  24. i used to quite happily eat great quantities of stones when i was wee….my brother eating an old style 50p wasn’t quite as pleasant

    Comment by emma — June 28, 2006 @ 11:17 am

  25. We ended up at the children’s hospital in the “objects up nose” queue when Joey decided to see what would happen if he inhaled a jelly bean… fortunately we only had a 2 hour wait to see the ENT registrar (much shorter than the “high temperature” and “needs stitches or splinting” queues). Luckily jelly beans dissolve so eventually he swallowed it (the next day).

    Not so lucky was the mother of the 2 year old with a piece of carrot up his nose – another 4 hours until the ENT surgeon arrived to remove it under general anaesthetic.

    Comment by miss tickle — June 28, 2006 @ 12:04 pm

  26. Stones are good for them. They lodge in the gizzard and help digest food by grinding together like an extra set of teeth. Oh, hang on…

    …that’s baby birds.


    Eating stones is good for birds. Not people.

    Comment by Damian — June 28, 2006 @ 12:44 pm

  27. Shame on me. For not wanting to examine her stools.

    Bad mummy.

    Comment by petite — June 28, 2006 @ 1:33 pm

  28. I hope that little Tadpole is okay. Just wanna say that just be careful when she is playing with ths=ese small objects otherwise it can cause harm to her as well.

    Tell me something about party as well.!

    Comment by Martin — June 28, 2006 @ 1:36 pm

  29. janice wilkinson you need to chill out a little bit!

    Comment by Kirsty — June 28, 2006 @ 1:48 pm

  30. Clearly I don’t encourage Tadpole to eat stones! It’s atually rather odd, she has never been one to put small objects in her mouth, and now she is old enough to know better…

    Comment by petite — June 28, 2006 @ 1:55 pm

  31. You know Petite I drop in sometimes and love your writing, but you get SO many comments that I find it actually a bit off putting ;-) If you know what I mean. What chance you, or anyone, will read my little thought?!

    But this is funny (and 30 so far ain’t so bad!!).

    I’m sure she’ll be fine :-)

    I’m sure you can live without filtering poo (try looking for a diamond earring…then you have to use a sieve! Don’t ask how I know)

    And as Kirsty said – Janice Wilkinson, take it easy eh!?

    Comment by Jo — June 28, 2006 @ 3:36 pm

  32. Did I spy a sneaky attempt to keep yourself at the top of the google list for “bad mummy”?
    …and when the stone is returned will we be getting a new photo of it?

    Comment by meredic — June 28, 2006 @ 4:52 pm

  33. You’re not a bad Mummy! You’re just giving the Frog the chance to be a brilliant, crap-inspecting Daddy! Good for you. x.

    Comment by ellie — June 28, 2006 @ 5:26 pm

  34. You could post the stools to Janice?

    She would then be reassured that every effort had been made to find the peeble. Whatever one of those is.

    Comment by JonnyB — June 28, 2006 @ 5:29 pm

  35. I know an old lady who swallowed a fly.

    I don’t know why . . .

    Comment by Miss Nomer — June 28, 2006 @ 6:16 pm

  36. I just googled ‘bad mummy’ and you’re still atop the list–the first Two hits, to be exact! Congrats.

    Janice, calm down, or you risk the anal retentiveness of previous posts. Healthy kids are incredibly resilient with excellent digestive systems and, if you’re a dedicated reader, you would see that Tadpole is one of the healthiest, best loved kids in France.

    Comment by Leslie — June 28, 2006 @ 7:04 pm

  37. thats bonkers. maybe parents should start disguising vegetables as stones to make their kids ingest more healthily.

    my blog is back up!

    Comment by piupiu — June 28, 2006 @ 7:15 pm

  38. *Delurk* Janice your comment is so high strung. You need to seriously chill out. You’re wound a little too tight for this community! We are so chilled we’re all horizontal….*lies back down again*

    Comment by Maria — June 28, 2006 @ 7:19 pm

  39. Thought I’d better contribute the party gossip.
    Well, it was very loud and everyone was extremely drunk. People were dancing until the rain drove them inside at 3.30am (the party playlist would make you weep). Sadly, though there were several bachelors on the loose, none were exactly “eligible”. I’m sure PA would agree. There was the party lech (an annual fixture), sad jilted boy, oldish solitary drinker, 2 fine lads from Altrincham, dancing up a storm (and looking into each other’s eyes) and a wierd bald bloke with a scary voice and an eye for the “anglaises”.

    Comment by rockerydweller — June 28, 2006 @ 8:31 pm

  40. Oh dear. It appears that much of your blogging time these days is in some way devoted to Tadpole’s feces… the joy of children, I suppose :)

    Comment by Revolved — June 29, 2006 @ 3:56 am

  41. Bad mummy indeed! I’m sure you’ve handled more than your fair share of nasty bodily products (oops Tadpole related of course) so it’s good to give someone else a go… especially the father!

    Calm down Janice… the last thing Tadpole needs is a dose of anal retentiveness!

    Comment by miss tickle — June 29, 2006 @ 8:04 am

  42. Maria, love your comment!

    Flashback to five year old Belle, alone in my room, playing with nickels: toss into the air, pop into mouth, swish them around, toss head back, spi- GULP!
    I swallowed one! Shocked and scared, convinced that The End was near, I lay on my bed, arms folded over my chest, very quiet and still. A short while later, Maman walked in. Voice pregnant with suspicion, she asked “what are you doing?” “Waiting to die” I replied. My physician uncle was phoned, and once it was determined that I would be allright,I was further pained by the peals of laughter echoing throughout the apartment for days afterward, as my “near death experience” was recounted to all who stopped by…

    Comment by Belle — June 30, 2006 @ 9:39 am

  43. I used to have a bit of a penchant for swallowing things as a child- I once swallowed two rusty ball bearings from a boat yard that I had found on the ground, and I once decided to inhale a bead up each nostril. I didn’t understand that my nose didn’t end where it met the curve by my forehead, only realising once the winner, the orange bead, entered my sinuses. I had to go to my GP and have a small hoover and a hook stuck up there as I felt like an oversize rattle with the bead stuck in my cheek- or so it felt.

    Later on, I mixed white spirit with Robinson’s orange juice and chugalugged the whole lot. It felt like I was breathing fire.

    As if attempting to top my stupidity, I then decided I would enact a marriage to Michael Jackson (it was the 80s!) while being left in the front seat of the car while Goldilocks (Dad) went to have his teeth x-rayed in Cork County General. I put my finger through the hole in the seat belt fitting and used it as my wedding ring. Goldilocks returned, demanded that my seat belt be put on, I protested that I couldn’t, he told me that we couldn’t leave till I did it. I showed him my stuck finger, he rushed off to get liquid soap, returned, tested it. Still stuck. Goldilocks dashes off again, this time back into the hospital where he returns with two uniformed individuals and an angle grinder, one of whom then cuts me out of the seat belt. He was very smiley and laughed at me after giving me a small lecture. He asked me why I had done it, and I just muttered that I was marrying Michael Jackson. At which point Goldilocks offered me up to the highest bidder and denied fatherhood.

    Comment by Rodeo — July 3, 2006 @ 4:53 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: