This is Parenting.
I need to dial 999.
I was stood by the front door, away from them.
My heart was hammering out of my chest, the ringing in my ears was becoming unbearable, my eyes were watering, as I seemed unable to even blink, and my brain had just stopped dead, unable to cope with the sheer and utter terror I was experiencing.
Behind me my son was lying face down in his dad’s arms, possibly choking to death.
It had been a good 30 seconds since the initial cough, and so far the sweet was still firmly lodged in his wind pipe.
His lips were turning blue and he was starting to lose consciousness.
I knew this because The Irish one had now started to beg him to breathe, while relentlessly hammering on his back in-between bouts of trying and failing with the Heimlich man-oeuvre.
‘999!’ The Irish one screamed, ‘dial 999!!!’
I glanced back and witnessed the desperate look in my son’s eyes disappear, as he lost consciousness completely, his lips now a very dark blue.
I did as I was told.
But they aren’t going to get here in time Irish one.
We both know this.
‘Please Addy, please breathe….’ The Irish one began to shout now, his calming presence in a crisis completely exhausted ‘He’s gone all floppy! Oh Jesus Christ Lexy, C’mon Addy breathe!!’
He ran towards me manically, still carrying him horizontally, still slapping him on the back.
I opened the front door and ran in to the street.
I have no idea why, it just seemed like the right thing to do.
‘I need an ambulance!’ I screamed and shouted down the phone ‘My son is choking, he is blue! Oh my god help us. SOMEBODY HELP US! YOU AREN’T GOING TO GET HERE IN TIME… I NEED…’
‘It’s out. Lexy, it’s out.’
And then it was all over.
‘I put my fingers down his throat… It’s out.’
‘Mummy…’ and his little voice, his little arms outstretched towards me, his little face in shock ‘Mummy…’
I took him in my useless arms, and sank slowly to the floor.
‘I got it out. I got it out.’ The Irish one murmured, sinking down beside us, his head in his hands.
We were a motionless family for a short period of time.
Then together, we all began shaking, all began crying, all began digesting what had happened.
‘Yes baby?’ I kissed his face, wiped his eyes, pulled him tighter towards me, feeling his heartbeat against mine. I put my nose in his hair and breathed him in, making silent apologies and trying not to think of how it may have ended so differently ‘Yes baby?’
‘Can I have another sweet? Cos that one has been on the floor for ages now.’
This is parenting.
40 minutes later we were sat in the circus watching a tight rope walker do the splits 20 feet off the floor, after spending a fiver on candy floss and popcorn.
‘I wasn’t even choking, I just wanted to finish my sweet daddy!’
This is parenting.
And I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I have however, booked myself on a crisis and CPR course. Knowledge has to be power in this scenario, and I never want to feel that helpless and useless again.
‘That’s twice I’ve saved his life now.’ The Irish one grins at me while throwing popcorn in his gob and shrugging in a faux macho kind of way, as if he wasn’t terrified himself.
Yes it is Irish one, and twice you have saved mine along with it.