Can I borrow a quarter?


I was just commenting to my friends that my twins had never slept a night in our bed since they were teeny-tiny babies. Be careful what you put out into the universe …

The screaming traveled up the stairs and into the kitchen. My youngest son was crying shortly after I had put him down for a visit with Mr. Sandman. As I trudged down the stairs I assumed he had forgotten his favorite stuffed dog or would complain about it being too dark or one of the countless excuses a three-year-old can come up with when avoiding going to bed.

As I opened the door to his room, my littlest man was on his knees perched at the end of his bed crying real tears as he held his throat with both hands.  “I swallowed a quarter!” Most parents would assume that their child was lying because why would there be a quarter around when hitting the sack for bed?? Well let me tell you why. For Travis he has what I call a “bed shrine”. The shrine is made up of little figurines ranging from Lego men to Pokemon to shiny coins to pencils. The shrine sits around the bed board portion of his bed where he can fall asleep as he fiddles and adjusts their placement. Travis has never been a child who put anything in his mouth. He never had a pacifier. Never had a bottle. Never a thumb sucker or a small baby that put small objects in his mouth. But here he was at 3 1/2 swallowing quarters, at 7:30 at night, during bed time, on a Sunday night. Super.

Can I borrow a quarter?

Up the stairs we went. Tears rolling down his red cheeks as he held his neck and I held his hand. I called to my husband and he called poison control. Poison control informed us that this sort of thing was not their area of expertise. Call the pediatrician was their answer. It being a Sunday evening my husband got the emergency voicemail message and left his own message. Within moments his cell was ringing with the on call NP.  After explaining the events of the Halperin Household that evening,  the nurse said we would need to follow protocol for ingestion of a foreign object — to wait 8 to 12 hours before making it into radiology for an x-ray. We’d also have to keep him up for another hour or so. Then he would need to sleep with us in order to keep watch on his breathing. (This would be where I ended up eating my words about our twins never sleeping with us from just a couple of days prior). For our coin eating kiddo this was a win! Not only did he get to stay up and watch football with dad but he also got to sleep in mommy and daddy’s big bed. His eyes practically sparkled with joy as we explained the events that would be taking place that night.

Can I borrow a quarter?

Hello radiology. Twelve hours later my little boy was having a medical bracelet wrapped around his small wrist as a badge of honor for his crime. The nurse asked him what he ate … he replied “breakfast” which in theory was absolutely correct since only an hour before he had been eating a bowl of cereal but I’m pretty sure she was expecting him to answer “a quarter lady”.

Can I borrow a quarter?

After one waiting room and one x-ray later, the foreign object was successfully found in the upper right portion of his intestine. Good news is that’s what we basically wanted, in the digestive track, rather than caught somewhere that would obstruct his breathing. The bad news? Well we would have to wait on a call from our pediatrician for that part.

Can I borrow a quarter?

Finally, just before dinner. The nurse called, repeating the same question that I had heard a number of times in the last 22 hours … “A quarter??” YES, A QUARTER.  The prognosis? Long story short … Wait it out and sift through batches of his poop. Wonderful.

Can I borrow a quarter?

Though our youngest male offspring may be lanky, his poops are not. Bowel movements from him equal clogged toilets and at least 10 minutes on the porcelain thrown. This means that searching for the treasured quarter would be like searching for a needle in a haystack (except in water and exceptionally disgusting).

Can I borrow a quarter?

What exactly do you use when sifting through tons of poop in a watery hole? You know those paint stir sticks that every hardware store in America gives out for free when purchasing paint?? Yep, that’s the money maker. As a parent, I now advise having at least ten on hand, for crafting and of course poop scooping. Three poops later we are still on the search.

Can I borrow a quarter?

If you should need a quarter, my son is your man … you may just need a paint stick and some patience before he hands over the loan.


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