Monday night Ethan choked on a piece of peach.
I was standing right next to him. He was sitting in his high chair, eating bits of peach slices I had cut up for him. Ethan has been known to fake-choke (and fake-cry...and fake-laugh...), so we don't panic immediately when we hear the sound. We look at him to assess the situation, then take action as necessary. Until Monday, the necessary action was always saying, "Ethan, please don't fake-choke. That's not funny."
In a matter of seconds, we realized he was truly choking—not making any noise, meaning his airway was completely blocked—I whipped him out of his high chair and Noah flipped him to perform the infant Heimlich. I'm so glad Noah was home and right there, because I started to panic. I don't know how things would have played out if I had been alone.
Noah, on the other hand, supported our little 28-pounder on his forearm, head facing the floor, and with the heel of his hand firmly struck between Ethan's shoulder blades while calmly talking to him. After several blows to the back (which Noah later explained caused a cough-like expulsion of air from Ethan's lungs each time), Ethan made the choke sound again. A few more blows and he coughed out the piece of peach and some throw up.
Ethan didn't cry, but he was very subdued for several minutes afterward. I, of course, did cry.
There are many lessons to take from this—such as "always be prepared" and "feed your children pureed foods exclusively until the age of 18"—but it reminded me of how important Noah is not just to our family but to the community as a trained first responder.
Although he hasn't been on the streets in a few months, his skills and abilities are still crucial. If you've ever had to call the police or an ambulance in an emergency, you'll certainly agree. The work he's doing now, though, is just as important. A few weeks ago a parent at one of his schools sought him out to thank him: After one of his lessons, her kindergartner felt confident enough to reveal that she had been molested by an older boy.
Today's call to action: Hug your babies and thank a first-responder. You might could hug a first-responder, but you might also get a cloud of pepper spray to the face. (They don't like sudden movements.)