It was lunchtime. I fed her baby food.
I suppose that was my first mistake.
I performed the usual trickery; I held my hand out with a blueberry in it and when she went for it, I shoved the bite of stage 3 pasta primavera in her mouth.
She chewed. She swallowed. Something caught in her throat. I knew there was a possibility that this could turn bad, but it was still remote. She coughed.
She coughed again, the kind that turns her little face magenta, and gave me
The world was moving in slow motion. I stood up to try and find a solution. A bucket, a roll of paper towels (Please God), something. I started to panic; looking around for a plan (because a little post-it with “what to do when your baby is about to blow chunks” might suddenly appear before my eyes, if only I looked hard enough).
I decided to try and get her out of the kitchen, but time was not on my side.
Even if I got her out of the chair in time, I was still doomed. At the very least, my shirt and the floor would take a direct hit, and meanwhile, my own lunch was organizing a protest in my stomach.
She took another breath, and I knew it was my last shot. Her little mouth turned into a perfect oval.
There was a towel on the table- I grabbed it.
There were at least four cloth towels as well as paper towels (manna from heaven) on the counter– but did I have time?
Change in plans. I made a dash for the counter and grabbed the supplies.
Just as I turned to my daughter, she turned into a power washer of semi-digested stage three pasta primavera, Greek yogurt, goldfish crackers, and blueberries.
Something inside me said: “throw the towel”.
I threw the towel.
In a vain effort to stem the flow, I threw the one, sad, towel in the general direction on the child’s highchair. It landed on the outskirts of the blast radius.
Hindsight is, of course, 20/20.
By the time I made it back to her, it was all over. Now she’s hungry.