It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Be still, my heart


It’s hard to write the sound of a child gasping for air and not getting it, the sound of a child struggling to breathe, unsuccessfully.

It’s probably not hard for you to imagine the cold jolt of terror that shoots down my spine and bursts open in my gut when I hear it. How my heart stops for a second, and I freeze in my tracks. How my eyes widen as I — quick, quick, quick — scan one face after another!

One happy, healthy, pink-cheeked face. After another.


Rory smiles at me. Little Rory who has a vocabulary of about 12 words right now. Little Rory, previously the Silent One, is just emerging into the wonderful word of words … and sounds. And hey! Isn’t that just the COOLEST sound, Mary? That I just learned to make? And that I will spend the rest of the day practicing? Over and over again?????

And every time I hear it, EVERY TIME, I get the same cold jolt of terror. And I always check. Of course. Only now I start with Rory.


Oh, lordy. I’m not sure my heart will survive this phase…

December 8, 2010 - Posted by | Mischief, Rory, the things they say! | , , , ,


  1. Frustrating as it is for you, that is exactly the sound my son’s speech therapist had him practice to teach his tongue to move into the correct position to make the hard G and K sounds. Rory is going to find a whole new world of letter sounds opening up to him after all that practice.

    I always wonder if that adrenaline rush induced by small children’s antics qualifies as cardio exercise. After all, it does raise the heart rate, right?

    “Frustrating” isn’t quite what I’m feeling… Nor is he making G and K sounds, but I have no idea how to write the back-of-the-throat choking sound he is making. However, if accelerated heart rate is cardio exercise, I’m certainly getting a ton of that. Ugh.

    Comment by mamadragon | December 8, 2010 | Reply

  2. I was just going to say what mamadragon said, but then I saw what you said…yeah, gagging sounds are not so great.

    It’s totally reflexive, your response to that choking sound. Elevated heart rate — check! Cold sweat — check! Accelerated breathing — check! I sure hope he gets bored with this sound soon. Eep.

    Comment by Bridgett | December 8, 2010 | Reply

  3. Mary, I just wanted to you know, that apparently the contagion-via-computer-screen rate is 7 days. Both my kids have the yicky-eye-goop now!!! Guess I didn’t wash my hands well enough after typing my comment on the 1st… *grin* Also, *sigh*.

    If it weren’t for blogging, I’d never have realized just how widespread these dopey viruses can be. A cold, yes, that goes around, but the cold my kids get may have no relationship at all with the cold yours get, all those hundreds of miles away. But the yikky-eye-goop cold? That’s just too specific! It’s got to be the same strain, all those hundreds of miles distant. Wild.

    Comment by Ms. Huis Herself | December 8, 2010 | Reply

    • Guess my version has under gone a bit of a mutation between here & there. It produces a mild fever, very snotty/stuffy nose, deep cough… and pneumonia. Yup, yummy pink antibiotics for my 6yo starting today! So, I’m glad yours is JUST the eye-boogers!

      Comment by Ms. Huis Herself | December 9, 2010 | Reply

  4. Oh MAN…the choking sound is terrifying. Turns my blood to ice water in milliseconds. I feel for ya!

    Six times today I had ice water in my veins. SIX TIMES. As I said to Bridgett, I sure hope he gets bored with this noise SOON!!!

    Comment by C. | December 8, 2010 | Reply

  5. That is EXACTLY the sound my son made ALL THE TIME a few months ago. It lasted for about a week, until it morphed into the sound one makes driving toy cars around.

    Comment by MJ | December 10, 2010 | Reply

  6. My son did this all the time. In the backseat, driving whereever. Child had only been out of the NICU for a few months and he would make this gasping, wheezy noise that MORE than once caused me to pull over thinking that he was dying. I HATE that noise. It’s one that stops my heart and catapults me back to the hospital.
    Hope it ends soon!

    Comment by Dani | December 10, 2010 | Reply

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