I was too young to remember my first really “close call”, but according to my mom I was crawling on the roof that overhangs the second floor porch at 399 East 4th. In the days before window guards little kids just climbed out of windows when no one was looking. If it wasn’t for my mom pulling me in, I would have certainly been killed.
Another tale is about the time I got a small ball lodged in my throat. As the story goes, I was gagging and turning purple. And it only came out because my grandparents were holding me upside down by my feet and banging on my back. I’m sure it wasn’t exactly the “Heimlich” but at least it worked.
And of course every good deed deserves another. And this time it was my mom, and I’m glad I was home. One time back in the late 80’s I walked out of the bathroom to find her on fire in the kitchen.
Now, because the landlord never bought a new stove (that being me), my mom had to always light the burners with a match. Well, somehow a part of the lit match head ended up on the back of her terrycloth bathrobe. With a plume of flames dancing on her back I quickly ran back in the bathroom and drenched a bath towel with water. When I threw it on my moms back she started yelling at me, and asking what the hell what I doing.
Mom had no clue she was on fire, and thank God it never got past her bathrobe.
So you can imagine after this stuff that we’d be real careful as new parents. And yes we tried our best with all the childproofing work you could do. But like everything in life, there’s always something you forget. And once again I was lucky to be right there when it happened.
For whatever reason my son liked to hang out in the bathroom while I was taking a shower. Usually playing with his toys or just sitting around. So here I am getting out of the shower only to hear that awful “chocking,” sound that parents fear. Too young to know what’s really going on, my son's just standing there with his mouth open. I quickly look inside his throat and see a small white thing that looks like a cup. With my long fingers I was able to pry it out, once again not the “Heimlich” but at least it worked. And you know what is was? The small ceramic cap that covers the bolts that hold your bathroom toilet to the ground. These things are usually not glued down, and little kids can easily grab them. If you have a small child just take them off and hide them, because they almost became deadly to us.
Yeah, let me tell you about “close calls” in Kensington.