We went to the JA dinner Saturday night for all the guys who plowed and help break the French plowing record. It was actually not as bad as I imagined, owing in no small part, I’m sure, to the fact that there was a large group of people who are, to put it delicately, too damn old to be part of any organization with ‘young’ as part of its name. This meant the meal started at 10 instead of the usual 11.
There were just under 400 people there, and certain things hadn’t been thought all the way through—like free T-shirt and poster distribution. So I ended up helping out (significantly) while my husband (who had to be there to help with something) passed the first part of the evening holding up the doorway. Great. Unhappy back and it’s not even dinner time.
Still, the presentation was nice. I was even happy to see the youngsters officially thank the oldest guy there—a young man of 90 years who not only came to eat with us, but also plowed on the day of The Record. They brought him up in front of the crowd and gave him a magnum bottle of champagne and he kissed and felt up Marie, the secretary, to the crowd’s approval. Amazing how different this country can be to home at times. Stateside that’d be a lawsuit. Here, it’s almost expected.
Dinner was, at least as far as I was concerned, rather light for the price we paid. There was a salade perigourdine, roti de biche with a gratin, cheese and a really tasty chocolate truffle mousse. The entrée was tiny and the meat left a lot to be desired, but overall it wasn’t that bad.
It was a dinner-dance, an activity I don’t usually engage in because I lack talent and rhythm, but even I got tricked onto the floor by the DJ. He was good, really good, and got almost everyone up at one point. But I really am old and Very Loud Music and I don’t get along too well—especially if it’s Really Loud French Music from the 80s. Ugh.
We got to watch the film they made of The Day—starring a bunch of the guys Marc hangs out with in their sexy Farm Boy attire. Marc’s got a large part, too, and you can’t miss him as he chose to wear those god-awful multicolored Bermuda shorts that are so loud they make your ears hurt. I am still amazed at how they pulled the whole thing off—the effort that went into organizing everything and the time they put in. Especially the amount of time—you have to remember this was right after the harvest and these guys work their asses off at that time of year. So it was interesting, and I guess I was really eat up with pride since we got to be part of it all. I’ve got a copy coming of the DVD so if any of you over here in France are interested in seeing it, let me know and we can figure out a way of mailing it around.
But the absolute best part of the evening was only having to tell Marc once that I was really tired. We left early—if you consider 2 am early.
We slept in the next morning, thanks to the in-laws who kept the monkeys for the night and half the morning. Of course, we did have to claim them early enough so they could go to Mass, but that extra hour counts a lot these days. A whole lot.
Of course, everything turned to shit after that. We put Tigger-ette down for her nap at 11, a half hour later than usual and she flipped the fuck out. In a bad way. So bad we gave in and went to get her (something we never do). Marc brought her down with this knot of worry in his brow. She was making funny noises when she breathed—like something was blocking her airway. And she had snot coming from everywhere. She was fine when we put her down, so we worried—a lot. We finally called the SAMU and they put us through to the on call doctor. He told us to come in at 2. We got off the phone, after being assured she could eat, and tried to calm down.
Within five minutes she tried coughing. She couldn’t. She couldn’t breathe either for a few seconds because her cough had turned into a heave and she was caught between breathing in air and coughing out something. It was another of those three seconds as eternity moments. But she got it up and out and then we freaked all over again. There was blood. That ain’t cool.
So Marc called the SAMU again, and this time they had us bring her to the emergency room.
In the car she calmed down and, as per her usual, fell asleep. So when we got to the ER she was a picture perfect angel, bright eyed and rosy cheeked without any signs of distress. But they took us right in anyway.
And she was fine. There was nothing at all wrong with her. She was calm and sweet and very curious, but not at all sick, and no where near as sick as she had been at the house. So what happened?
The doctor thinks she may have in fact swallowed or inhaled something—and given that she sleeps with her stuffed cow, he thinks it might have just been a bit of fluff from the damned toy, that it got lodged somewhere sensitive and irritated her. That explains the mucus, the itchy nose and throat and her funky-sounding breathing. And the blood when she finally hacked up that ball of mucus and bile. She was fine and we could all go home.
Thus ended the scariest moment of my life.
Funny how shit sometimes turns around on you. Whenever I have had nightmares about loosing a child, it’s always been Muppet I worried about—like Piglet was either invincible or didn’t rank worrying about. It’s true we’ve already taken Muppet in twice—once for his overdose of Piglet’s drops and the second time when he got electrocuted. But both of those times I’ve been able to rationalize it into what I did wrong, where the parenting net left a hole big enough for him to get hurt. And I’ve been able to learn from my mistakes and take steps to prevent stupid shit like that from happening again. But yesterday we did nothing wrong, there were no holes, and things went wrong anyway. And I haven’t ever felt so helpless or scared in my life. She stopped breathing for just a few seconds and I am so freaked out that it’s hard to function at times. What if it happens again in the middle of the night when we won’t hear her. Doing battle against irrational fear is tiring—and I still have the housework to do and Thanksgiving to start working on.
Dear God, please bring me some peace of mind.