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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Urgent, Urgent, Emergency ...

I hope I do not disappoint you by not writing about Foreigner or children and rock n’ roll! We had a recent emergency of sorts in our household. The result ended up in me typing a big list of emergency information and sticking it with a magnet on our refrigerator by the telephone. I will save you the phoning and searching and provide one for you here in case you do not have a Notfall list of phone numbers yet pasted up in your household.

This was prompted when one of my twin boys, Tobias, came running into the kitchen, where I usually am, and mimed-out “mouth, big round circle, stomach”.

He is 6 years old and he speaks, but was not speaking now. I asked Marcel Marceau what exactly he was talking about and he tried his miming several times until tears came in his eyes and he finally said “I swallowed money.” Silly me, silly mothers of the world, why do we always ask Why? He claimed he only wanted to lick it and was too upset to explain how big it was or which number was on the front.

I called the emergency poison control number. The number in Göttingen is responsible for Hamburg, but it was busy, so I called Berlin. It didn’t matter, as they are both opened 24/7. There are doctors on the telephone to assist and direct you where to go and what to do about poison. No, metal coins were not poisonous for a little child’s body, but could be a threat to the intestinal workings.

Next, I called the pediatrician. He said I had to “find” it… to make sure it went through. That was Sunday. We saw the 5-cent coin again on Thursday, five days later!

When we saw the stripped-fromcolor coin, Toby was surprised and said “Oh, my Po-Po did not fall off!” Poor little guy, he thought his bottom would turn into metal and fall off if he “got rid” of the metal coin. All was well… in the end.

originally published in Currents Dec 2008/Jan 2009

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