I hear shrieks of terror coming from the kitchen, where Jack has been eating a snack of dry cheerios. Miles has been teasing him.
“You’re not three yet! You’re not three yet!”
“I AM free. I’m in Twacy’s woom! Dat means I’m free!”
WHAP! Miles whacks Jack with a toy sword.
“Miles! Come out here now. Jack, finish your cheerios and let’s go!”
“Ah ayum! Ahm cuuhhmin’.” This little one has the strangest Southern accent I’ve ever heard. And a tendency to speak with his mouth full, making the accent all the more strange.
They both tear out of the kitchen, Miles chasing after Jack, who is hollering in fear, and running toward me.
His breath catches in his throat.
He is retching, trying to cough, and not breathing. His mouth is full of cheerios.
His eyes are wide and terrified.
I bend down, listening for sounds of breathing in his throat…nothing. I pick him up, holding his head down toward the floor at an angle. With my right hand I deliver several blows to his back.
Wet cheerios on my feet.
Five minutes later
He continues to breathe.
He just told me to “shut up.”