Saturday, May 28, 2011

An Unfortunate Day of Firsts

Originally when we set out with our camera this morning, it was to document a monumental event in our second son's life, his first train ride. Unfortunately, this was not the only first he would experience on this day.

The morning started off great. The family packed up for a late-morning jaunt to a city only a few train stops away. The kids were really excited, especially Hayden, who is a Super Fan of trains. As the train approached, we all boarded and embarked on our adventure.  

Note, for the faint of heart, nothing bad happened on the train, keep reading. Plus, I am actually writing this, so how bad could it be? Well...

{Happy Campers}

We continued on to the park.  Still fun...

We then set off for a nice leisurely lunch at Hola! on the Avenue.  Ry was resting in the stroller - that was being pushed by me, and Hay Hay had just dismounted from Daddy's shoulders. 

Unaware of potential danger, we walked past this... a fire hose hookup, with missing caps. Two small holes that someone at it's eye level, would find interesting and quite irresistible.

Daddy had just recovered from letting our little one down off of his shoulders, when I turned around and saw Hay, up to his elbow in the brass abyss.  Unfazed, we told Hayden "DON'T STICK YOUR ARM IN THERE!" We assumed he would easily slide right out.... unfortunately, what happened next was one of the most horrific moments we have had as parents to date.

{Yes, I took a photo. It only took 2 seconds. Don't judge.}

Hay pulled and pulled, and with every tug, the cries became worse. Our fears had escalated as well as those of passers by who were kind enough to call 911 and offer to help "our daughter" (hair reference). Daddy quickly realized - with limited viewing- that inside of the hose hookup was a butterfly valve. Basically, this valve is in place to regulate water flow, but if you stick an object inside - such as a small hand- with every pull, the disc will compress harder and harder on the inserted object - or small sweet fingers, in our case. 
A kind gentleman, whom we wished stuck around so we could properly thank him, was calm and supportive and helped us to trouble shoot the situation. Daddy was asking anyone in ear shot for some sort of narrow rod. A lovely manager from Banana Republic, named "J.J." was persistent in her efforts to help us and returned to our aid three times with a barrage of hangers and items to help us to push the valve back in, and free our precious toddler. Finally, a metal rod came to the rescue. Hay was free, and then, four emergency vehicles pulled up. The call probably incited a fear of a "Baby Jessica"-like situation.

Of course, words cannot express the pain we all felt in our hearts during this terrible 10 to 15 minutes of our lives. So many things went through our minds during this time. Thoughts ranged from "How do we keep Hay comfortable?" to "Why is he screaming- what is happening in  there?" to "Who the heck is responsible for this avoidable situation" to "Will they have to cut the pipe from the building?"...I can go on forever... It was a horrible test of patience and self-control, but thankfully there was no permanent damage and we went on to enjoy the rest of our day- albeit a little shaken.

I just remember the tears didn't fall from my eyes until he was free and I was able to digest what had just happened. It is unfathomable to consider what parents of children who have suffered real tragedy have endured. This small incident was enough for us.


  1. Oh Jordanna! So glad this had a positive outcome. As a mom who has had to bring multiple kids to the E.R. for either swallowing of sticking foreign objects up their little noses, I know how you feel.

  2. Thanks Liza. I just hope that the businesses fix there hose outlets and that parents will know what the inner workings are to free their little ones. It was scary for sure. And awful seeing H crying so hard.