This is an old photo from Brynn’s 1st Birthday party, but it happens to feature the aforementioned water table and serves as a good visual.

Let me preface this post with the following:
I really do try to account for B’s safety while still allowing her independence to explore when making decisions about appropriate play.  Occasionally I fall short of this goal and unfortunately today was one of those days.
Continuing on…we are ready 30 minutes early for Riley’s vet appointment this morning.  This is unheard of; this momma does not do early.  It’s chilly and rainy, so I decide it might be fun for Brynn to play with her water table (sans water) in the garage.  She loves to stand on tippy toes while tossing the squeezable water-shooting balls into a funnel just within her reach.  The balls spiral down the funnel and exit through the bottom of the table.
She begins to play and I discover a hairy spider with a huge white badonka-donk sprinting laps in the table.  I remove Brynn from play area and do the logical thing.  Where’s the Windex?  This is my method of choice for exterminating all bugs that dare brave my path.  I viciously douse the squirming intruder in blue toxins until it withers to his untimely death.  Once disposed of, I realize I’ve just contaminated B’s entire table.  Dang-it!  Much hot water and dish soap clean up ensues.
Back to tossing squeezy balls down the funnel.  Naturally one of B’s slightly larger balls from the house made its way into the confines of the water table.  Within minutes of beginning play, her unmistakable frustrated squeal brings my attention to a clogged funnel.  B decided to jam the oversized ball down the funnel, followed by several of the other appropriately sized balls.  Much to her dismay, they are all stuck halfway down the funnel.  No problem; I got this.  We’re in the garage and Daddy’s not home to tell me his tools are off limits.  Lightbulb!  I will  simply use his fancy drill to disassemble the funnel.  I begin to unscrew the screws holding the funnel together, while Brynn watches with enthusiasm.  Whilst I am unscrewing the last screw, B loses interest in my progress, picks up a screw, and throws it on the garage floor.  I look up to scold her in time to see her make a flighty motion towards another screw, shoot her hand to her mouth, and swallow as I scream “don’t swallow that!”
“Brynn, did you swallow a screw?”
“Uhh huh.” (Panic sets in.  Any form of the word yes is not yet included in my child’s vocabulary, so why is she telling me she swallowed a screw.  The standard answer to any Brynn question is “no” or “please.”)
I repeat, “Brynn, did you eat a screw?”
“Mmm Hmmm.”
I scramble to count the screws.  There are 6 in the table, 1 on the floor, which leaves 1 missing screw.  Crap again.
I start to dial Daddy…nope.  Can’t call and admit that our child ate a screw on my watch.  I dial her doc instead.  The nurse informs me that standard protocol is to take a child to the ER if the object is larger than an inch.  Frantically measure and our screw is 7/8th of an inch.  Well, great!  How serious are they on this inch stuff?!  The nurse instructs me to see if Brynn can handle a drink of water and a piece of bread while she consults with the doc and calls me back.  My ornery turd (stealing that phrase from beloved SIL, Tobi) will not drink her water and pretends to choke on piece of bread before spitting it out.  Insert thorough inspection of screaming child’s throat with a flashlight here.
I decide to go recount the screws in the garage one more time.  There are still only 7.  I proceed to put toy back together in hopes that the missing screw is lodged in the toy.  Wait a minute?  All 7 screws are now back where they belong and there are no missing screw holes.  What?!  There were 8 screws…I know there were 8 screws!  But alas, there are no missing screws in this toy.
“Brynn!!??!!  Did you eat a screw?”
[sweetest smile ever] “No.”
And now I’m late for the vet!  I told you I don’t do early.

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