On Wednesdays we go to a little parent/child playgroup for an hour after we drop Cannon off at preschool. The group meets in a classroom in Cannon's school facility. Laine loves to go, calls it her music preschool. We've been going for most of the school year so the other parents have seen Sommer grow. Sommer is at the put-everything-I-can-in-my-mouth stage. Before she was born I was worried about this time of her life because we have so many little things around the house for her to put in her mouth and because my floors are never clean. It made me sad to think about my sweet baby crawling around on dirty floors. I could mop every evening and sweep a few times a day to avoid this, but I hate moping because all that work gets undone so quickly, and I like to have time to do other things besides cleaning the house. So I've just accepted that Sommer crawls around and the floor isn't sparkling clean and she has been okay. In fact, she has had the most healthy babyhood so far of my children (knock on wood). The dr commented on this fact at her last checkup and said that often babies in big families are sick a lot because they are exposed to so many germs. Thank goodness we didn't follow that trend and Sommer is a healthy chubster.
So to continue with what I was going to say when I started. I am the parent with the most children at this playgroup. One of the toy boxes that is often out for play contains a jumble of 1 1 /2 inch rubber vehicles of all shapes and colors. There are no working parts, they are just formed rubber. Sommer loves to chew on these and since she has grown she can put an entire vehicle in her mouth. I was sitting by the girls occupied with Laine but conscious that Sommer popped one in her mouth and was chewing away when two moms quickly got my attention and said that she had a toy in her mouth. I smiled and said thanks, took it out of her mouth and wiped off all the slobber and moved Sommer a few feet away from the toys. The two mothers looked very worried, like they had just saved a baby from choking to death. I explained to a couple of moms sitting by me that Sommer always seems to have something in her mouth because there are so many little things around our house, but she chews on them and then spits them out after a few minutes. I didn't tell them that I had let her try to eat flowers and leaves while I was trying to get some things done in the yard. Well Sommer wasn't done playing with those toys yet and went back to them, put another one in her mouth and very soon after a different parent warned me that she had one in her mouth. I did the same thing as before and so did Sommer. Finally, the teacher who oversees the group said to me in a worried voice that "she has that whole toy almost down her throat, she might choke." I smiled again and reassured her that I knew what my baby was doing, and this time I moved to the other side of the room more for the relief of the other parents than for myself.
And that's a little bit about being the 4th baby in this house.