Every time I turned around yesterday it seemed that Rachel was chewing, sucking, or chocking on some small, taboo object. A little piece of string, a carpet fiber, a dried up piece of hot glue, a cantaloupe seed, a piece of cheese, a little dust bunny.
Finally we called an official timeout from studying, playing, and dishes in order to do an emergency vacuum/sweep/mop job. Andrew stopped studying to vacuum, I stopped doing the dishes to sweep and mop, and Rachel stopped playing in order to watch daddy vacuum (that machine is so interesting).
Unfortunately, even after we had finished cleaning our floors Rachel was still finding odd little things to eat. I think she keeps a stash of contraband choking hazards somewhere in her bedroom. I'll have to check under her mattress or something.
We were both sick of prying her mouth open to dig out soggy bits of paper and other treasures so decided that she was hungry and fed her. That didn't work either. She continued to find little things to stick in her mouth after she had eaten.
It was like that was her one and only goal, to roam the house and find any bit of anything that the broom and vacuum missed.
She was still busy scavenging when I started preparations for dinner last night. I could hear her singing while she crawled around the house; her music only stopped when she was putting something in her mouth so that was my cue to find her and dig whatever it was out.
"La la ma ba *pause* ba *suck* ba *suck* la," I would come and dig out a soggy ball of string and something rather unidentifiable, causing a few tears to be shed.
"Ma ma ma da ga ka *pause* mruph *suck, suck* ktp ba *gag*," I would come and make her spit out a small rock and some dust fluff. She'd cry for a minute and then would cowboy up and go on the hunt again.
We went on like that for quite some time until instead of a short pause I heard a long pause followed by a tinkling sound. I ran to the bedroom and found Rachel, sitting on the floor by the night stand with my scriptures in her lap. In them she had found a little box of pencil crayons, which she was violently shaking, raining down pencil crayons all around her.
When they were all out of the box she grabbed a few and stuck them in her mouth.
I got some paper and showed her how to color on it and then helped her make a few marks on the paper herself. She had fun but, since most of her fun came from putting the pencils in her mouth and ripping sheets of paper off the pad, I don't think we're quite ready for coloring yet. At least it distracted her from her quest for small things long enough for me to get some work done.