Okay, I thought I was pretty good at predicting what my child can get into and preventing it. Not this morning. While I was drying my hair, (which I admit, I spend a full three minutes on), she went into her bathroom and placed the potty seat over her head. (The kind of seat you put on the toilet so children don't fall through.) She came back into my bathroom and looked a bit perplexed over her potty seat necklace. "Isn't that cute," I thought to myself. "These are the moments when you need to have a camera handy." Except it wouldn't come off over her head. And that's when the sobbing and screaming started. Hers. My sobbing came later.
For ten minutes, I remained very calm, consoling her that "Mother will get it off, just relax." Twenty minutes later, I'm panicking. Who do you call? What could they do, anyway? The more I pulled, the more she screamed and I had visions of a sprained neck or worse. At thirty minutes, I started crying.
A few minutes of crying gave me the determination to fix this problem. Downstairs we go, potty chair still around her neck. Olivia is somewhat calm-- a little weepy, but not screaming. I go to the garage looking for any kind of saw I can find, which was a wood saw. Which was not designed for plastic, vinyl and foam and was a little large for the job anyway. Now we are forty minutes into the trauma and now I'm just angry. At myself, at the manufacturer of the seat, at my husband for being out of town, at the wood saw-- I was just angry. Time to reevaluate. I considered the Dremel tool briefly. Too noisy and I don't have that good of control. I took scissors and cut off the vinyl cover and pulled out all the foam stuffing. It still wouldn't fit over her head. I then start removing screws that hold the handles and some other plastic pieces on. Once I removed enough of the extra plastic, I was down to just a solid black ring of plastic. I then sacrificed one of my husband's precious expensive knives (sorry dear-- the serrated bread knife to be exact). I started sawing from the outside until I was halfway through the ring and realized for safety reasons (?!) I should probably saw from the inside out. So I stick the knife between her neck and the potty seat (yes, that is how desperate I had become) and sawed outward. Voila! She was instantly relieved. I had too much adrenaline pumping at that point to feel relief.
A banana and the ride to the office and she was as good as new. I was a little shell shocked and when I got to the office, I called the manufacturer of the potty seat to report the incident. Of course, as I recount the incident to this woman, I come up the other side of this mood swing and become almost hysterical with laughter. I can't stop laughing about the ridiculousness of my child's head being exactly the right size to fit into the seat but too big to get it back out. And the relief that there was only approximately 45 minutes of suffering and no long term injuries. What are the chances of this happening? At my house this morning, about 100%. So the manufacturer thinks I am a mother that has no problem using kitchen knives around my child's neck and that I might just be insane.
I will say the manufacturer was very concerned and requested that I send the seat back to investigate. They also offered to replace the seat, but I instead opted for some of their other products. I don't want to trash their potty seat because other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, it was a good one. I suggested they might want to make the plastic ring two pieces so it could be snapped apart.
That set the tone for the day. Enjoy your children and never, ever take your eyes off of them. My morning routine will now be performed with Olivia tied to my leg. My sister summed it up well-- children that age have great mobility and not one bit of sense.