Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Breathing Makes You Die. Arguably.

The 5-year Old has seen someone be sick at school. On the plants, apparently. Never having been sick herself, she’s quite eager to get in on the act.

“I feel like I feel like I’m going to be sick,” she tells me.

“You’re going to be sick?”

“No, I feel like I feel like I’m going to be sick,” she replies.

“Do you mean you feel like you’re going to be sick?”

“No. I haven’t been sick yet, but I feel like I’m going to be later,” she clarifies.

“What does that feel like?”

“Well, I can feel it coming up from my tummy. It’s nearly reached my chin.” She suddenly claps a hand over her mouth, and continues in a less audible fashion. “I’d better do this to keep it in!”

“I think it comes out a bit faster than that,” I offer. “If it’s got as far as your chin, it’s usually all over.”

She drops her hand and thinks.

“I’m going to stop swallowing and breathe more to keep it in,” she muses.

I ask if it’s possible to stop swallowing, which strikes me as a reflex, but she is already too engaged in taking great wheezing breaths like a tiny and more animated Darth Vader.

“Careful not to hyperventilate!” I warn.

“What does THAT mean?”

“It means… well, if you breathe too much, you might pass out,” I explain.

“I’d die??”

“I’m not sure that’s what I meant…”

“BREATHING makes you DIE??”

I try to correct this misconception, but she is already puffing out her cheeks and holding her nose in an over-dramatised display of saving herself from the hidden dangers of breath-death.

At least it keeps her quiet. And she’ll probably start breathing again if she does pass out…

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