Choking Hazard 

“Danger Choking Hazard” is probably my favorite warning label. It could technically go on anything, a little determination goes a long way. I especially love the warning on kids toys because it is such an over simplification of the actual threat. 

“Warning: This Totally Looks Like Candy” is more accurate. 

“Warning: They Don’t Know Any Better” would work. 

“Warning: Never, ever, leave a kid alone with this. Like, don’t even blink” is going to drive the point home. 

But we are stuck with Danger Choking Hazard as the warning. 

Today, my toddler found a stash of marbles. Danger came in the form of shiny glass spheres. 

Last year my four year old received a marble run game as a gift. He builds intricate little contraptions, sends marbles down the chute, makes lots of noise and repeats. It is a neat toy well suited for a kid that knows glass tastes bad. It is not a good toy for a 16 month old who’s daily life is like a food eating challenge and he will eat the entire 10 pound burrito if it kills him. Kid likes food. 

So today the four year old pulls out his marble run game and I tense up a bit. The toddler runs over and starts pulling out the plastic parts too. For a brief moment I think all is well, the toddler will just mimic  his brother and all is well. 

Then the marbles show up. 

The toddler found a shiny orange one, gripped it tight between thumb and pointer finger and……starts to put it in his mouth. 

I snag the marble before he actually gets to eat it and say “no.  Not food.”

He doesn’t believe me. 

A blink later he’s trying again. We repeat the not food chat. 

Third time is a charm and I have what I thought to be the perfect idea to remedy the problem. 

As he tries it again (by this point I realize he will never actually listen to me) I stop him and tell him the marble is a ball. 

What do we do its balls? Throw them. 

Kid has a good arm and I have poor reflexes. Once he sees I am injured, but not stopped, we have a new game called “whip marbles at daddy!”

At least we cancelled out the choking danger. 

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