Passing the Penny

No, it’s not a new way of phrasing the old cliché “passing the buck.”   I’m referring to something else entirely.

My three-year-old daughter choked on a penny a week ago.  It happened on a night when, coincidentally, she and her older sister attempted a “sleepover” together in the same bed, so fortunately, my six-year-old daughter saw what happened and alerted us.

She came flying out of the bedroom screaming with true terror in her voice, “She’s choking on a penny!  She’s choking on a penny!”

By the time we flew upstairs, the choking had stopped.

We found our youngest screaming and crying, “I swallowed a penny!  There’s a penny in my throat!  It hurts!”

A few minutes later, she insisted it was no longer in her throat and didn’t hurt anymore.

“It’s in my tummy now,” she announced.

I called the doctor 24-hour advice line and was informed that most things that go in usually come out naturally.  Unfortunately, we were told that we had to keep a close eye on things and make sure that the penny did indeed pass through her system.  (Not a pretty job, let me tell you.)

After a week, when there was still no evidence of the penny, we took her into the doctor, where our little one had her first x-ray.  I was allowed to go into the x-ray room with her to make sure that she was able to get undressed and lay still in the correct position as instructed by the x-ray technician.

I then stood back where the technician snapped the x-ray.  The moment she pressed the button, an image came up on the computer screen that clearly showed a penny in her tummy.

The doctor told us that as long as she wasn’t in any distress, we are to just keep inspecting each bowel movement.  If the penny’s still not out within a week, we’re to go back and have another x-ray.  This will continue for four weeks before the doctor decides whether or not anything additional needs to be done.  I’m hoping that it won’t take that long.

My daughter seems none the worse for wear at the present moment, and both she and her older sister think it’s hysterical that she’s going to “poop a penny.”


  1. my eldest did that and of course, his name rhymes with penny, so it’s in the family lexicon.

    it comes out very shiny, so you shouldn’t miss it when it appears.


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