"My kid just ate silica gel?"
"How old is he?"
"Two, he's two. I found him with the packet ripped open and one in his mouth. I don't know how many pieces he ate before I got to him."
"Okay. Silica gel is non toxic. It's used in purses and shoes to absorb moisture. As long as he's not choking on it, he should be fine."
"Just treat him as you normally do. We have a new policy of calling back now, even in non-poison cases. What is your phone number?"
"And you're at XXXX XXXXXXX Road?"
"Yes, that's us."
"Okay, my name is Susan and we'll call you back later."
Yeah, so remember all those months ago when I called Poison Control the first time and was totally freaked out? Well guess how many times I've called them since then. Four. The culprits:
Ingested Jet Dry (non-toxic; encourage fluids)
Ingested Vaseline (non-toxic; has a laxative effect)
Sprayed Oxy Clean in eyes (holy mother of God did this one suck)
Silica Gel (non-toxic; no effect)
The Oxy Clean was really the only scary one, and it wasn't so much scary as it was just completely awful. I had been pre-treating laundry while both kids were napping. This was maybe four months ago, when Miles was still crapping out his diaper like three times a day, so pre-treating laundry was a huge part of my life.
Oscar woke up; I went upstairs to get him; I fixed him lunch and sat him down at his table to eat. Miles woke up; he had (of course) completely crapped out his diaper; I left Nelson in charge while I went upstairs looking for a fresh outfit.
"JENNI! JENNI!" Nelson called up to me urgently.
And he didn't' respond, so I just figured it was nothing. Let me be clear - Nelson calls me "urgently" when he can't find the peanut butter, or his shoes. Usually for very non-urgent things. So when he didn't respond to me, I assumed it was something non-urgent.
When I got down stairs about one minute later, Oscar was wet and crying and Miles was screaming in the Pack-n-Play (Miles was fine - just pissed off at being mostly naked.)
"Oscar sprayed Oxy Clean in his eyes."
"He just picked up the bottle and sprayed it directly into his eyes. He said 'Ow.'"
"Holy shit! What did Poison Control say?"
"I don't know; I didn't call them. I rinsed out his eye though."
So, I called poison control and they informed us that we needed to rinse his eye out for FIFTEEN MINUTES BY THE CLOCK and to call her back as soon as we had finished. Do you know how long fifteen minutes is when you are holding a squirming 30lb toddler's eye open under a constant stream of water? It's an eternity.
It was torture. I mean, actual torture. We basically water boarded our toddler for fifteen minutes, while Miles screamed in the other room. At first, Oscar was screaming, "STOP! NO! NO! NO!" and attempting to use Nelson's shirt to pull himself out of the stream of water. That went on for ten minutes (or ten hours, take your pick.) The last five minutes, he just sobbed and sucked his thumb; resigned to his fate, he didn't' even fight back.
When it was all over, Nelson held him on his lap for five minutes, until Oscar declared, "All done!" and resumed playing.
I called back Poison Control and the nurse instructed me to monitor his eye and if it got more red or began watering profusely or if he was complaining about it or poking at it a lot we needed
to take him to the ER. She was going to call back in the evening to check on him.
I was pretty embarrassed. This was our third call to Poison Control in six weeks.
"Jesus, Nelson, they probably have a freaking file on us. We suck so bad. We let our kid poison
himself like every other week."
"Jenni, the do not have a file on us. They are confidential. And there are definitely worse parents
out there than us."
I was unconvinced, but we went about our day. Oscar's eye was fine. I was putting him to bed that night when I hears the phone ring. I assumed it was Poison Control following up.
When I came downstairs I asked, "Was that Poison Control? What did you tell them? What did they say?"
"They said they are sending someone by tomorrow to inspect our house and talk to us about safety."
I think all the color must have drained from my face. I know I stopped breathing. I knew it! We were sucky parents and Poison Control was going to come to our house and tell us all about it.
"Ha ha! Jenni, I'm just kidding! I told them Oscar was fine and that was it."
"You asshole. That was not funny. You suck."
"Hi, this is Susan from Poison Control. I'm just calling to follow up on your toddler who ate the silica gel. How is he?"
"Well, he's refusing to share, throwing his food, and having a tantrum. So, the same as usual."
"Great! Have a good one."
"We will. Talk to you soon."