Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I've Got Your Number

"Poison Control."

"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."

"Okay, great."

"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.)

"What happened?"

"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."


Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

OMG, you poor thing! That's awful. I am happy to say that I have never had to call poison control (knocking on wood as we speak). You have some very curious boys on your hands! They just want to keep you on your toes I think! lol.

blissfully caffeinated said...

Oh. My. God. This exact same thing happened to us. Whoever those bastards are that make that desiccant silica gel need to waterboarded themselves. It says "DO NOT EAT" so when your kid eats it you freak the fuck right out. Avery ate some and we called Poison Control (BTW in 2007 I called poison control 4 times, last year 3, they have a file on us also) and the guy said it's just basically sand and it doesn't hurt to eat it. Son of a...

The oxy clean sounds scary though. Kinda like the time Avery ate part of my husband's cigar and we...

Never mind.

Glad Oscar is OK.

Cara said...

Holy. Shit. Methinks Oscar shall be keeping you on your toes for a long time to come.

I have yet to call Poison Control...but only because I can call Chase at work, where he can listen to me flip the fuck out, then get on some fancy schmancy website & tell me what I need to do & what I need to watch for.

Dishwasher detergent? Check. Oxy Clean? Check. Bubble bath? Check. Those little tablets that dye bathwater funny colors? Check. Ink from a pen? Check.

Mother of the year? Check.

Krystal said...

Oh so you're friends with Poison Control too? Wow!! Let's see - we have done the Windex, Adult Robitussin (Don't ask, my hubs thought it was children's Robitussin - they need to label these things better seriously!), Silica Gel - that is a common one. Yeah, been there done that - I know how you feel. You're not a sucky or horrible parent - you just have a precocious child.

Strawberry said...

Glad everyone's ok. Your stories make me laugh, but don't worry- I'm sure we'll be in for it, too, once ours can transport himself.

Becky said...

OH NO, I so would have freaked about the silica gel thing. Somehow I thought that was like rat poison. You poor things! I have had to call Poison Control only once, knock wood.

I got a sick feeling reading about the waterboarding. That must have been really hard on everyone.

Michele R said...

I loved this post--scary for you guys but great reading for the reader. I guess I don't have to ask if you have the Poison Control number on speed dial.

Martin said...

Dude, feed the kids more often!

kelsey said...

evil joke about the safety patrol swinging by, but made me laugh nonetheless... glad everyone managed to survive :)

Captain Dumbass said...

I don't think I'm going to comment on this at all for fear of something happening to me.

Casey said...

OMG. We haven't had to call yet but if mulch/leaves/acorns were anything besides a choking hazard, we'd have them on speed dial too.

Sprite's Keeper said...

As long as they're not charging you for it, keep them on speed dial!

Mrsbear said...

Your husband is EVIL. My husband would have done the exact same thing. Jerks.

I'm relieved to know all of your poison control calls have ended well. I would have FLIPPED if my kids had eaten the silica gel, I've always been convinced ingesting them meant certain death...maybe it was the all caps warning.

FoN said...

15 mins? That's insane. However the way you told it was REALLY funny so at least we got something out of it.

Susanica said...

Hi Jenni. This is hilarious (even though it's scary). I think it's time to "get" Nelson. I would have wanted to kill him too. Talk to you soon! -M

Unknown said...

This is one of my favorites... not the whole poison thing, but the story is great.

Keely said...

Note to self - put Oxy Clean on higher shelf.

That sounds rough. Toddlers are trying little monkeys.

Maybe its me said...

I know all too well how scary this is, but damn did your post make me laugh! I'm glad everyone is ok!

The Gori Wife said...

I heart Poison Control! I don't know what I was expecting the first time I called them, but they are so wonderful and reassuring and helpful.

Your husband, on the other hand? I think I would kill my husband if he played that joke on me. And by some sort of blunt force trauma, too - wouldn't want poison control to be able to rectify that.

Unknown said...

okay, i totally understand the freaking out but i love that you posted this.

it allows us other worry warts to know that we aren't alone in thinking that we are the worst parents ever. we're actually totally normal!

good to know silica gel is non-toxic...haven't encountered that one yet;)


elizabeth said...

Sometimes you are totally David Sedaris level funny.

Frogs in my formula said...

Love this ending.

EllenMarie said...

You fucking crack me up. AND you also make me feel like I am a normal parent. Poison Control IS a Godsend and grandparents house's DO SUCK, so badly.