Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Just call me Mother of the Year

Joseph lulled me into a false sense of security. When he was little I could give him a stack of books and he would be busy for hours stacking them and lining them up. He never got into things he wasn't supposed to. He didn't like the taste or texture of most foods so he never tried to eat anything he wasn't supposed to. I knew this wasn't typical behavior for kids but I guess I never gave a lot of thought to what is typical for kids.

Elle is typical. She likes to explore. She likes to get into things. She like to try new things out. She like to eat. She likes to taste new foods. She can be a little bit sneaky when she's trying to get away with something.

That false sense of security I built up with Joseph came back and bit me in the butt yesterday.

Elle and I were in the backyard. She was playing with a bucket and shovel and I was working in the garden. After a while Elle got bored and asked if she could go in the house to get another toy. Normally I would have gone in with her but I was up to my elbows in dirt and weeds and grass clippings so I decided just that one time to let her do it herself. After all, she's three and a half, it should be ok to let her out of my sight for a couple of minutes in my own house right? Right?

Not more than three minutes after going inside Elle came back out with a couple of toys from her room. She played and we chatted while I finished up my gardening. After about 45 minutes we headed inside and Elle made a bee line for the candy basket. From somewhere inside of it she pulled out a box of chocolate laxatives. I don't know why they were in there, I didn't even know they were in there. I laughed and said "Oh no Elle, that's not candy!"

"Yes it is!" she cheerfully responded. "I eated some already."

I look inside the box and sure enough, an entire bar of laxatives is gone. Elle ate twelve times the adult dose of laxatives then neatly closed up the box and threw the wrapper away. Then she went to her room, grabbed a toy and came outside to where I was gardening. And I didn't even realize she had done it.

Once I realized what she had done my jaw dropped to the floor. She looked so pleased with herself that a tiny part of me wanted to laugh but first I had to be sure she wasn't seconds away from shooting her intestines out at a high rate of speed.

On the back of the box it says "In case of overdose call Poison Control immediately."

A bunch of thoughts ran through my head. If I called would they yell at me for stupidly storing laxatives in a candy basket? I probably deserved it. Would they laugh at me? I probably deserved that too. Would they send someone to my house to take the kids away since I can't supervise them properly? Would this all go on my permanent record?

I put my worries aside and called Poison Control (after looking up the number on-line*) and explained the situation to a very nice man named Dave. Dave didn't yell at me or laugh at me. He was friendly, calm and informative. I was frantic and nearly in tears when I called but Dave put me at ease right away. He told me Elle would be ok but that we would probably want to stock up on Pedialyte and diapers (our precarious potty training situation has been shot to shit by this incident). The main thing though was that he reassured me Elle would be all right.

She has been all right. Oh, don't get me wrong. It's like a poop tsunami around here. Elle seems no worse for the wear though. In fact, she thinks it's just grand that she gets to drink special "teddy bear juice" and have her mama fuss over her. She's happy as a clam.

I feel horrible though. What a stupid, stupid thing to have happen. It goes without saying that the laxatives should not have been in the candy basket. I don't know how they got there but that doesn't make it ok. I shouldn't have let her go into the house alone. I just should have been more careful all around.

Edited to take out some real Debbie Downer stuff. Sorry about that.

It's hard to feel like a successful parent when your kid is sitting on the potty chair and drinking her 4th Pedialyte of the day.

* Toll free at 1-800-222-1222. As for Dave. He's very nice.

Four years ago today Joseph was spooky.


Anonymous said...

Some day you will laugh uproariously about this like I did reading it. It will probably be AFTER the poop smell has left your house ;) My dog got into a bottle of multi-vitamins once. Ate the whole damn thing. I called poison control and they told me that they don't do poison control on dogs. WTF? Dogs are people too!

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

I had to call poison control once when I found Ethan slurping down toddler toothpaste. Most of the (new) tube was gone. We've all had these moments...someday you can tell this story at her graduation!

Emily said...

I contained my laughter while reading this until I got to the end and realized I had the biggest smile on my face.

Aren't you glad your mistakes can bring others joy?

Mostly I'm glad Elle doesn't seem to be too affected by it!

And you're right... this does reinforce my decision to never have chilren. Thank you, because I never will have enough reminders.

Gina said...

We've all had things like that happen. I once gave my daughter too much dramamine on a trip and didn't realize it until approximately 16 hours later. At which point I was like, "oooooooh, so that's why she slept the whole way." (in my defense, the outside of the box - which is what I went by had different dosages than the inside-which I didn't see.)

Shannon said...

Those things happen to everyone at some point. I figure we just count our blessings that nothing serious happened and learn to do better next time. Glad your little one is safe! And yes, I think you'll definitely laugh about this one some day. :)

Cathy said...

Oh man. It totally shot to shit your potty training, eh??

Anonymous said...

oh, see i'd totally go with it and sit him on the toilet and then maybe he'd finally HAVE to poop there.

Jen said...

You're one of the best moms I know, Jen... and frankly, I would've let a 3 1/2 year old go into the house to get a toy w/out even really thinking about it. So who's the crappy mom now? No pun intended.


Stimey said...

Hey, sweetie, don't beat yourself up too much. I've called poison control more than once. No matter how hard you try, your kid will get into something sometime. And I would let my small child go into the house alone too. Consider extra poop duty to be penance and forgive yourself.

Mrs. Schmitty said...

HOLY CRAP. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Don't beat yourself up!! We've all had moments like these. She's fine.

You are a great momma!!!