Early this morning I undoubtedly earned another one of those "parenting badges" you hear so many parents speak of. It's the kind of badge you don't really want and isn't really all that fun to earn but somehow, you feel like you've earned just a little more street cred as a parent when you achieve said milestone. Other badges in this series include The First Bathtub Poop, The First Stitches Incident and The First Muttered Curse Word.
Calling Poison Control was not how I intended to spend my breakfast. In fact, in the minutes before dialing their number, I sent a string of not-so-friendly text messages to my husband trying to blame him for the poisonous ingestion.
"Were you in the cabinet beneath the sink this morning? You have to be more careful! Why aren't you answering me? You're lucky this wasn't a real super emergency!"
And maybe a "I can't believe we're having another one of these," thrown in for good measure.
While standing over the stove scrambling the boys' eggs, Maclane was sitting at my feet playing with a spatula and mixing bowl, as he typically does. A second later he's handing me a chomped on, leaky Plink, one of those garbage disposal freshening drops that eerily resembles a lemon gumball. I glance over to the Poison Cabinet beneath the sink. It's locked with one of those child proof locks that's been on there since Carter was a scootch. One of those drops must've rolled out of the cabinet the last time someone was in there.
Oh, shit. This can't be good.
I quickly take note of the size of the culprit, how much liquid I think he ingested, whether or not it had all of its parts (as in, did he bite off a piece and swallow it?) and scrambled to find the package under the sink. All the while trying to rinse his mouth out with cold water and a rag.
"Call Poison Control immediately and seek medical attention."
Lovely. I now had visions of his esophagus shriveling up in a burning, fiery mess.
"Hi, Poison Control? I mean, good morning! My 18 month old just bit into one of those Plink garbage disposal freshening balls. He immediately spit it out and handed it to me- and I don't think he ingested too much of the liquid, although he does smell... lemony fresh."
My first time calling Poison Control. The operator on the other end of the line giggled and reassured me that he would be fine. She asked how he was acting and I admitted that he was jumping on the couch in a fit of giggles. Lunch would probably send us to the emergency room.
It sounded like she was googling the situation. She asked the active ingredient and I read to her straight from the box.
"Just keep and eye on him. His mouth might feel a little irritated but just offer him plenty of liquids and maybe even an ice pop or two."
Easy enough, I thought.
She then proceeded to ask for my name, phone number and zip code. Surely I thought she would send DYFS after me in a heartbeat. I felt like I needed to reassure her that he was literally at my feet when this happened. As mothers, we're always so quick to jump on the defensive.
"I swear I'm not a negligent mother," I felt like telling her.
I sighed, thanked her and hung up the phone. Not too shabby, I thought. Two boys, nearly 3.5 and 1.5 years old and we'd made it this far without a call to Poison Control. I'd say that's worthy of a parenting badge any day.
Although I'm not sure I'd like to earn any more of thoseother badges any time soon.