My First-Ever Call to Poison Control

It was rivalry week – Michigan vs. Michigan State football on the schedule this afternoon.
We were invited to a party at a friends house. We headed over a little early. Elle was great, in her Michigan cheerleader gear. As I continue to forget, it’s challenging to have a toddler when no one else at the party does – their kids are either a little older or younger. Which means, you’re at an un-baby-proofed house. And it’s a buggar. I opted to head home (about 2 1/2 miles) with Elle for a nap and some down time – which was exactly what she needed. A 2 1/2 hour nap later, she slept through the game where the Victors Hailed…and we went back to the party to pick Jon up a little while after.


She was in good spirits, all was well.


We hung out for a little while longer, but then opted to head home. Elle was still in a good mood and while it was after her normal bedtime, she had just slept from 4:30-7, so I was feeling a little bit adventurous. She couldn’t go to bed too early (as I type this, she’s screaming from her bedroom). Anywho…


I was checking my facebook or twitter, or something equally as inconsequential and Jon was playing Borderlands or something like that on the stupid Xbox.


And Elle disappeared around the corner. Not unusual, she normally makes the loop from living room to dining room to kitchen, to kitchen dining room, back to living room.


Except it got quiet.


Too quiet.


So I sped into the kitchen around the corner, and there she was…playing under the sink. In my head, I dreaded seeing the garbage laid out across the kitchen floor.


Instead, she’s in the dishwasher detergent box – the Cascade Action Packs – and I calmly freak out, yell for Jon. Say the f-word a few times. There is a large chunk bitten out of the crystals-side of the action pack. F— F— F—, I say. At least once.


I read the back of the box.


Keep Out of Reach of Children.


Well, that ship sailed.


If swallowed or in mouth, drink one glass of water and call a Poison Control Center (their capitalization, not mine) or a doctor IMMEDIATELY.


Jon’s reaction this entire time is to pause his video game, come look at what I’m freaking about and say “oh, she’ll be fine”.


I force her to drink a cup of water, no lid, no sippy, just right out of the cup, down the front of her pj’s. More water, more water, not enough water. I try to Google Poison Control on my phone, but it’s taking a long time. Too long.


I run here, to my trusty computer, and Google Poison Control.


And I dial.


And Jon has un-paused his video games.


I am calm, and yet running through various scenarios in my head, in fact dreading that the Poison Control guy is going to say we need to head to the E.R., STAT…


It wasn’t nearly so dramatic.


I have to say, my Poison Control experience was great.


The guy who answered the phone asked for the child’s first name so he could refer to her by name, asked what she had gotten into, asked about her reaction and how she was acting, how long ago it happened, etc. I give all this information. He reassures me that, based on what I’ve told him and that it was a small amount, it’s not anything to worry about at all, but he’s just going to double check.


He puts me on hold, and I’m glad that he reassured me before putting me on hold. I told him the directions I’d followed from the back of the box and he was great.


Jon, on the other hand, was still playing video games.


The P.C. man comes back from having me on hold, and tells me that Cascade has about 45 different products that are some type of action pack, so he locates the one that I have and assures me that there is nothing to worry about if she’s not acting strange.


While he’s telling me this, Elle is coming at my face for big, slobbery kisses. Nope, she’s fine, I sa.


I think I scared her, honestly. Well, she scared me, too.


I laugh and tell the P.C. man that she’s giving me kisses, etc.


He asks for some more information from me (probably so they can report me to CPS or something…bad Mom of the year award, you know).


I was glad of his help.


And then he said they were doing a survey, and would I answer two questions.




#1: Does the child have insurance?
(I answered yes, so…)

#2: What kind?
(I give my answer…)


The questions bothered me and got me thinking…why does it matter? I hope they’re using that information for good, to help more people, rather than proving that it’s not needed and taking Poison Control away…I digress.


And we hung up and I made Elle a bottle (after bitching at Jon that he continued to play his video game and couldn’t pause it for the additional seven minutes I would have required his support….I could just scream at the damn Xbox and him…).


I was mainly mad at myself, because I had the Cascade where it was, because the childproof lock-thing we have on the door is cumbersome, so I didn’t re-latch it the last time and because I’d known it was too-quiet and didn’t react in time.


As I rocked her to sleep (and battled her crying episodes twice through trying to write this post), I just felt like I wanted to become more of a hover-mother, to avoid this aftermath, but I don’t REALLY.


I feel like sometimes my level of laid-back-ness with Elle gets me – and will continue to get me into – trouble.




What to do?


Lock up all foreign substances. Monitor her more closely?? I don’t know. I don’t know. But for a 10 minute stretch this evening, I didn’t like at all where my parenting style got me. Not at all.


We’ve survived, however. Elle wasn’t suds-ing at the mouth and fought sleep in her usual ways. Jon’s playing video games and avoiding the topic at all and I’m going round and round in my mind and in this blog about what I need to change for this to never happen again.


So, there’s my first-ever call to poison control. Here’s to hoping it’s my last!