Last week I was talking to a coworker about the unexciting plans I had for Friday night, which involved, in their entirety, cooking a simple dinner for K, Munchkin, and me. We laughed about how “exciting” Friday was going to be.
Fast forward a few hours and I’m dialing Poison Control…
Admittedly, this is as much a “bad parenting” confession as it is a PSA. But when a toddler is screaming when you take away her “Elmo,” which is not what you think it is, you try not to aggravate her within the realm of activities you deem safe.
Munchkin, who is perpetually teething, has a fascination with holding small bottles and tubes. They fit in her little hand and are less inclined to make a mess than yesterday’s “mahtto,” the homegrown tomato she carried up the stairs and tried to squish all over my white carpeting. I don’t usually fight with her if she wants to carry them around. And yes, we own lots of toys, encourage her to cuddle up to her actual loveys, and have learned repeatedly that the really expensive toy is much less interesting to her than the box it arrived in. She’s actually taken naps clutching baby toothpaste (she calls it “Elmo” since his face is on the tube), the tinted Vitamin D bottle, or the homeopathic teething tabs.
You know where this is headed. K is playing with Munchkin while I’m being Productive Homemaker Mommy cooking dinner and turns away for just a moment. Next he’s back and panicking. “I think she ate a whole bunch of teething tabs!”
As Not-Stressed Mommy, I calmly ask how many. After all, I’d brought him the bottle and knew when I handed it to him that it was no more than a quarter to a third full. And he’s shaking the bottle now, and it’s still not empty. And they’re homeopathic, so it’s not like she’s got her hands on my prescription meds. I’d be Panicked-Hysterical Mommy.
But I was able to be Prepared Mommy and calmly selected Poison Control from my phone’s address book and detailed the problem to an awesome representative not a minute later. She knew the product I referred to and had all kinds of useful information at hand. Apparently some kids have downed the full bottle of homeopathic teething tabs before with no ill effects. I was advised to fill Munchkin’s belly with some food and to expect some caffeine-like effects, including possible pupil dilation, and obviously to take further action if she exhibited worrisome symptoms.
I’m glad to report Munchkin is fine. But I encourage all of you to add the Poison Control number, 1-800-222-1222, to your speed dial. I didn’t experience hold times or confusion and found the representative very helpful and well-informed.
Of course, K and I let Munchkin play with a closed bottle and she was able to overcome its childproof features. You can bet we’re extra-vigilant about any of the small bottles she clutches, tantrum or no.
What’s your worst or guiltiest parenting decision?