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Semele's Riches: Truly a banner day...

Semele's Riches

Adventures in handmade childhood.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Truly a banner day...

Yep, they make gowns that small.
Those of you who know and love my son will be amazed that it took us 43 months to get here, but we have now "enjoyed" Ian's first ER trip.  We arrived at the ER at 3:30 pm on Thursday, January 27.

It turns out that not only is Ian tall enough to remove Mommy's vitamins and OTC meds from the second shelf of the cabinet over the toilet, he is also quite adept at opening "child proof" caps.  And that his best partner in crime, Sophie, may not be tall enough to share in the opening-and-dumping fun, but she is not above eating pills off the bathroom floor.  (For the record, the penalty for these high crimes is 10.5 hours in the ER, half an hour in an ambulance, and a sleepover at  Fairfax Hospital with your partner in crime, followed by an afternoon playing in the snow with Raba and being spoiled by Rama.  Oh, and as many hours in a hard chair for Mommy and next to no sleep for both your parents, but who cares about that.)

In case you are thinking of asking about how any of this happened, please see the FAQ I have compiled, below.

1.  How did they get the tops off?

Quickly and cleverly.  They opened three pill bottles in less time than it would take an adult to read the directions on the lids. From the looks of it, they were thinking that it was pretty fun to watch the pills bounce around when you pour them from up high.  The evidence of my own ears tells me that this makes a LOT less noise than you think it would. We caught them before they had time to work on bottle number 4.
"But, Mommy, I don't LIKE that."

2. How many did they eat?

Well, when was the last time YOU counted the contents of an OTC medicine?  I've no idea how many were in there to start with, and rather than kneel on the bathroom floor counting pills (which, by the way, were soaking in a puddle of pee... not sure what mischief led to THAT little detail) I was busy- talking to poison control, cramming boots onto little feet and bodies into tiny jackets, and disregarding Braxton Hicks while I RAN to the car to put little butts into car seats.  Yes, folks, I was running like my tail was on fire.  I know some of you would have paid to see that.

My first x-ray
3.  Can't you estimate how many they might have swallowed?

See 2.

4.  How long did you leave them alone?

See 1. They were quiet for less than five minutes before we caught them in the act and we know EXACTLY what they were up to until they got too quiet.  They were never more than 20 feet away from us at any time.

5. What were you doing while they were doing this?

Puking charcoal so hard it comes out your nose takes it out of you.
Well, right BEFORE this happened, I was cleaning up in the kitchen, telling Ian to put pants on and not run around naked, speculating about whether Sophie would decide that Ian being naked would mean SHE was supposed to be naked, and telling baby Jonathan how cute he was.  Then I said, "You know, they are really, really quiet all of a sudden."  And I listened to Danette walk the 20 feet to check on them and heard "no. NO."  Then, please see 2.

"I want a cheese sandwich. And fries."
I can honestly tell you that over the last two days I've been scared witless, anxious, stressed, tired, and high on adrenaline.

What I did NOT feel was resentment toward the social worker who inspected my son for bruises and signs of abuse before signing off on his release, defensive when asked to tell the story of how they got the pills 500 times in 24 hours, or judged and found wanting as a mom.  Maybe people WERE judging and finding my parenting lacking, but all I can say about that is that what separates me from them is that nothing has happened to their kid... yet. I'm GLAD that showing up at the ER with two kids who may have overdosed on not one but three kinds of pills means that people pay attention and look for warning signs. I hope that it means that some kid who really needs help doesn't slip through the cracks.  And I hope you are ordering a burglar alarm for your medicine cabinet right now.

(By the way... the social worker recommends I "increase supervision" of my child.  Near as I can figure, I am never to eat, sleep, or go to the bathroom again.  And one of the ER nurses apparently recommends that we not let Sophie play together with Ian any more... I infer that this is based on the theory that my son is a hardened juvenile delinquent at the age of three and a half and is an intractable bad influence.  You've all been warned.)

Ambulance ride
In fact, other than wanting to slap the tech who lied and told Ian that having his blood drawn would be "fun," then flubbed it the first time, meaning that a now hysterically screaming Ian had to be forcibly held to the bed while they successfully inserted the port, then told me to calm down when I started to cry after several minutes of listening to my son screaming for Mommy to make them stop because it was "OUCHY, MOMMY NO!" I can sincerely say that mostly what I felt was gratitude.

Finally succumbed: Passed out right in Mommy's lap.
I was grateful for the high quality of care both kids received (and I did NOT beat that tech, even though he should have shut it before telling me to calm down because *I* was supposedly upsetting my baby when HE was the clumsy dude with the needle).  I was grateful that Silver Diner is open late and my husband was able to get us dinner at midnight.  I was grateful that Ian is a good kid who mostly cooperated with everything he was told to do- even drinking the charcoal, not pulling on the port in his arm, and leaving his leads on, which meant holding relatively still- not his strongest skill. I was grateful, above all things, that I had insurance and was able to focus on what my kid needed and not how we would pay for it. I was grateful that I have family in the area and that we were able to go spend the afternoon with a couple of loving adults who were there to pick us up from the hospital, spoil Ian, let me take a quick nap, wash the vomit out of my winter coat, and feed us all a good dinner instead of the PB&Js I'd have thrown together for us at home in my sleep deprived state.

Last but not least, I am incredibly grateful that all's well that ends well.  Both kids are fine. And I told Ian and Sophie that the NEXT time they want to have a sleepover, to please just tell me and I'll arrange for us all to go to the beach... it'll be cheaper, not to mention much easier on Mommy's nerves.

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Blogger said...

Wow Meghan,What a day! So glad everyone is okay! All I could think about is how this could happen to any of us. In fact when it happens to one of the best mama's I know it makes it pretty scary and just a reminder how little control we have! I loved your paragraph about the social worker; so true. Hoping you are getting some relaxation this weekend and some extra time in a comfortable bed rather than a hard hospital chair! Molly

January 29, 2011 at 2:43 PM  
Blogger Semele_74 said...

Yes, it was WAY more excitement than we really needed, but at least we figured out we needed to lock things down with no lasting harm done!

February 8, 2011 at 1:17 PM  

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