Friday, July 10, 2009


Today I became a real mother--I made my first ever call to Poison Control. I feel like I experienced some sort of right of passage or something, seriously!

We painted the boys' room yesterday I was using a small cup while I did the trim. Cause you know, standing on a ladder with a giant paint tray is not such a smart idea, so I downsized. Since I did at least 80% of the painting, I thought it only fair that Rey did the cleaning up, and for reasons beyond my comprehension he tossed the almost empty cup in a trash can that is in our garage where not only Lila, but my crazy sons, have full and easy access.

Lila has recently learned how to back herself down the step to get into the garage. And today I was out there doing a million things in about 45 seconds, and she followed me. I was literally out there for a minute or two and had her kinda in my line of sight. All I had to do was look up and I could see her. How I didn't notice her get into that trash can is beyond me, but then again I would never have though there'd be freakin' PAINT in there either... to be fair and all.

So I am ready to go inside and start walking towards her as she started coming towards me and I noticed she is FREAKING BLUE. Not blue as in not breathing blue, but blue as in painted blue. Her arms, legs, hands and mouth.

I grabbed some wipes and yelled for Mason to bring my phone. Bless his heart and the wonders of having a four year old because he a) understood my request and b) could tell it was an emergency and promptly responded with a look of concern on his face. Of course I am in cell phone hell, and while the Poison Control number is safely programmed into my old phone, this new POS doesn't have anyone's number...

So I wiped her mouth as well as I could, as quickly as I could and took her inside to Google the number.

Man: "Good Morning, Poison Control." (I was very surprised at the casual nature of the whole thing.)

Me: "Hi, my 14 month old just got into some paint and she might have eaten a little of it." Remain calm, people. Calm in a crisis, that's me.

Man: "Interior latex paint?"

Me: "Yes."

Man: changing to an it's all good tone of voice 'She'll be fine' "Years ago paint was dangerous only because it contained lead, but today's paints do not so it's not unsafe to ingest. Just clean her up and give her a drink. She may have an upset stomach."

Me: "Okay, great!" crisis averted

The man took her name, my name and zip code, which made me feel slightly criminal, but other than that I was surprised by the lack of mother judgement. I do wonder if he was thinking how in the blazes did this woman let her kid get into the paint. But I thoroughly appreciated how knowledgeable, friendly and helpful the PC turned out to be!

After a good scrubbing Lila no longer looked like a member of the Blue Man Group, but her poor skin was red from my effort. Maybe tomorrow I will give her a bigger breakfast to thwart future attempts to eat potentially hazardous materials.

P.S. I'm usually quick with the camera during kids looking odd times, but seriously this time I was a little fearful for her life, so there is no photo evidence. I'm hoping this bumps me up a few on the "Bad Mother Totem Poll" that I didn't run for the Canon.


Kathleen said...

So wait - am I NOT a real mother because I've never called poison control? :D Glad she's okay and no worse for the wear (is that how the saying goes?).

We've had a lot of the "ingesting materials that were never meant for ingestion" situations, but since none of those things were actual poison, I never thought to call poison control. And everything eventually found it's way back out. :)

Ashley said...

Yep, I'm thinking less of you now Kathleen. Calling poison control is a milestone, a right of passage akin to getting your period. ALL the good moms have done it!

Amber Greenawalt said...

Well, then I must be one REAL mother since I've called 6 times in an 18 month time period. It is CRAZY how much stuff it's "okay" for kids to eat...

Rolaids...Birth Control Pills...Diaper Rash Cream...Dish Soap...A whole jar of Gummy vitamins...Interior Latex Paint...