When I was girl, I heard the constant refrain from my mother, "I don't want another trip to emergency room" and her battle cry was not without merit. I can recall at least five ER trips, all of which were related to some sort of head trauma. Maybe there were more trips and I just don't remember because I had as many concussions as an NFL player. I don't remember all of the details, but most of my head injuries were caused by me directly charging at things with my head like a bull or me accidentally falling on me head. In any event, my mom's constant plea for my safety made absolute sense given my checkered past and now I have my own daughter with a similar proclivity for danger.
I have two daughters. Keep in mind, one of those daughters has a very serious CHD and we've never had to take her to the ER. HT on the other hand went on day one when we took her home from the hospital. Dear little HT decided to turn blue while I was nursing her. Sure, this might freak any new parent out, but it will scare the shit out of two parents who already had a blueish tinged daughter. We zoomed to the ER and saw the doctors immediately. HT pulse ox was 99%, her EKG normal, her heart sounded fine. We were assured about her perfect health and went home relieved.
And now HT is almost four. We stupidly thought that the child-proofing days were behind us. She understands now. She talks. For the most part, she listens. She's a good kid until she is not. There was one time time when she got nail polish or lipstick on her purple carpet and I spent the better part of an afternoon scrubbing the carpet with Resolve. Spray, set, scrub, rinse and repeat. I left the bottle on her bureau and went about my business. At some point HT ventured in her room and I didn't think anything of it. While we were sitting at dinner, she kept touching her eye. It was red. My first thought was pink eye from her poop covered hands because that's how my brain works and that's a very familiar road for us. Then I smelled the floral perfume of Resolve and I asked her if she played with the cleaner. She immediately owned up to it and confessed that she sprayed her face. Great. I almost ran her to the ER then, but instead I googled and discovered that I needed to flush her eye out immediately. My thought was if I ran to the ER, it would probably take longer to be seen and taken care of, so I wrapped her like a burrito in a towel with her arms and legs stuck inside. I assumed that she'd be fighting me. She was laughing. I then proceeded to hold her eyes under the cold water bathtub faucet in the bathroom for 20 minutes. Basically, I was waterboarding her. My hope was that the trauma of flushing out her eyes for 20 minutes would keep her away from spray bottles. HT's reaction was one of pure giggles. You'd think I was tickling her. She was practically giddy. When it was all over, I immediately googled "Is my child a sociopath?" The query came up almost instantly which tells you that this was not the first time I thought one of my children was a sociopath. At least according to google, HT is likely not a sociopath. Bravo to me.
Recently, HT was sent upstairs during dinner because she was not sitting, wasn't eating and was being genuinely disruptive. I told her to cool off in her room so the rest of us could eat. Eventually she came back down and joined us. Her behavior improved slightly. When we ventured upstairs for bed, Bean's baby aspirin bottle was empty on the toilet. It wasn't there before. I immediately turned my attention to the likely culprit and began questioning her, "How many did you take?" Her answer was "nineteen, nine or all of it." None of the answers were good. Clearly, I would I have to work on her counting ability when this was sorted out. I called poison control and was told to take her to the ER. To review, my child went upstairs, climbed on the toilet, reached up into the high cabinet pulled open the doors, retrieved a bottle of baby aspirin and opened the child-proof top and ingested an unknown quantity of baby aspirin. SOCIOPATH! I quickly bundled HT up and ran out the door with her, leaving J and a bewildered Bean to finish bedtime without us.
At the ER, I felt like a failed mom, telling the same story over and over again. Yes, my child got into the cabinet. Yes, it should have been better secured. Where was I when this happened? I get it. This shouldn't have happened, and yet it did. I was scared they were going to have to pump her stomach. I imagined her little face contorted and crying in pain and I squeezed her tighter. They took her in right away and tested her diagnostics. She had to pee in a little cup which she thought was the best game in the world. "I'm peeing on your hand!" HT watched Frozen while an EKG was performed on her. Next a nurse came in, wrapped her snugly in a blanket with her one arm out sticking out. HT's eyes remained transfixed on the screen. I prepared to hold her down while the nurse drew blood to test for toxicity. HT remained cool as a cucumber. When the needle went in her arm, she glanced at it and calmly asked "Is that my blood?" and then turned her attention back to the screen. Not a tear. Not a blip. No tantrum. When I told my friend about HT's reaction, she correctly pointed out that she was probably high from the aspirin.
Two movies later, we were released. She had elevated levels of whatever chemical is in aspirin, but not toxic levels. She was totally fine. I wanted to commend her for her bravery, but I also did not want to encourage any misanthropic behavior. I hugged her close and said again how it's very important not to take anyone else's medicine and how you only take medicine when mom or dad give it to you. I kept repeating myself over and over again, hoping that her little brain would absorb the lessons from tonight. Finally, I asked her why she took the aspirin. She said, "I wanted something sweet and crunchy and it was all I could find."
And that is why we keep carrots upstairs now;)