I had a mind once. Now I have small children.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Aloe Vera Gel Incident (or, You are a Bad Mom and Now We Have it on Record.)

First things first. I am a bedtime Nazi. I don't care what my kids are doing, or where they are, or how bright the sun is shining, when it is bedtime, my Goombas go to bed. This may sound mean, but I have learned through experience, that if my little ones miss bedtime, the next day is a nightmare.

I am a believer in a child learning how to fall asleep on their own. No keeping them up until they are walking monster zombies. No rocking until they doze in my arms and then try to transfer to bed/crib. Bedtime is bedtime. There is a routine and we follow it every night. Sometimes, they may not be quite ready for bed. And that is ok. Because bedtime is sacred time for Mommy. There is no diverting from the plan.

And so, the other night, after a very long and cranky day for everyone in the family, the Goombas were promptly put to bed on time. Mario and Peach fell quickly asleep. Luigi, not so much. For some reason, my little man just does not need or like sleep. Being someone who LOVES sleep, this drives me mad.

A side note--Luigi is not only a non-sleeper, but also a very curious kid. Another appropriate name for him would be Curious George. Luigi will get into anything that piques his interest. Childproof caps? No match for Luigi. We have had to strip his room almost bare because of his curiosity. I don't mind if the kids want to mess around in their room quietly before they fall asleep, but I have gone in to check on Luigi before to find diaper cream spread all over the walls and diaper fluff flying all over the room. this is not an exaggeration. So, now he has his clothes, his blankies, a few toys and his books in his room. Except for the other night.

After a day in the sun, Luigi was suffering from a little sunburn and, oops, silly Mommy left the aloe vera gel on his dresser. And of course, little man was not tired, as usual. I walked by his room about 45 minutes after bedtime and saw his light coming from under the door. I walked in and found--you guessed it--aloe vera gel everywhere. In his hair, on the window, on his bed, on the carpet, and coming out the side of his mouth. Wonderful. I did a quick ingredient check of the bottle and didn't recognize 2 of the main ingredients, and so I had to go make The Call.

I despise calling Poison Control. Don't get me wrong, they are lovely people that want to help my children in their time of need. But, they also are just a bit on the Judgy McJudger side, and I am not a fan of that.

Here is the conversation that ensued after the Aloe Vera Incident (actual words in regular type, my thoughts in parenthesis):
Poison Control (PC): Hello, Poison Control, how may I help you?
Me: Um, yeah, my son just ate like 1/2 a bottle of aloe vera gel.
PC: ok. and how did this happen?
Me: I left it in his room because he has a light sunburn and he got into it. (I fed it to him on his ice cream tonight, how do you think it happened?)
PC: Ok, ma'am. How much do you think he ate?
Me: Well, it is hard to say. It is a 6 oz tube, about 1/2 gone at this point. But, it is also all over his room and body. He said he ate some.
PC: So, you don't know how much?
Me: No. Not exactly. (Shall I pump his stomach for you so we can see?)
PC: Ok, can you please tell me the brand and read the list of ingredients to me?
Me: Sure. (proceed to read ingredients)
PC: (interrupting) Are you in the medical field?
Me: Huh? Um, no.
PC: Because you are really good at reading those words! I don't think I could do that!
Me: Ok. Thanks? (Lady, let's get back to the matter at hand. Is my son going to die, or should I prepare for a night of vomit, or what?)
PC: Please hold while I look up these ingredients. I think it is ok, but I want to be sure.
Me: Ok, thanks. (crap. I got the rookie poison girl.)
A few minutes of lovely Muzak later....
PC: Well, Aloe Vera can cause severe cramps and diarrhea. How does he seem?
Me: Just fine right now. (Oh hell. I haven't gone up there to check on him since I got on the phone with you, but I am not about to tell you that!)
PC: Just keep watching him tonight. He might vomit...yadda, yadda, yadda..... (ok, she didn't actually say that, but she did go off on this whole plan for watching him and calling back if necessary.)
Me: Ok, thanks so much for your help.
PC: Wait, before you go, I just need to get some information from you.
Me: Ok. (SH!T!!! Now, it is going to be on record forever that Luigi's mom let him eat aloe vera gel because she wasnt' watching him.)
PC proceeds to get info from me.
PC: Thank you! Now if you have any problems tonight you can call back and give your name. We will know about your case.
Me: Thanks, good night. (Holy hell. Of course you will know about the case, because now you are keeping track of me and what an awful mom I am. Grrr......)

This sounds like an innocent conversation, but I heard it in her voice. I heard the, "oh, you LET your son eat aloe vera gel. Hmmm...I wonder how THAT could have happened?" in the undertones of her questions. I also heard the slight suggestion of, "maybe you should not LEAVE the poisonous solution in your son's room next time." I even heard the hint of, "We KNOW you will be calling back, so talk to you later, lady."

Or maybe it just so happens that I am crazy?


1 comment:

  1. I've had to call twice I think so far in this mommy-hood adventure ... I KNOW by the time my kiddos are older my name is going to be flagged/bolded or marked somehow! Great story. Could totally relate!