Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Poison Control

I bet a lot of you readers took infant CPR class and if you did, your instructor probably highlighted the importance of Poison Control. Shortly after Primo was born, I took one such class, promptly bought Syrup of Ipecac and liquid charcoal and prominently displayed the number for Poison Control on my fridge.

Thankfully, I’ve only had to call PC once – when Primo was about a year old and I found him sucking on a Bic pen. I know, you’re probably thinking, why’d you bother calling PC for that? Seems pretty innocuous. But as his name implies, Primo is my first and I was super-neurotic in his early years.

Seconda, on the other hand, has ingested plenty of substances that would warrant a call to the PC if she were my first child. But as a second child, and a compulsive ingester of inedible substances, I have grown a little immune to her oral explorations. She bounces back quick and, I figure, lipstick, finger paint, Elmer’s glue. Trident wrappers and ants are probably all harmless enough, though I bet they taste like shit.

In fact, I don’t even have the number to Poison Control displayed on my fridge anymore. Not sure where it went but if I had to guess, I’d say Sec ate the piece of paper it was written on. Maybe even the magnet that held it in place.

Bottom line is: I no longer have the number for PC and that is relevant to this post because over the weekend, I poisoned myself.

Inadvertently, of course.

After bringing the children back from our ill-fated trip to the mineral springs pool, where a surprise noodle ban dashed all our hopes of happiness, I had a raging headache. Raging. I proceeded directly to the medicine cabinet and popped two Tylenol in my mouth. Though I’d like to pretend I’m the kind of tough chick who can swallow meds without water, I need plenty of liquid to help the capsules go down, and so, with my head pounding, my mouth full of analgesic and suffering from a sudden and desperate thirst, I walked into the kitchen for some water ASAP. And there on the counter I found a clean glass filled to the brim with crystal-clear wonderful, water. It seemed too good to be true but I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth so I guzzled it down. I drank about 4 ounces of the delicious, refreshing H2O, making huge swallowing sounds like someone who just got spring from the Sahara. Then, in the middle of my guzzling, I felt something touch my lip. I dared to dream that it was an ice cube but two things told me that it was not. The object was not warm, and it was green.

I put the glass down and saw a spongey green Grow Dinosaur bobbing in a shallow puddle at the bottom.


“Goddamnnit is not a nice word,” Seconda appointed out.

“Yes, but you can say it when you POISON YOURSELF!!!!” I shrieked.

“Why did you poison yourself, Mommy?” inquired Primo calmly. Although the sight of a dog across the street will send him into spasms of alarm, the information that I poisoned myself did not worry him at all. He was simply curious.

“I didn’t MEAN to,” I shouted. “DAAAAAVID!! Where the hell is the number for POISON CONTROL??????”

He, too, was not alarmed. I had to repeat myself at least twice before he even came into the room.

“What did you do?” he asked wearily.

“You know that goddamn—

“Goddamn is not—“ Sec started.

“Ok, Ok,” I said, trying not to glare at her, “You know those stupid capsules we bought with Grow Animals in them, from Target, like 12 of them for $1, the kind that are made in China and have large labels WARNING you not to go anywhere near them because they are chock-full of toxic chemicals? The ones we bought for the kids”


“Well I just guzzled down the water in the glass containing that toxic capsule and its stinky squishy poisonous Grow Animal.”

“Why did you do that?”

“It was an ACCIDENT,” I said, “I had a HEADACHE, From your CHILDREN. Why are we discussing this? I am poisoned. I need to call for help.”

David still didn’t seem alarmed.

“STAT!” I added.

He slowly walked to the computer to retrieve the information while I retired to the bed to wait for the effects of the toxins to manifest.

Then I heard him shushing Sec and saying,

“Hi, yes, is this Poison Control? . . . . Well, I’m calling --- I’m calling because my wife swallowed some Grow Animal water.”

He said it exactly as if he was informing her that there was a gerbil up my ass

“You know, those kids’ toys where you put them in water and they pop out of the capsule and start growing? . .

. . .Right, yeah, I had them too when I was a kid.”

He laughed and I gave him the international “Eye-on-the-prize-wrap-this-shit-up” gesture.

“No, she didn’t swallow the Grow Animal, just the water that it was submerged in . . . . uh huh . . . right . . . I know . . . that’s what I said . . . So I’ll just keep an eye out . . . OK, thanks. Thanks a lot/”.

“What did he say?” I asked from the bed.

“You’re fine. It’s probably just trace amounts of toxic chemicals. Good thing you diluted it in lots of water.”

“Well, that’s all well and good but I am lying here until I’ve recovered. I feel weak.”

My husband rolled his eyes.

“You are not weak. You’re all-powerful. Not even poison can kill you.”

I know he meant it as an insult. But I felt kind of proud.