Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Who you gonna call?

I got to call Poison Control this morning, oh joy. Jacob, who is 9 – years, not months – proudly told me that last night he had mixed a variety of lotions and medicines together, added a little water, and created a potion.
“What did you do with it?”
“I drank it. But just a little! I’m letting it sit some more, to see if it makes something different.”
I had him show me just how he made his concoction. There was really very little of anything, but who knows how much pimple cream or hand lotion it takes to hurt you?
 “Jacob, we’re going to have to call Poison Control.”
“What’s that?”
“It’s…it’s the government. It’s the government, Jacob. And they are going to need to know about this.”
“Because it’s against the law to drink things that might be poisonous.”
We went downstairs and called the number. I showed him how you can tell how important Poison Control is, because it’s in the front of the phone book.
Someone named Rosie answered. Jacob fiddled with a paper clip as I told Rosie all about it, and read the labels for all of his potion ingredients. She said he would be fine, but all I said aloud was, “Mm hm.” Didn’t want Jacob to know just yet.
Rosie asked for Jacob’s name. When I told her, his eyes got wide. Finally! The first sign that he might be worried about the situation. Let him wonder if the Poison Control government people would come for him. I just gave him a concerned look, and shook my head.
When I hung up he asked, “Why did you tell them my name?”
“Because they asked for it. They keep track of who makes concoctions that might be poisonous. Now they have your name.”
“What are they going to do with it?”
“I don’t know.”
I almost smiled at this point, but I didn’t want to have him think it wasn’t a serious thing he had done. So, I started crying.
“Mom, why are you crying?”
“Because it scares me you would swallow something that isn’t safe. What would I do if something happened to you?”
“Like what would happen?”
We then had a brief talk about organ failure, and Jacob said, “Like my heart? And my ears?”
“Yes, just like that. They could stop working, and you could die.”
Hopefully that will be the last time I call Poison Control, but it wasn’t the first. If they keep a list of calls I’ve made over the years (not all for Jacob), that list will look something like this:

~Child ate poster putty.
~Mom administered too much liquid Tylenol. (Oops.)
~Excessive toothpaste consumption. (Actually had to call about this one on two different occasions.)
~Glass thermometer bitten and broken; mercury spotted in child’s mouth.
~Desitin diaper ointment: entire tube thickly smeared (by toddler) over infant’s entire head; in ears, nostrils, over eyes (thankfully not in eyes); small amounts may have been consumed orally.

That last one was pretty scary, but interesting. If I’d known he was going to be fine, I would have stopped to take a picture. He looked like Uncle Fester with all that creamy, white Desitin on his head.
Big shout out to Poison Control. Nice people, nonjudgmental. Good at calming frantic parents. Don’t hesitate to call if you have a question.
As for Jacob, I suggested that next time he wants to make a potion, he should try using food items. For instance, chocolate sauce…with lemon juice…and maybe ketchup?
To reach those Poison Control government people call 800-222-1222.  Well, that's our local number.  Wonder if it's the same for you?


  1. I think you should steer that boy toward a degree in chemistry...when the time comes, that is.