Today started swimmingly with a call to Poison Control. You see, in the time it takes me to walk to the bathroom immediately adjacent to my living area, pee, zip my pants and wash my hands (30-40 seconds, tops), The Beast can roll my office chair over to a cabinet, climb the chair, remove a bottle of infant ibuprofen from the cabinet, remove the childproof cap and hide under the dining room table so that he can destroy his liver in peace.
And like a ninja, he does it all in complete silence.
I instantly knew that something was amiss when I came out of the bathroom and realized how quiet he was being. Quiet is an omen, a harbinger of doom, a silence foreshadowing impending terror and hysteria.
So I immediately went to the place he likes to commit his acts of disobedience and supervillainy: under the kitchen table. As devious as The Beast is, you’d think he’d come up with a new place to perpetrate evil.
So there he sat under the table with an open bottle of infant ibuprofen. Then we had this conversation.
The Beast: Mommy, medis is so good.
Me: Did you drink the medis?
The Beast: Yes. [This is actually not a very helpful response because the child answers yes to any question you ask him. “Did you eat a dinosaur at lunch today?” “Yes.” “Did the clown come to school and spank you with a giant Twizzler?” “Yes.” So we weren’t really any further in the conversation at this point.]
Me: Did you eat the medis?
The Beast: Yes. [Still don’t really believe him.]
Me: Let mommy smell your breath.
The Beast: (Breathes on me.) [Again, this isn’t really all that helpful because I had just brushed his teeth and the stupid toddler toothpaste is all fruity just like the stupid infant medicine. At this point I curse Colgate, the makers of the stupid Thomas the Tank Engine toothpaste. I also curse the makers of infant ibuprofen for making medicine that tastes good. Why couldn’t it taste like feta cheese or fish, something that wouldn’t be so attractive to a toddler?]
Me: Breathe on mommy again.
The Beast: (Breathes on me again.) [I have the nose of a bloodhound but I am completely incapable of discerning whether the fruity breath on my toddler is from toothpaste or an overdose of medicine that is in the process of toxifying his liver.]
Me: Breathe on mommy one more time.
The Beast: (Breathes on me again.) [At this point my nose is literally in his mouth; still can’t figure out what the hell I’m smelling.]
Me: Beast, did you drink the medis?
The Beast: Yes.
I tell myself not to panic, but seeing as how I’m a raging paranoid hypochondriac with OCD tendencies, this is like telling…well, it’s like telling a hypochondriac not to panic.
I tried to discern how much of the medicine was left in the bottle. The Beast had a recent fever and I knew that the bottle was nearly half empty before the fever started. The bottle was now about a third full. Did he drink it? Is his liver shriveling up and spewing forth body-ravaging toxins?
I called my pediatrician and the nurse said that it likely wasn’t enough to cause any harm but to call Poison Control and they can give me further assistance with what to look for as far as symptoms of an overdose.
So I dial Poison Control and explain that I’m a horrible mother who had the audacity to pee alone. The kind lady at Poison Control took my name. I’m sure this is so that when CPS comes to my house to take my children away, they’ll have documented proof that I suck.
After asking me the kinds of questions you’d expect to be asked — How big is the bottle? How old is your child? How much does he weigh? Is he generally healthy, other than the whole evil supervillain thing? — the kind lady explained that even if he had consumed the entire bottle of ibuprofen, it wasn’t enough to be toxic. It might just make him sick to his stomach and sleepy.
I thanked her for her help, hung up the phone and said a prayer of thanks.
The point of this story is this: When you’re the parent of a supervillain, you can’t let your guard down for even a minute. They will take advantage of your coffee-filled bladder and use that to plot evil and mayhem and chaos. They will use those moments to consume medicine, dump containers of sprinkles in your pantry, remove batteries from remote controls and try to eat them, climb on the kitchen counter to locate scissors, steal lipstick from your bathroom and use it to color on your walls and steal glue sticks from your office desk and use them to draw on your windows.
If you’re the parent of a supervillain, you absolutely cannot relax while they are awake.
So now, more than ever, I vow to be vigilant about surveying my house and surroundings for potential implements of evil.
And I will never again pee alone.