I never have to do stuff like call poison control,or emergency rooms, but today I did. Let me try to paint the picture for you. I woke up, prayed, ate a quick (diet) breakfast, and went into the classroom. I came back out around 3pm. Having so many ages to contend with makes me have to rotate some of the courses, so I can get the younger ones done early, while the older ones work independently. Once the little ones move out, the older kids get my attention. It works pretty well even if it is exhausting. So around 3 pm I 'left work' and came home...to a disaster. If any of you have ever dropped in on me, you already know it is regularly messy. Today was over the top.
In addition to the mess, I also realized I had failed to take anything out of the freezer for dinner, so was stuck wondering what to feed the crowd. To boot I had a few of Fred's invoices waiting to be sent out ( yes I do most of the office work for Fred too). And, If we wanted to eat next month, I better actually try to collect what we are owed. So in an effort to prioritize I went for the office work first. Somewhere in the middle of combing through receipts I heard a strange sound in the kitchen, kind of an electronic gurgling. I stood up and saw that Sophia had pushed a chair over to the fridge and climbed onto it. This wouldn't be a big deal, except for the fact she had her hand pressed firmly against the ice and water dispenser and was completely soaking the kitchen floor. There was a small lake growing below her. The older 3 boys were off to a class, the middle 4 boys out on the swings, and the 2 older girls running around encouraging Sophie's antics.
I picked up the wet child determined I had to finish the work, and decided since I couldn't trust her to not get back into trouble I'd put her in her crib for a half hour with her door open so she could still play with the girls ( Mary and Sarah follow Sophie around and not vice versa, don't ask me why- she just runs the house.). While she wasn't keen on the crib idea, the girls came directly in as I thought they would, so she was pleasantly entertained, and I was finally able to get back to invoices.
About ten minutes later, while I was making terrific headway, I noticed Mary and Sarah were travelling back and forth between the crib and the bathroom. I didn't think much of it. Then I heard Sophie coughing a bit, so I stopped and listened for a moment just to make sure everything was all right. She started giggling and the girls were still running back and forth, so I let it be. Another ten minutes went by. This time I heard Sophie start to cough again, but it was almost more of a gag this time. hmmm. And then I heard it again. I walked into her room to the most overpowering smell of spearmint. She was standing in her crib holding a little red cup and smiling and gagging both at the same time. As I picked her up I turned to the girls and said "Mary why does Sophie smell like toothpaste?" Sarah immediately began, "I didn't do it Mom". Mary said very matter of factly: " Oh I gave her toothpaste water." I calmly asked what toothpaste water was. Mary walked me down the hall to the bathroom where I found a more than half empty tube of toothpaste squeezed out. "You see, I put some toothpaste in the water and mixed it around and then I made Sophie drink it!" By now she could see my face changing and I didn't have to do anything more then say "Mary go sit on my bed." before she burst into tears and Sarah as well.
I then began reading the toothpaste tube for clues about how much was too much. I grabbed the phone and called Fred who responded immediately by saying "I'll be there in a minute." (OK here' is a side note. When my girls are finally old enough to date one piece of advice I am going to give them is this: when you finally meet the guy you think is it, call him unexpectedly one day and say there is an emergency and see what his response is. If he doesn't respond "I'm on my way" or "Be there in a minute" dump him immediately, if he does- you found a prince. Fred has ALWAYS responded correctly.)
I then called poison control and got a very nice man on the other end of the line. I explained what had happened and he asked 'is that her crying/" I answered " Gee- no sir, that is the five year old and the three year old crying because they were sent to their room, the baby is calmly sitting on my hip while I try to talk to you and hide from them so I can hear you!" The biggest struggle we had was trying to determine just how much of the tube of toothpaste she had ingested listen in on how this went. "Well, lets see we have ten kids- and thats a pretty new tube- less then a week old-its the large size though-cost effective- 2 of the boys have braces so they are bushing a lot- but some of the kids have to be told numerous times so I am not really sure how much each one them has used....they can be lazy" The nice gentleman told me Sophie would be just fine. I should give her a bottle of milk to bind with the fluoride. He said she'd likely have a stomach ache ( and minty fresh breathe).
For the first (hopefully last) time with poison control, it went relatively well. Fred walked in as I hung up just in time to calm down Mary and Sarah, and fill a bottle with milk. Sophie did seem to have a tummy ache, but was fine other than that. ( full disclosure I did call once before when one of the kids ate too many vitamins but since I knew exactly how many it wasn't really an emergency just a question).
Hopefully Mary and Sarah have learned their lesson. I also managed to finish the invoices, and the kids had scrambled eggs for dinner, we all survived.