I'll start with this: Sam is fine. But, I had to call the poison control hot line. Again.
Sam seems to be supportive of my writing at quite a young age. Or, at least, he offers no shortage of material. I was on deadline yesterday, editing my column and making drastic changes after realizing my first draft about how to avoid seeming like a Munchausen Mom was pretty offensive to people who actually suffered from that particular disorder.
I added what I hope is some helpful information, including the hot line number for Poison Control, because you never know when you'll need it. About an hour later, I was putting clothes away in Sam's room. I had to take an overflowing laundry basket back downstairs and couldn't carry Sam at the same time so I popped him in his crib with a box of toys, ran downstairs, put the basket down, stirred the chicken, and ran back upstairs.
"Gwlkjoihgslooo?" Sam said in response to my shocked face as he held a choking hazard in one hand (the cap) and a bottle of lavender essential oil in the other. It is supposed to be kept out of reach of children, but Sam can't read yet.
"Give that to Mommy," I said as calmly as I could. He had it all over hands and I couldn't tell if there was any in his mouth so I tried to smell his breath. He tried to bite my nose. Damn. I didn't want to call the hot line again but figured I better, just in case.
The hot line lady was non-judgey and helped me figure out the worst case scenario and told me I could expect some loose stools and about four hours of hyperactivity. She suggested making sure he drank some water and got a good bath. I was glad I called until she asked for Sam's name, my name, then verified my phone number and zip code.
Oh, God. I'm being put on some kind of negligent mother watch list. Then she asked if she could call back in a few hours to check on him. Sam acted normal for the rest of the evening, though he seemed surprised at how hard I scrubbed his little hands.
When the hot line lady called back I asked her about the tracking thing, you know, for my column. And before I knew it we'd been on the phone 15 minutes and I learned all kinds of things about how the call center worked, the types of calls they take and that while they do track the information, the records are protected by HIPAA privacy laws.
Though the hot line lady didn't ever ask how come I let him get so close to choking on the lid or swallowing something harmful, I felt the need to explain several times that it rolled off the changing table into the toy box. It turns out she's heard worse. She also said she suspects this won't be my last call. "He sounds like a curious little boy."
Yes. Yes he is.
I set up an interview with the director of Oregon's center and you can guess what my next article will be about, right?