Saturday, October 13, 2012

Mae Bae and the Late Night Poison Control Call...

When I think of the "terrible twos" I think of tantrums and biting, and dramatic falls to the ground followed by kicking and screaming.

In those respects Mae Bae is a pretty easy two year old.  She has tantrums sometimes, but not every day and they usually only last for about thirty seconds... because her little mind moves on, very quickly, to her next exploit, which generally has a goal of some sort, which she then focuses on whole-heartedly.

Lately, however, Mae's two great loves, climbing and getting into things she knows she's not supposed to be into, have overlapped.  Maybe it's that she's become increasingly confident in her climbing ability, and now can focus on more than just hanging on to whatever she's climbing... maybe she's just more adept at opening things that babies aren't supposed to be opening... either way, it's making life a little more difficult and a lot more messy over here.

Take last night for example... Mae apparently decided to work on her container opening skills when I thought she was snugly in her bed.

Mae has been in a rather cranky mood for about four days.  She's trying to give up her afternoon nap (which is her only nap), and while she can stay awake all day, she's in a pretty terrible mood by 5 pm, with tired little eyes and a short, tearful fuse.  Usually going into her room at nap time time results in an energized Mae, whether she's slept or not, but this past week it hasn't.  I can't help but wonder if she's getting a new tooth, or has some sort of mild bug.

Either way, after a very long day yesterday, we took our two tired little girls up to bed half an hour early.

They were instantly energized, with loud stomping footsteps running back and forth across the room.  I tucked them back in twice and went downstairs and began to sew, listening for any sounds that indicated a disaster.

Silence settled in quickly.  Now normally, during the day, silence is something to worry about.  If I'm doing dishes and the girls are in the living room and silence falls over the living room it's a pretty good indicator that something suspicious is going on out there.  But at night?  At night silence has always meant that they're asleep... and they're both good little sleepers that usually sleep from 7:30 pm to 7:45 am, without night after night.  And by now it was long past their bedtime.

Around midnight I was still sewing away when I heard a sound.  It wasn't loud or particularly worrisome, but I decided to sneak upstairs to take a look.

And there they were.

The girls were together in Mae Bae's bed and the bottom sheet looked like about 50% of it was soaking wet.  Sadie's clothes were slick and shiny.  Her hair looked wet.  Her skin gleamed in the light from the hallway.  Mae's fleece sleeper didn't look wet, but as the floor began to slide under my feet with a special sort of slipperiness, I felt it and felt an oily coating that was the first indicator of how bad the cleanup was about to be.

Then I saw it on the floor: an empty bottle of Burt's Bees Baby Bees Ointment.

My stomach began it's journey towards queasiness as I realized what had happened.

You see, both of our girls have insanely dry skin.  They have since the day they were born.  We go through gallons of lotion.  And shortly before we left Florida, when Sadie was battling the hives from her car seat, I had bought the ointment to see if it would help.

I love Burt's Bees Baby Bees products... but the ointment was a little too much like vaseline for me to use overly much.  Instead I kept it around, in it's rather large container, to use when I couldn't find the other lotions.  It would have been in their bedroom for those nights when Paul was studying and I didn't feel like going on a search for the other lotion container.  A little went a long, long way.

And now, the practically full container was empty.  They were covered.  The bed was covered.  The comforter was covered.  And of course, the floor was covered.

As I wrangled the two slick, now crying bunnies into the bathtub and began to scrub hair (they just didn't get why Mommy had woken them up and was so upset), Sadie sobbingly confessed that Mae Bae had opened it and started rubbing it into the floor.  I asked her if they'd eaten any, because there was so much missing.  And because Mae's binkie was slick with the stuff.  I examined the container.  No poison warning.  The main ingredients included castor oil and coconut oil.

There were many tears as I tried to explain to Sadie that I wasn't mad, I just needed to know if either of them had eaten it.  Sadie's was adamant that she had not eaten it, but that Mae might have.

Paul arrived home and called poison control.  We were told we were in the clear.

And then it was time to strip down the beds (thankfully I'd just washed a mattress cover and extra set of sheets), put them in clean PJs, realize that their hair would likely need to be washed many more times before it came clean.  Sadie's hair, which is nearly waist length when it's wet, was coated and took four washings before it became brush-able this morning.

I sewed until 3 am... listening to a rather cranky Mae (Paul was upstairs checking on her), who had a rough rest of the night, as I sewed and waited for silence to fall again.

Today I'll be searching for things that don't fall under the "dangerous" label, but that would potentially be, very, very bad.  I moved pretty much all the cleaning products down unto the shelves in the basement this week, but I've never given much thought to things like lotion.... or toothpaste.  I guess it's time to start looking around the house in a whole new way... because Mae isn't just a super climber... she's apparently pretty good at opening containers too!

I wonder how long this phase will last for...


  1. With your post on Facebook (I follow under my real name on Facebook) I immediately imagined Mae Bae getting into the toothpaste. Because that is what my toddler did a couple of months ago. And so I had to call poison control that day, to find out how bad this was and what to do. They were really nice, but I still felt like a horrible mother. Although, it took making it to my third child before I had to call the poison control center, so I must not be too horrible, right? Right? ;-)
    I am glad that Mae Bae was okay. Honestly, with the castor oil and coconut oil being the main ingredients, the side effects I would expect would be laxative effects, but not poisoning.
    By the way, I love the picture of Mae Bae at the top of this post. Such big blue eyes and an cherubic face. You have sweet girls.

  2. I can totally imagine it happening with toothpaste too! That was actually the biggest possibility last night, other than the ointment, because I had left a tube of toothpaste up on top of a dresser, out of sight and safe (or so I thought... I've rethought that now!).

    And I think making it to three without calling poison control is impressive! We called with Sadie right before Mae was born when we were working in a garden at our church and I saw her grab a handful of red berries and shove them into her mouth... major panic moment (thankfully they weren't poisonous either).

    I think we're averaging one call per child, right around the two year mark!

  3. Oh, I totally sympathize because my oldest covered herself and her bedroom with a tub of Aquaphor during a "nap" when she was about Mae's age. That is a tough, tough mess to clean up. It must have been even tougher at that time of night.

  4. I use a floride free toothpaste tom of Maine. As long as there's no f then I assume its fine. Although the foaming agent which is detergent makes me weary. I also worry about hand soap. They say "keep out of reach of children " and its always by the sink everywhere.

  5. This is unrelated (although that sounds horrible and I'm embarassed when I think of what my reaction would have been...) I really like your Nico widget and I'm putting it on my site.

  6. If you are looking for safe ointments for your girls....mine has eczema really bad, and a friend of our is an ob-gyn and she is a huge proponent of crisco. Yes, crisco, seems gross but it is totally natural for your skin, it is also an awesome diaper cream....clearly a problem with cloth diapers but otherwise it is great.


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