I wasn't ready to post this until today. Initially I wasn't going to, but one of the reasons I write this blog is so I can go back when my kids are big and have an accurate picture of what life was like with two tiny ones. If I only write about the cute, fun, sweet things that happen I may very well forget about weekends like this past one, and end up with 18 kids like that one woman in Arkansas. (Bless her heart. She's much more together with 18 than I am with 2, as you will soon see.)
We had a house showing, a birthday party and a bridal shower on Saturday. In the morning we were all running around trying to clean, pack, find directions and get the kids dressed. As I was getting some socks from Ocean's room I suddenly realized that it was very quiet. I went downstairs and listened, but heard nothing. I called for Phil and there was no response. I figured he had taken the kids outside. That is, until he entered the house right at that moment... with no children.
"Where are the kids?" I asked.
"I don't know. I was outside. Weren't you watching them?" he asked.
"I thought you were watching them!" I said, starting to panic a little.
"Ocean?" I yelled. I heard a faint response: "NOTHING!"
I ran to the master bathroom, where the door was closed and both kids were inside. I opened the door and they were sitting on the floor amidst a pile of broken, chewed up and spit out Coumadin tablets.
I flipped. Then I called 911.
Phil started fishing pills out of Iris's mouth, while trying to get the story from Ocean. According to Ocean, he tried them but they tasted sour. Iris, however, consumed anywhere between "nothing" and "seven" pills, which pretty much translates to "I have no idea so I'm just going to throw out numbers until mom stops crying." (Staying calm in a panicky situation is not my forte.)
After speaking (shrieking? sobbing?) with the 911 operator and poison control, I was told to get to the emergency room as quickly as we could. As we were pulling away an ambulance arrived just to make sure we were all okay.
We got to the hospital and Phil dropped us off at emergency. If you want to be seen in emergency right away, just tell admissions that your kids swallowed blood thinners. We were whisked back immediately.
By now, Ocean must have realized that we were not going to Caitlin's birthday party and he started getting very anxious. As we were walking down the hallway to pediatric emergency he began screaming, hitting and kicking me. I ignored it because discipline issues aren't a priority when your child may have a stomach full of pills. He wiggled his hand out of my grasp and took off running back down the hall towards the entrance so I handed Iris to a nurse and had to chase him down.
The next 30 minutes were a blur of me attempting to wrangle my children as they tried to escape. Iris lost her boot in the struggle at one point and started screaming, "Shoe! Shoe!" as if she knew she didn't stand a chance of outrunning me and all the medical staff unless she had both of her little pink boots on.
Out of the blue, and miracle of miracles, Ocean calmed down after a nurse turned on the TV. He crawled into his kid-sized hospital bed, declaring that he did not want to go home, but wanted instead to stay at the "hoppital." Once Ocean was calm Iris relaxed as well.
They both had to drink charcoal. (Which, interestingly, has made a return visit for the past 48 hours.) We were all shocked that they both loved it, and I'm sure that was only because the doctor called it chocolate milk. Call anything chocolate and my kids will eat it. They had black charcoal goatees after devouring their delicious charcoal (gag) and the doctor asked me if I had a camera on my phone to take a picture. I wearily said, "I'm not actually certain that I want to remember this moment. But neat idea."
Then they had to get their blood drawn. Ocean was fine until he got poked with the needle. When he welled up I promised him more chocolate milk when they were all done. He was a little champ.
Iris started throwing punches the second the nurses laid her down on her cot. I was stroking her little bald head and saying, "It's okay, sweetie. Mommy's here." But it was no use. She was pissed. She was positively glaring at me. Her mouth was saying, "ALL DONE! ALL DONE!" but her eyes were saying, "You bitch."
The labs came back normal, but since Coumadin takes a while to actually thin the blood we had to go back yesterday to get more blood drawn. It was much worse for Ocean this time because he knew what was coming, but Iris pretty much lay there looking furious, undoubtedly plotting her revenge. The results came back normal for Ocean, but elevated for Iris which means she definitely ingested some. When discussing our follow-up plan with the doctors they said, "You guys are intelligent people so we want to include you in the decision-making..." and I thought, "Really now? Intelligent? Our kid(s?) just ate blood thinners. 'Intelligent' is not the adjective I would use to describe us at this very moment." So 'we' (Phil, aka the Coumadin expert) decided it would be best to check her levels again the next day (today) to see if they changed. (They did; they went down.) We will go back again tomorrow to make sure they're still coming down and if so then we can put this whole stupid thing behind us (or lock it up in a kitchen cabinet six feet above the tallest foot stool in our house).
This entire situation was not as funny as my language may reflect, obviously. While this was everyone's fault and yet no one's fault, there are many valuable lessons here, most of which you actually intelligent parents already knew:
1. Children should never be left unattended.
2. Never ASSume that someone else is attending your/their children.
3. Don't ever ever ever leave medicine in a place that children can get their hands on it. Childproof bottle or not.
This medication was inside a zippered bag on top of the sink. One of them pulled it off the vanity, unzipped the bag, opened the CHILDPROOF bottle (which is actually very common, according to the 911 operator, poison control, the ER doctors and the nurses at our family doctor, but does not make me feel at all justified in my failures here) and convinced the other one to start popping pills. And I would bet the farm that Iris was the ring leader. If you know my kids, you will not dispute this. This is not to place any blame on them, but simply to illustrate their amazing ability to get into something dangerous within minutes when we never would have seen it as a hazard.
I won't allow myself to think about what could have happened. I'm so thankful that they are both okay and I realize that many parents aren't so lucky. My children are absolutely my favorite people in the world and I would give my life for those little boogers. I can't imagine my world without them.
I'm sure this will go down in my personal parenting history as my stupidest, most negligent mommy moment. I just hope you all won't judge me too harshly, and that you will take the time to lock up any and everything that could be a hazard to your kids... though you probably already have.
If you have kids, give them lots of kisses. If you don't have kids, thank your parents. This is the hardest job in the world.