It all started when I put Fern in her high chair to give her breakfast. As I pulled the high chair over, I noticed something green being dragged underneath it. I bent down to pick it up and realized that it was a cube of mouse poison that was all wet and had been chewed.
Let’s go back a bit…
When we first moved into our house we had a mouse issue. Our house was/is a fixer-upper to say the least and it had been vacant for about a year before we moved here, which meant the mice got really cozy while it was empty. We decided to take care of things with some mouse poison. We used the kind that was in childproof/tamper-proof containers, but we also threw a couple of loose cubes behind our stove since that wasn’t a place where our dog could get to. We weren’t worried about Fern, because she was just a newborn. After about a month we got rid of the mice and I didn’t think about it again until today.
At first I didn’t even consider the fact that Fern had gotten it. She had been with me all morning – not out of my sight – so I instantly focused my attention on Marley our German Shepherd. I called my husband and then the vet and spent the morning trying to help induce vomiting for Marley. After two hours had passed and Marley hadn’t thrown up, I called my husband back and asked what he thought we should do next. It was then that he mentioned the idea that maybe Fern had gotten to it and asked me to think back and remember if she’d been out of my sight at any time. I sort of flipped out at that point.
I called poison control and they talked me down (apparently they’re quite familiar with neurotic moms). The woman I talked to was so incredibly sweet and helped me sort out what had happened and told me that this happens all the time and that she’s never actually had someone have to go to the ER, which was a total relief. She told me what to look out for and assured me that she would call back in three days to check in with us (since mouse poison is slow acting). If she had been sitting on my couch I would’ve hugged her. Dear Poison Control, you are the best.
As we neared the end of our phone call I dug the poison out of the trash can and realized while comparing it to our two other poison traps that there are actually two different sizes of poison. Initially I saw the larger size poison cube and when compared with the one I found on the kitchen floor, it was about half the size, so I assumed that half the cube had been eaten. But, I actually found the second trap and realized that there are also smaller cubes, which means that Fern or Marley only put the cube in their mouth and there really wasn’t as much missing as I had initially thought. Still so scary though.
At the end of the day, I learned a lot:
1. Poison control is awesome
It’s not awesome when you have to call them, but they are so helpful and wonderful.
2. Your house is never as childproof as you think
I have put a lot of thought into the set-up of our home to make sure that it is safe for Fern, but as she gets older I am realizing that she is able to get into way more things than I ever thought humanly possible. Those little cubes of mouse poison behind the stove? They must’ve gotten pulled out over time by the opening and shutting of the drawer under the oven. It is tiny details like that, that are so important to consider. Any type of chemical should be treated with thought and with your child in mind.
3. Life is precious
Even though this scare ended up being “nothing”, it very well could’ve been. I was terrified at the thought of something happening to Fern and it was a good reminder to cherish each and every moment I have with her. I can’t control the span of her life – she could live another 90 years or only nine…life is an uncertainty. But, I can control the time I spend with her and soak up every little moment for however long I have her and I fully intend on doing so.
Have you ever had a poison control scare with your little one? What happened? How did you handle it?
Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble. More from Lauren: