So, the other night we’re in the kitchen, and our son crawls out and pulls himself up on the couch. (Yes, our couch is in our kitchen. It’s a long story.) He was chewing on something, and I saw a flash of what I thought was something white-colored. My the time I stuck my finger in his mouth to try to fish out the offending item, it was pretty much gone.
I chalked it up to that single piece of (unused) toilet paper that had been sitting its lonely self on the floor of the bathroom through the course of the day, since he had just come from that direction. After all, it fits right up there with his recent adventure of discovering and sucking up a small puddle of melted snow on the linoleum. And then licking. The floor. Around it. *shudder* I mean, I may not mind mud, and I might be right there with Calah when it comes to washing hands, but… yeah. Licking linoleum is a little disconcerting, nonetheless.
Anyway. I went into the bathroom a few minutes later and discovered:
Exhibit A: the single piece of toilet paper, still lonely, and still on the floor.
Exhibit B: the board that we keep up across a small section of the wall by our toilet has been pulled down, exposing the fiberglass insulation behind it.
So then I’m second-guessing myself, thinking, “Was it actually pink? And I just thought it was white?” Now, mind you, it’s been probably about five minutes, and the Wee Goon has been playing his merry way around the kitchen, acting like his normal self. But I thought, “I should find out if I need to, like, go get some syrup of ipecac or whatever it’s called.”
Now, at this point I’m remembering my days at the preschool when the little stuffed bear and his handler from the Health Department would show up and give this little presentation on washing your hands. Every kiddo got a sticker, a coloring book, and this handy magnet for Mom and Dad that had the number for the Poison Center on it.
But we don’t have great cell reception inside our apartment, and it wasn’t like my kid was convulsing on the floor, so I thought, “Rather than be the panicky parent, let’s see if the Poison Center has a website. Maybe I can resolve this without dialing a number.”
So I searched ‘poison center fiberglass insulation’.
You want to know what kind of results I got?
Links to articles about rodent poison. Apparently the poison center doesn’t have a website. (Or I just couldn’t find it.)
This is the part where my gut wavers on the idea of being as stalwart as Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ gut and gets a slightly tremulous sinking feeling.
So then I Google ‘my kid ate insulation’. Yeah, this blog post’s title is in honor of that search query.
This gave me results for people asking on Yahoo Questions about when their pet ate insulation. I said kid here, people! And then there’s one that says, “My 11-month old just ate insulation, what do I do?” (The Wee Goon will very soon turn that very age. Irony? I think not.)
So I clicked.
The answers she got ranged from, “OH-MY-GOODNESS-GET-THAT-KID-TO-THE-EMERGENCY-ROOM-NOW” to “You should probably call the Poison Center Hotline just in case” to “I and/or my husband works in HVAC and encounter that stuff all the time, have swallowed it, etc, to no ill effect, but we’re adults, sooo…”
At this point I thought, “Yeah, you know, I’m gonna call.”
So after once more eyeing my burbling Wee Goon, I bundled up and headed out the door to call the Hotline from our driveway, where we invariably get better reception. Or at least I do. My husband’s cell phone gets far better reception inside than mine does. Whatever.
Me: “So, my son may or may not have swallowed some fiberglass insulation and I wasn’t sure if it was poisonous or not.”
Poison Center Lady: “How long ago was this?”
Me: “About ten minutes ago; I tried Googling to see if I could find out if it was poisonous but all I got were answers ranging from to , so I thought I should call.
PCL: “Yeah, that’s why you shouldn’t really look online, you should just go ahead and call. Has he been pulling at his mouth, gagging, spitting, or anything?”
Me: “Err, no. He’s been acting like his normal self.”
PCL: “Okay, I don’t think it’s toxic, but let me double-check.”
PCL: “It’s non-toxic if ingested, but may cause some minor skin irritation.”
Me: “Thank you!”
So, yeah. You there. The person who got to my post because you, too, Googled ‘my kid ate insulation’? You heard the lady. Call them.
Really, in any situation like that, call them. It can’t hurt.
They’re not going to use your first name and zip code to track you down, steal your kid, and say you’re an unfit parent because your child decided to do some home renovation. (At least, the unmarked black helicopters haven’t shown up at my door yet.)
Unless you call and say that you’ve been offering your child ammonia and bleach as his accompanying dinner beverage. They might get suspicious then.
(Oh, and you know what? The next day, he pulled some uneaten rice cake out from under the couch. And ate it. And it was white. And I was all, “Oh, snap. Was that what you were eating?” Gotta love it.)
All this to say: it happens.
You are not an unfit parent.
Those times when your kid licks the linoleum, or eats insulation, or inadvertently scatters his cup of dry cereal during a church service, bringing new meaning to the Castin Crowns lyric, “Show me just how far the east is from the west…”?
Those times happen.
Google can attest.
I can attest.
The mama who approached me after church to tell me that she remembers when her son spilled his cereal during church and that she remembers what it felt like to want to crawl under her chair because of it… can attest.
God’s grace is sufficient.
Now go have a cup of coffee.