I was sitting at the kitchen island when my 5-year-old ran into the room. “Mom!” she yelled, waving a small white tube of cream in her little hand. “Is this toothpaste? Goldie brushed her teeth with it!” I knew immediately that it wasn’t, as the tube was too small, but I motioned for her to come a little closer so I could see exactly what it was. And I knew immediately: My 2 and a half year old had just brushed her teeth with my hemorrhoid cream.
I grabbed the tube and headed straight to my kid. She seemed fine, but I scooped her up and washed her mouth thoroughly out with water in the sink and then promptly called poison control.
For those of you who have never called poison control for your child, it’s majorly nerve-wracking. By the time you press all the necessary prompt buttons and get to the live person, your heart is beating out of your chest. And when you get an answer, of course the tone is so serious. You are being peppered with very easy questions that you somehow now do not know any of the answers to — to then have to say “hemorrhoid cream” out loud to the grown man on the other line feels like an extra punch in the gut. But, whatever.
Thankfully, after rattling off the list of ingredients, I was assured that although she may suffer some light digestive troubles, she would be otherwise fine. Crisis averted.
But not for long.
Because exactly 34 hours later, my curious little toddler decided to eat another non-food product. This time, the menu item was eyeshadow, and it didn’t go quite as smoothly.
She procured the palette from her 5-year-old sister, who was having a “makeup party” in her room with one of her friends. And in my toddler’s defense, Too Faced did make it a little confusing by decorating the packing with gingerbread men and candies (it was the holiday collection). I’m pretty sure the makeup even smelled like holiday treats.
Anyway, I found her sitting cross-legged on her sister’s floor, covered in the brown and gold powdery shadow. It was all over the floor, covering her hands, and all over her mouth — a complete disaster. Again, I grabbed her and and headed back to the familiar sink, washing and rinsing thoroughly as she attempted to wrangle herself free. And then I scrolled just a few swipes down in my recent calls to find poison control, and gave them another ring.
This time I was immediately met with reassurance, as eyeshadow is almost always non-toxic. I was told to have her eat and drink, with a warning (again) that she might have some light digestive issues as a result. Well, turns out she is less tolerant of eyeshadow than hemorrhoid cream, or maybe she ate more of it, because she proceeded to vomit four times over the next three hours. Perhaps now she will think a little bit harder about what she puts in her mouth.
So, that’s it. I survived my double dose of poison control and so did my adventurous toddler. Now I will just pray that I haven’t triggered some kind of red flag in their system that might prompt a childcare investigation. But honestly, I wouldn’t blame them.
Samm is an ex-lawyer and mom of four who swears a lot. Find her on Instagram @sammbdavidson.