I Finally Forced Myself To Go To the Dentist and This is What Happened

I hate pain of any sort. I’ve always had a very low pain tolerance level. Even a light headache will send me scrambling for a painkiller because otherwise I will be tossing and turning in bed unable to do anything.

About 12 years ago I got a small cavity in the furthest molar on the bottom left side of my mouth. When I went in to have it filled, the experience was so painful that I never had it refilled when that filling eventually fell out.

Then I got pregnant with Logan and the tooth went from small cavity to gaping hole on one side. And it got worse with each subsequent pregnancy. Most of the time it didn’t hurt. Other times it ached so badly I would cry. I used the excuse that I was pregnant or breastfeeding to not go, but the reality was that I was reluctant to get it fixed because of my earlier painful experience.

A few months ago, the molar directly above it began hurting. Since the pain was off and on, I figured it was a cavity and I slowly worked up the courage I needed to go to a dentist. I kept putting it off, until a few days ago when the pain was so severe that I couldn’t sleep.

I finally went to a local dentist and showed him the two teeth that were hurting. I had a full dental x-ray done (the machine that goes around your head and you have to bite this plastic thing and close your eyes, very weird), and the dentist showed me two things.

First, the huge cavity may or may not be salvageable. A specialist will come and check it out and decide whether a root canal, filling and capping the tooth, would be best, or pulling it out. I still don’t know which I’d prefer, though I’m leaning towards pulling.

Second, the tooth that I thought was a new cavity is not one. The pain I’ve been feeling that extends through my whole jaw and even to my ear is caused by an extra tooth that is up in the gum trying to push its way down on top of the tooth that is already there. There is one on the other side of my mouth as well.

The only solution to end the pain? Surgery to remove the tooth! I’m freaking out at the prospect, but with a pain that doesn’t let me sleep unless I have a hot water bottle, I am ready to do it. The thought of having my mouth sliced open and having to endure days of swelling and pain afterwards is not fun. But being pain-free afterwards is worth it.

Besides, I may just lose some more weight from this, being stuck on a liquid diet until I can eat without pain. I’ll probably be inhaling painkillers like candy for a while.

I’ll keep you posted about how it goes.

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Febrile Seizures – Dangerous? Or Just Scary?

A few weeks ago Logan came down with a fever. He was fine at bedtime, but when I went to take him to the toilet a few hours later, he was burning up. That was the beginning of a very long night.

Logan woke a lot, calling for water, cuddles, blankets, etc. At one point it seemed he had been calling for a while but I was so tired I didn’t hear him. He wet his bed and I had to change him and the bed while he fussed about feeling cold. Just as he was settled, he yelled again and told me, “The castle is rising!” I should have realized then that his temperature was high, but my tired state had fogged my brain and I made him go back to sleep.

At 5:30 a.m. his yelling woke me out of a sound sleep. I dragged myself to his bed again and asked what he needed. It took a minute for me to realize that he was freaking out because he was having a febrile seizure. His body was shaking, his muscles were tense, and he was scared. It wasn’t the first time this had happened, so I was able to keep him calm by talking to him until the seizure stopped.

The commotion in the kids’ room had woken everyone except Scarlett by this time. Lila was asking what was going on and why Logan’s body was shaking like that. After what seemed like a few minutes, but probably wasn’t more than a minute, the seizure stopped. Glad and I got Logan cleaned up (he had wet himself, normal during a seizure) and back into bed. We gave him some paracetamol and put a cool cloth on his forehead to help bring the fever down.

Daddy lay down with Logan while I tried to get Lila to go back to sleep in my bed. Logan was delirious and kept talking nonsense. (Later in the day he told me his bed had been rising off the floor and he thought he had been dreaming while awake.) Once the medicine kicked in and he was cooler, I took his temperature and it was still 103F. I can’t imagine how high it was during the seizure!

This is the second or third time Logan has had a febrile seizure. Had I not read about them shortly before it happened the first time, it would have freaked me out.  Febrile seizures are generally not dangerous to a child’s health. They are usually caused by a rapid rise in the temperature of the fever. They occur in children between the ages of 6 months – 6 years, and are more common in boys than girls.  In most cases, a medical exam afterwards is not necessary, unless you notice that your child doesn’t seem like themselves after an hour or more, or the fever doesn’t go down after you’ve given them something for it, or if the seizure happens again during the same illness.

Some tips to remember if it happens to your child:

1. Breathe and stay calm- it is scary but not dangerous.

2. Make sure they can’t hurt themselves while their body jerks around. Don’t hold them, but stay close until it ends.

3. They may or may not lose consciousness during the seizure (Logan didn’t).

4. A seizure normally lasts between a few second and 5 minutes, but can go as long as 15 minutes.

5. The child may wet or throw up while it is happening. If they throw up, make sure they are lying on their side so they don’t gag on the vomit.

6. Once the seizure is over and your child is cleaned up and calm, you can give them whichever OTC fever-reducing medication you normally use. Make sure to follow the body weight dosage listed on the bottle and measure out carefully. A cool cloth on the forehead helps too.

This is only a rough listing of things to remember. I suggest you read more on febrile seizures so you can be well-informed and prepared should they ever happen to your child.

Medline Plus – Febrile Seizures

MayoClinic.com -this link has a lot of information on them, spread over several pages. Click the link at the bottom of each section to make sure you get all the pages.

Has your child ever had a febrile seizure? What was your experience?

Scarlett’s Accident

(This is a backlog post. It should have gone up June 3.)

There comes a time in every child’s life when they experience something that can make a mother’s heart stop.

With Logan, it was his premature birth and 10 day hospitalization. With Lila it was the time she drank turpentine at 2 years, 1 month old. Scarlett had yet to do something to freak me out severely (other than running off in a bookstore and hiding when she was 18 months old), but that changed last week.

I will have to begin with some background.

It was Monday, a rather stressful day for me because it is grocery shopping day. I used to shop alone with Scarlett while the other two were at school, but now with the arrival of summer holidays, I have no choice but to shop with all three kids.

Logan was already fussing when we got to the mall because we were only doing grocery shopping, and he wanted to go to the arcade and toy shop. He has no patience for shopping so he was running around, touching everything – every display, every shelf, every food item. He broke candy bars, crushed bags of chips and grabbed everything he could. Normally he is fairly obedient and can manage a trip to the store without too much wildness, but this day his hyperactive nature had taken over and it was all I could do to not yell at him right there. (He has ADHD.)

He continued to be wild during lunch and rest time, and on into the afternoon. He was mean to the girls and kept making them cry. Any sort of punishment didn’t faze him at all.

I finally decided to take the kids to the playground near our house, hoping that some outdoor play could burn some of his energy and tire him out. Yet he continued to be wild. Several times I had to pull him aside from his play as he was biting and pinching the other children. He even bit his own lip when he fell as he was racing up the slide.

The whole time I was keeping half an eye on the girls as they climbed the jungle gym. They are both quite good at it, so, while I stay near them, I don’t have to be right there. At one point I had to go to Logan again, and I didn’t see Scarlett follow me, nor did I see her climb the straight metal slide (not the ladder but the slide) until she was at the top.

She learned to climb the slide some time ago (barefoot), but I’m always next to her as there are no safety rails and she hasn’t yet figured out how to turn from her climb to sitting without putting her butt over the side. I’m sure you can guess what happened next.

It was almost like seeing something in slow motion. I saw her at the top of the slide. I saw her begin to turn, and then I knew she was going to fall. I was too far away to get there in time to catch her. I left Logan and forgot his naughtiness as I ran to my baby.

The slide was about 6 feet at the highest point and she fell from the top, landing in the sand flat on her chest and tummy, hitting her lips hard on one side. Horror stories that I had heard of kids dying from falling off a slide filled my mind, and I struggled to push them away so I could focus on Scarlett. At first she cried while I carried her to a bench and tried to clean the sand off her face, but then she was quiet, scarily quiet. She just sat on my lap and looked at everything. I kept asking her questions but she wouldn’t answer. I managed to round up Logan and Lila, and we rushed home. All I could think of was getting her home, putting ice on her ever-swelling lips, and helping her recover from the shock she was in.

She wouldn’t let me put ice on her lip, nor did she want me to get the sand out of her mouth, both of which made her cry. I was afraid she had some internal injury since she was so quiet. I called Glad, who was working on the other side of town, and told him what had happened.

He asked some questions and then reassured me that she was probably fine but to keep an eye on her.  I held her close and told her how sorry I was that I hadn’t been close enough to catch her. I couldn’t do anything but rock her. After about 30 minutes (from the time she fell) she began to move around. I put a video on for her and then went to my room to cry. The guilt I felt was massive. How had I not noticed her following me? Why wasn’t I paying more attention? Why hadn’t I been right there to catch her? It was awful.

Finally I realized I had some hungry kids on my hands so I forced myself to get up and cook dinner, even though I wasn’t very hungry and could hardly stand to look at food. Surprisingly, Scarlett ate a good dinner! I thought she might just have some yogurt because she could hardly open her mouth, but she figured a way to slip the food in on the side that wasn’t sore. (Fried chicken liver, French fries, and cucumber slices.)

Afterwards she was perky and climbing around, even jumping! She was fine as I showered everyone and got them ready for bed. I let her lie in my bed and she went to sleep quickly.

Glad kept checking in every hour, and he was sure she didn’t have any internal injury, since she was breathing well, had eaten and didn’t throw up, nor was she complaining of any pains other than her massively swollen lip and a sore chest. I, however, was still freaking out inside.

I kept her in bed with me all night. At one point she scared me by waking up and just sitting there and staring straight ahead. After what seemed like forever, she told me she wanted water and to get up, but it was only about 4 in the morning so I convinced her to go back to sleep.

In the morning her lip looked scary. The top one on the right side was big and puffy, the bottom about half the size. Above, below, and on her lips were all the tiny scratches that had scabbed overnight. Scarlett herself was perky as ever, ate a good breakfast, had a normal bowel movement, and showed every sign of being ok internally. But just to be safe, Glad took her to the hospital for a checkup.

I didn’t feel relief until they got home. The doctor had confirmed that she had no internal injury, and her lip was going to be just fine. The swelling went down rapidly over the next two days, so fast, in fact, that we could see a difference from one hour to the next. Now, exactly one week later, all the scabs are gone and there is no evidence that she had such a bad fall.

Since that day I’ve made sure to stay right next to her at the park whenever she is climbing. She is daring, like Lila, and will climb on most anything, so I can’t let her out of my sight. She may be a good climber, but she is still a toddler and doesn’t have as good balance as Lila does.

I shudder every time I think back on that moment when she fell. I’m thankful she fell from the 6’ slide and not the higher spiral one that she so loves. I’m thankful I wasn’t far when she fell, so I could pick her up right away. I’m thankful she wasn’t seriously injured. And I’m most thankful she is still here.

What has your child done to freak you out?

Our Healthy Diets – and Aspartame

Over the past few months, I’ve been doing my best to change the way we eat at home in order to improve our diets and make sure they are the most nutritious they can be. Since I found that I needed to change my own diet in order to lose weight, of course I wanted everyone to eat better. So I began to see how I could change my shopping list in order for this to happen.

It was a slow process, changing one or two items at a time, eliminating the less healthy options and replacing them with healthier ones. For example, I switched jam for honey. At first I thought the kids would prefer the jam, but they don’t. They love honey and pick it all the time, so now I no longer buy jam. Though I was buying the healthiest jam I could find, it was still high in white sugar, so I’m happy they love honey. I recently found a place that sells brown sugar so I was able to stop buying white sugar, too.

I also searched until I found real cheese and totally stopped buying the processed stuff. Real cheese is quite expensive here, so it took some time to find one that was in my price range, but it was worth the search.

I do most of my cooking with olive oil, and I keep on hand some sunflower oil for making baked goods, or else I use real butter. I also have a small jar of extra virgin olive oil for salads and hummus and stuff like that.

I used to buy a lot of cookies and other snacks (that I mostly ate), but now I’ve replaced them with more fruit. Good thing my kids are fruit lovers. They will eat it any time. Their preferred snacks are peanuts, raisins, dates, plain crackers (whole grain ones), chikki (a treat made from peanuts or sesame seeds and jaggery), granola, and of course, fruit.

While I used to buy certain items because they made meal prep easier with small kids, now that my kids are older I do make some other things since it is healthier, and often cheaper, than buying them already made. For example, I began making peanut butter this week to cut the cost of what we were spending on it. Logan loves peanut butter and will eat it every day if I let him. But the one I was getting kept going up in price and for one small jar of 460 gr. I was paying the same as for a kilo of chicken. It was way too much. I found that I could buy 1/2 a kilo of plain peanuts for less than half of what I was spending on peanut butter, and it only took me about 10 minutes to whip it up in my blender.

I have one of those blender sets that comes with different cups and blades, and one is specially for grinding. I just put half the peanuts in with a little salt, then slowly worked the blender until it came to a spreadable consistency. It is lighter than the store bought stuff and not sweet, but the kids eat it with honey anyway so why keep buying something that has extra sugar and is breaking the bank when I can make it for less than half the price, and it is healthier to boot!

I still make my own yogurt because it is cheaper, and I make granola for that reason as well. The plus is that I can make the granola how we like it and it is very healthy.

Learning to like veggies is a little harder since they are not sweet like fruit, but my kids are slowly progressing. Logan was stuck on only having carrot sticks for a long time. They had to be raw (he never ate them cooked) and the only other veggie he sometimes had was cucumber. He is slowly coming around and is trying new things here and there. He now claims to like lettuce, and wants to eat green veggies in order to turn into the Hulk. (Who says superheroes can’t do anything for kids?)

Lila and Scarlett will try more veggies. Lila loves most raw veggies that I serve, including spinach, but tends to pick out cooked ones. Oh, the other day I made a carrot and cabbage coleslaw, with the cabbage being finely grated instead of chopped. Logan only saw the carrots and raisins, and claimed he loved it. Big win!

It is great to see them eating better, and I am feeling better knowing we are on our way to healthier lives through eating better.

Now onto what I really wanted to write about today.

Despite making all the above-mentioned changes, along with getting more exercise, I was still not feeling as good as I should have been. I really can’t explain exactly how I was feeling, but it was a general “could there be something wrong with me” feeling. At the end of each day I felt blah. I would feel better in the morning but by evening I felt weird again. To top it off, I began having fears I’d never had before, fears of instant death, fears of leaving the house, leaving my kids, being alone in the house when Glad was gone, constant thoughts of “you’re going to die right now”, etc. It was really weird.

Then one night I had something happen that had never happened before – I had a panic attack. I tried to go to bed, but every time I laid down I was sure that was it for me, that I was going to stop breathing. I kept getting up and lying back down, and each time I laid down it would hit me again. I prayed hard and the feeling finally went away.

It continued to happen several times after that. I never knew when it would hit, and I couldn’t figure out what could be the cause. I was beginning to wonder if I was seriously sick or something. I spent a lot of time praying just to get rid of the fear and it helped some but not completely. I also found myself getting upset with the kids more easily, losing my temper and yelling, screaming really, at them for minor things, which was really odd. I’ve never been one to get upset so easily over such small things.

Since I didn’t understand what was happening, I didn’t tell Glad what I was feeling until about 10 days ago when I began to feel this odd pressure in my nose and forehead. We talked about how maybe I should have a medical check up  but the more I thought about it, the more I became convinced there really wasn’t anything physically wrong.

The day after we talked, I was on Facebook and happened on a picture of diet sodas that had a list of the side effects of Aspartame, and one of them was – get this – panic (anxiety) attacks. Now, I don’t drink any soda at all, and have never touched a diet soda in my life, and with all the mostly fresh, natural food I was eating, how could I possibly be getting Aspartame in my diet?

Then I remembered the gum I was using. I like to have some when running to keep my mouth moist, plus I would have one when out with the kids, or at the park, etc. I was chewing two to three pieces of this sugar-free gum daily. So I checked it and, sure enough, the sweetener was Aspartame. I had used this gum for months but was only recently hit with these odd things, so my guess is that it took time to build to danger levels in my body since I wasn’t getting it any other way.

I stopped using it immediately, and now, roughly 10 days since my last piece, I feel better. I can’t prove 100% that the Aspartame was the culprit, but I can say that I am beginning to feel like myself again. The fears are slowly going, since they kind of got stuck in my mind, but now I find it easier to fight them off. I am also no longer having panic attacks. And yes, I’m not yelling at the kids like I was.

I am now becoming a label-reader in the store. I check the ingredients listed in any new item I pick up to be sure there is no artificial sweetener of any kind. I buy very few pre-packaged items these days, so it isn’t too hard to avoid. It’s so sad, though, that the general public is subjected to these types of dangerous food ingredients, all for the sake of skimping on calories.

What is your home diet like? Do you avoid junk and eat healthy? Have you had any problems from using artificial sweeteners?

Mommy Fears and Heart-stopping Moments

From the time Logan was small, one of my greatest fears was that someone would grab one of my kids in a public place and run off with them. When Logan learned to walk and could get away from me, I kept my eye on him like a hawk. I remember so clearly how hard it was for me to turn my back for even a second. I literally would have to tell myself it wasn’t awful to glance in another direction for a second.

It got harder when Lila came along and began walking and both wanted to go in different directions at once. I think if it had been possible, I would have turned into some version of Inspector Gadget with extendable arms and a 360 degree rotating head. Ha. Taking them to the park was crazy, and we only survived the mall because of the stroller where one of them would always be confined.

I’ve since learned to watch them closely but I don’t have my eyes glued to them at every second. I spend most of my time anywhere moving my eyes from one to the other to the other and back to the first one again. 🙂 Well, I can sort of trust Logan, and sometimes if the girls want to run to the small lake and Logan wants to be in the adjacent playground where I can see when he is on the top of the slide, it’s okay. Or if in the toy shop he wants to look at books over in the next aisle where I can’s see him while the girls play with the Lego display, it’s okay. I do check on him often and he’s fine. But I can’t trust the girls.

Scarlett loves to run as soon as my back is turned, and has given me more than one fright at the skating rink. Often someone will see me looking wildly for her and will point me in the direction she went. And last week at the rink, Lila decided she didn’t want to finish the exercises with the teacher so came looking for Scarlett and I. I was at a place where I could see them with the teacher, but she managed to sneak out, and then went and asked some lady to help her find me. I was proud that she remembered what color I was wearing but upset that she left, and after I spotted her and called her back,  she got strict instructions to never leave the rink if I wasn’t in sight.

What makes it harder for me is how people here in India are so attracted to them, because of their light skin color. People constantly sneak photos of them, touch them, pinch their cheeks, and want to be near them. The very few who do ask for photos first always get denied. I mean, why do they need pics of my kids? The rest can be glad I don’t go smash their phones. It’s so rude of them to just take their pics but what can I do?

Kidnapping is a very real fear here. At least once a week I read about one in the paper, often with sad results for the child. My kids being white could be targets so I do have to be careful. Even though most people are just being friendly, it’s better safe than sorry.

Just last Friday, while at the skating rink, I saw what I thought at first glance was my nightmare coming true. There is a balloon vendor there every day, and of course Scarlett spends lots of time watching the balloons. I was seated on one end of the rink, further from the balloons than normal, but I could still see her clearly so I let Scarlett walk over. I was watching her the whole time, so I jumped when I saw a man run and grab her real quick. I ran through the rink to where he was standing, but before I could exit the rink, a cow with large horns ran in front of me, with her owner at her heels.

Once realization dawned, I was grateful to this man for having gotten Scarlett out of the way in time and I thanked him, knowing that he wasn’t trying to take her but was saving her from being injured. But those few seconds when I didn’t see the cow and thought he was running off with her were heart-stopping.

What is your biggest fear regarding your child’s safety? How do you deal with it?

Lifecycle Repeating Itself

Another childhood memory…

When I was 5 years old, my mom and 2 younger brothers and I lived in an apartment complex on the ground floor. I have fun memories of that place, like sliding down the carpeted staircase on my tummy, head first. It seemed to be the longest staircase ever and was a great ride. Yes, it was one of those apartments with two floors. We lived in the same building twice, in two different apartments, about two years apart (I think). It was great for hide and seek.
But today’s story isn’t about the place itself.
My brothers were 3 and 2 at the time, and one day the younger one, Steve, wanted to go outside. Mom must have been upstairs or possibly in the public laundry room down the hall, but she certainly wasn’t around cause I went ahead and opened the door for him and let him out, closing the door behind him. It never occured to me that he shouldn’t go out on his own, that he couldn’t watch himself. I just thought he should go out since he wanted to.
I don’t know how much later it was when mom asked where he was and I said I let him out cause he wanted to go out. I don’t remember her reaction to me, nor if she said anything, though I’m sure she did. She must have freaked. I do remember her going out and searching the grounds for him, finally finding him playing on the huge tractor tire that was there for us to climb on.

Sometimes these memories come to me at the oddest times, but this must have been triggered by Lila wanting to go outside and Logan unlocking the door for her. Thankfully, I caught them and stopped her. Lila can’t reach the lock yet, but if she could, or if she got the idea to put the stool there and open it, she would be out faster than a bolt of lightening.
I’ve had Logan take off before, racing out of the yard and into the street as fast as his feet could carry him. Once he went around the block before someone caught him and brought him back. Another time he went out without me knowing and it was only when a construction worker from the house down the street brought him back that I realised he had been gone. He had been playing in the sandpile in front of the house. I shudder to think what could have happened to him, since, even though this is a residential area, traffic is high and just as fast as on the main roads.
Even though when they play cricket with daddy he sends them down to get the ball, they have to understand that they can’t just leave the house on their own whenever they feel like it. It may take time, but I guess drumming it into them day after day will ensure that they will remember to stay inside and not let each other out. And I just remembered, the other day Lila let Scarlett crawl out and shut the door on her. Arg. I can’t keep up with this girl’s antics. Good thing I saw it or Scarlett would have fallen down the stairs.

Maybe I should just get a lock installed at the top of the door.

Mom, I’m sure you remember that time. Wanna tell us your version of it?

Better Safe Than Sorry

Safety is a topic that has been on my mind a lot lately. Ever since Lila (current age 2 years, 1 1/2 months old) drank turpentine thinking it was water, I’ve been keeping my eyes open for more potential hazards.

Every house has them, yet as adults we know they are dangerous and avoid them. We rarely, if ever, think about these things as dangerous, and many times it is not until our child gets hurt that we become aware of them again.

A child will taste something out of curiosity; they don’t know it is not edible so they put it in their mouth. This is something a baby or toddler has to do to learn about the world around them. Their taste buds are more sensitive than the nerves in their fingertips, so they learn about an object faster through tasting it. The only problem is, they can’t yet taste the difference between something that is edible and something that is not.

Start by keeping all poisonous items out of reach. If you use it to clean the house, your car, your laundry, or to kill pests, it is poisonous. The degree of danger varies with each item – some will only cause stomach upset, allergic reaction or vomiting – others can be fatal. These kinds of products are generally labeled as dangerous and will often tell you what to do if swallowed, but don’t count on it. If you have a poison control center in your area, then keep the number next to your phone (or in your mobile, labeled as such) so that you can call for help quickly if need be. The best thing you can do, though, is to keep these items out of your child’s reach at all times.

Look for other hazards in your house and do what you can to fix or remove them. Sometimes it can help to crawl around the house yourself so you can see things from your child’s eye view. If they grab that ledge to stand up, is it safe? Will they hit their head or eye on it while standing up? Is it loose? Could it fall off? Ask yourself these kinds of questions as you go from room to room and make a list of what you need to either fix, cover, hide or remove to ensure your child’s safety.

You should always know where you baby is playing at all times. With a toddler or fast crawler this can be harder, but is so important. See Random Safety Tips for a list of other things to be aware of with small children.

Trouble Be Thy Middle Name

Lila seems to be practicing for a life of trouble…or maybe she is just being a normal 2-year-old. She keeps me busier than the other two combined! She has to do at least one thing daily that makes me wish I had a playpen her size that I could lock her in (it would have to be escape and sound proof), though she usually does more than that.

Today for instance: I was getting a head start on dinner so that when Scarlett gets fussy I can see to her and not worry about dinner being late like it usually is. Lila came to me with something white and runny on her hands – she had dumped a (thankfully small) bottle of baby lotion on my bed, rubbing it into the sheets.

When I went to look at it, she said, “Oh God, Lila”, imitating what I say to her whenever she creates a disaster of epic proportions and I am pressed for time but have to clean it. I had no idea I said it so much that she knew it. Actually, I only say it when I’m really upset – I’ve had a long day, listened to too many hours of screaming and crying, when I’m on edge and need a break.

It is never-ending with her – I swear! Yesterday she dumped a bottle of laundry bleach all over the balcony and herself; she regularly dumps water on the floor in varying quantities; she has flooded both the living and dining rooms; she sticks her hands in the flour and licks them when I’m rolling chapattis; she will systematically drop her dinner on the floor if she doesn’t want to finish (usually I’m nursing the baby and can’t go to her); she loves to play with soap, and will take the bar to her room, or my bed, dig into it and rub it all over herself. She rips things, breaks things, opens most anything, eats anything, and then runs when I catch her. She has learned how to run around the furniture so I can’t catch her easily but will then usually get herself stuck in a corner.

Ironically, she rarely gets hurt. At the most she will get a scratch or a bump, nothing serious. The turpentine incident has been, by far, the worst trouble she has gotten into since her trouble-making days began. I just hope she won’t have anything worse happen.

Lila Gives Me a Scare

Lila gave me a real scare this afternoon by drinking turpentine.

This morning someone came by to drop off a box with paint and supplies as we are going to paint the house soon. I had it placed in the guest bedroom (which is also where the balcony is; the kids go in the room all the time) and left it there as it didn’t fit under the bed. I didn’t check the box closely and never noticed the bottle of turpentine sitting there. I don’t know if it was open or closed, though it must have been closed or else I would have smelled it.

Around 3:30 p.m., Logan and Lila were running around playing. They had skipped their nap and were rather wild. Scarlett was fussy, only wanting me to hold her and not letting me put her down. Logan and Lila were playing on the balcony and running in and out of the house.

Next thing I know, Lila dropped something and was coughing. I smelled it and immediately got scared, not knowing what I should do, only that I had to do something fast. I picked her up and tried to wash her mouth out, then I thought maybe she should throw up. I didn’t know how much she had swallowed. I’m guessing a mouthful. She was coughing and spitting, and I was almost frantic until I saw how scared Logan was. He was crying and freaking out like he does when he sees someone else freak out. Somehow it affects him. It didn’t help that Scarlett was screaming for me either.

Then I remembered our neighbors downstairs. Both our landlord and his son are paediatricians, so I grabbed Lila and the bottle, told Logan to watch Scarlett, and ran downstairs to see who was home. Our landlord was out so I ran to his son’s place hoping he was home. Thank God he was. His wife immediately sent her daughter, who sometimes plays with my kids, up to our place as both Logan and Scarlett were crying. The main thing he said was that she shouldn’t throw up to avoid getting it into her lungs, then to give her milk. I have heard of that before; it seems to help neutralize the poison. He said if I took her to a hospital they would do an x-ray to make sure her lungs were clear, then tell me to watch her, make sure she was breathing ok, etc.

He wasn’t freaked out about it, which helped me calm down. So I took her upstairs to try to get some milk into her, since she wouldn’t drink what his wife gave her. On top of it I had to try to calm Logan and Scarlett as well. I sat Lila in front of the t.v. and she had a few sips of milk while I distracted Scarlett. Soon she got into the cartoon and I was able to put Scarlett to sleep; then Lila got tired and took a nap on the couch. I was finally able to turn to Logan and give him some attention to help calm him down.

After her nap, Lila was fussy but seemed to be ok, until she threw up during dinner. She hadn’t wanted to eat so was on my lap when it happened. Logan again freaked out, probably more due to his own tiredness, so I put him in his room to cut some of the noise since all 3 of them were crying again. He eventually fell asleep. After a quick bath, both girls fell asleep on my lap in the space of 5 minutes, Scarlett nursing and Lila cuddling. Peace and quiet ensued, and it was only 9 p.m. This is unheard of in our house.

It is now 10 p.m., all the kids are still sleeping, and I finally have a chance to reflect on the events of this afternoon. I really should have checked the box. Lila gets into EVERYTHING these days and is accustomed to helping herself to water from the bottles in the fridge. So she assumed it was water and drank it. Good thing I was right there when it happened so I could help her right away instead of trying to guess what had happened.

I have now closed the box and put something heavy on it to at least hinder her from getting into it until we can find a safer place to put it. Ahhh, the things children do to keep us on our toes and test our nerves!

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