If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may recognize the story below. I posted it a little over a year ago, but I am sharing it again for a special reason. I am participating in a campaign by Dropcam, “a cloud-based Wi-Fi video monitoring service with free live streaming, two-way talk and remote viewing.”
Dropcam is doing a campaign called Life’s Mysteries, which is about sharing the missed moments in life. Moments that make you wonder how they happened and make you wish you could have seen them take place. As I thought over my past two years as a mom, searching my memories for a missed moment, the Cascade Incident arrived front and center in my mind.
So here it is. One more time. Feel free to read it again and laugh once more at my humiliation.
Last October, only a couple of days after Hurricane Sandy hit our Staten Island community, I was cleaning up Rosie’s room, putting her books back in the their trunk and fixing the bedding in her crib while she played in the kitchen. There is one drawer in which she was allowed to play; she would open it, remove the dish towels inside, and amuse herself by laying them over her head and piling them on top of each other.
I made my way into the kitchen to check on her and noticed she had just spit up a large amount. Confused, I bent down to pick her up and that’s when my eyes met the Cascade packet. Its massacred body lay sprawled on the kitchen floor, its blue powdered insides spread out on the creamy tile. I looked down at Rosie and saw powder residue on her chin and clothing, and I knew what the packet’s fate had been: Rosie had eaten it to death.
And the reason she was able to get to the packets is because I, her careless mother, failed to fully close the cabinet under the kitchen sink. The baby-proof locks are useless if you don’t actually close the door.
I grabbed a washcloth, wet it, and washed out Rosie’s mouth as I called my husband Anthony who wisely suggested reading the Cascade container. This is what I found:
Swell. I ripped open the package of water we had bought for the hurricane and attempted to pour sips into her mouth. I mostly succeeded in soaking her pajama top and onesie, which I then had to remove as I dialed Poison Control.
“If she threw up, you must take her to an emergency room. Get there as quickly as you possibly can.”
Alrighty. Remember, this was only two days after Sandy had hit. I had not yet been on the roads, but I had heard Hylan Boulevard, the road I needed to take to the hospital, was moving like a parking lot. My only option, then, was to call 911.
I wasn’t entirely comfortable doing this; I knew other people needed emergency service and I hated to take man power away from them, but what could I do?
Now, keep in mind that I have a heart condition and I sometimes need to call 911 for myself. Usually, even though at these times I need to be seen in the ER immediately, I am not unconscious or anything of that nature. At that time, we had lived on our block for two years, and I had probably called an ambulance on at least five occasions only to return home soon after looking perfectly healthy.
So, imagine you are one of my neighbors, who has repeatedly scene the red flashing lights stop in front of our paved driveway. Now, two days after an unspeakable disaster has struck Staten Island, you see not only the ambulance arrive at my door, but also a giant, green and black camouflaged army tank, with two fully uniformed soldiers inside.
Then, my mother (who had arrived by then), walks outside holding a laughing baby only to be followed by me, rushing out to the street snugly holding a container of Cascade dishwasher packets.
Needless to say, I was humiliated.
Rosie was seen quite quickly when we arrived at the ER. She slept on my lap as two doctors examined her and assured us that if she had been harmed by the soap she ingested, there would be some sort of symptoms telling us so. They researched the ingredients of the Cascade to be sure, but since they didn’t find anything, she was soon discharged and we made our way back home.
My point of telling this long and embarrassing story is simply to say that I do make mistakes. No matter how careful we are, all of us moms will mess up. It doesn’t mean we’re not good mothers or don’t love our children. So, if you are an expectant mom, a new mom, or even a seasoned one, remember that you’re not alone in this. Just when you think you’re the worst mother in the world, you’ll hear about a mom who let her daughter eat dishwasher soap.
Check out Dropcam’s campaign here: http://blog.dropcam.com/join-dropcams-lifes-mysteries-campaign/.