Tuesday, September 19, 2006

suicide girl

Ella just tried to kill herself- the new (old?) cleaning lady left the safety latch off the cleaning products cupboard on Friday. Since we only got home late last night, I hadn't noticed until I went in the kitchen to get some coffee. I say Ella open the cupboard and immediately shooed her away, while I looked for the safety latch. No where to be found, so I took the hot coffee in to my friend in the living room and before coming back to rig up something for the cupboard. But it was too late. I turned around to see Ella gagging, with soap running down her face and the front of her clothes. She had gone back into the kitchen as I was putting down the tray and grabbed the first thing she found, which was dish soap, thank god. She drank some and I knew that it would make her sick but nothing worse. Sure enough, I had no sooner picked her up, than she started to vomit. Everywhere. I immediately took her over to the cupboard, while she was still feeling ill, and pointed to it telling her "Don't Touch! This stuff will all make you sick. Do not every touch this stuff again!" I closed the kitchen door and later managed to find the lock. Hopefully the combination of locks, vomit, and shouting will make sure that she never attemts that again. Honestly, people are right when they say that toddlers are insanely fast and must be watched constantly. There are only about 6 steps between our living room table and the kitchen, but that is all the time it took for Ella to nearly kill herself.
For all that, my friend was more bowled over by how calmly I handled it. Its funny how I felt hysterical, the way my heart was racing and my mind was reeling through the texts I have read about how to handle poison, and she only saw me calmly going about the business of getting Ella to puke in the sink. Thank goodness my default setting is "calm". Its probably one of the most valuable mothering skills you can develop, grace under pressure, since children are little suicide machines and you are constantly having to drag them back from death's door. Surely I missed my calling, what with the composed, cat-like reactions, and I should be something like formula one pilot, emergency room doctor, or trapeze artist.

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