Saturday, January 14, 2012


Every once in a while you have those moments when you feel like the recipient of the worst parent of the year award. My most recent experience with this feeling went a little something like this.

My daughter has tested and tested me over the last few weeks. You see she has horrible eczema. I don’t mean the kind where they get red, scaly, itchy patches here and there in the folds of skin where there is still lingering baby fat. Mason had that, on his ankles behind his knees and inside his elbows, but was pretty much grown out of it by the age of two. No, Sophie has the kind where we are seriously contemplating taking her to a dermatologist. These raised, red, scaly patches are not only on her ankles, but all over her stomach, her back, her arms, legs, EVERYWHERE, and ever so itchy. I can just feel how itchy it is when she is sitting there scratching and scratching at her belly, and I am doing everything I can to help her. I can feel how itchy it is when every night while putting lotion on her delicate skin, I see nothing but bright red all over her little body. I can feel how itchy it is when she’s crying, and there is blood soaked into her pants or pajamas and under her fingernails from having scratched too much. It’s all too painful to see her in this state. The steroid cream works for a certain amount of time, but we don’t want to over use that. Other creams and ointments keep the irritation to a minimum until the next major flair up, but nothing works on a permanent or very long-term basis. My heart breaks for her, causing me to just break down and cry with her.

So I guess it should have been no surprise when Sophie decided to take matters into her own hands, literally, by getting into the medicine and treating herself. Normally we have the diaper changing creams, ointments, and eczema medicines sitting in the side container of our diaper holder on the changing table. In the past two and a half years we have never had an issue with just leaving them there. That was until our little girl got smart. I can’t tell you the exact number of times, but at least 4 or 5, I would find her sitting in her room rubbing her ankles and legs. As I would get closer, I’d see the tubes of A&D ointment and hydrocortisone squeezed to death on her bed, and everything from her hands, to her sheets and her clothes, glistening with the now greasy, sticky ointment. There was one time it was so bad; she had it all in her hair and on her face and oh god, the brand new sweater I just bought that morning. Or, there was the time in the morning when she couldn’t open the door to her bedroom, so she started to yell for me at the god awful hour of before I’m ready to get out of bed, only to find out the reason was that her hands were so slimy from the ointment she rubbed all over everywhere--again. I don’t know about you, but I found out quickly that greasy ointments DO NOT COME OUT OF CLOTHES. So as the days progressed, and she was still, somehow getting into this stuff even after many trips to time out, and both Fred and I drilling it into her, YOU DO NOT PLAY WITH MEDICINE, I was seriously losing my cool with the amount of laundry that now lay in front of me. That, and the fact that she just didn’t seem to get it, or did she? Each time we went through the time out routine (thank you Supernanny) I would ask, “Why did Mommy put you in time out?” She’d respond, “cause medicine.” Then I’d ask, “Do we touch or play with medicine?” and she would immediately say, “NO.” Only later in the day she'd be doing it again. Ugh, this is so frustrating!

Now I have all the medicines; diaper cream, A&D ointment, eczema steroid, Vaseline, hydrocortisone, and whatever other medicine we usually keep handy, stored in the tallest cabinet of our master bathroom, because she has managed to get into them by pushing a chair, stool, or toy over to the area in order to climb upon and reach them everywhere else we have tried to hide these medicines from her. Not as convenient, but at least not where she can reach them. Hopefully.

It has been a few days and no more incidents of finding medicine smeared all over my daughter, or her belongings. I have managed to almost catch up on the laundry, and getting around to some much needed household chores. It is Tuesday, so I need to make sure the floor is mopped before my Parent Group meeting tonight. While I am busy downstairs, Sophie is upstairs slamming doors. I look at my watch. It is just about time to pick Mason up from school. This is when I notice that the slamming of doors as actually stopped, but not only that, it is incredibly quiet upstairs. Too quiet. I dash up the stairs, calling her name as I open doors, trying to figure out where she is and what she is getting into. I find the light on in the bathroom. She is not in there, but the medicine cabinet is open and the box of medicine gone. S*#t! I run now, screaming, desperate to find her. Finally she answers, a small voice, muffled from behind my bedroom door. I open it to find her over by my nightstand, not with the various ointments as expected, but with a bottle of Excedrin Migraine in her hand--open.

I have no idea for the life of me how she got that bottle open, I just know I freaked and started yelling, “Did you eat these?” She immediately said, “no.” However, I don’t know if that was because she didn’t, or that she just didn’t want to get in trouble because she did. She kept calling them candy and then said, “candy yucky,” and grabbed my hand, bringing me over to the trash can where she pointed out a throat lozenge she threw in there. I kept trying to get a real answer out of her about the Excedrin, but trying to have a serious conversation with a 2 year old is a bit like trying to understand a foreign language. I mean, toddler speak might as well be one. Either way, I couldn’t freak out for too long because I was going to be late for car pool. After picking Mason up from school, he reminded me I promised to buy him new shoes that day. So, off to Target we went.

The whole drive over I couldn’t get the Excedrin out of my head, and while Sophie seemed to be acting just fine, I knew I needed that peace of mind. After sitting the kids down in the cafĂ© for their lunch, I called our pediatricians office thinking they might have information to help me if she had eaten the pills. They told me to call poison control. Great, that was just what I needed. Poison control already has me on their radar from Mason. When he was the same age, I came out of the shower to find he had eaten a few Tums from the bottle sitting on my nightstand. Being the nervous first time Mom, naturally I called poison control. Only a few months later I wrote this blog post about his incident with the bug spray. Shortly after that phone call I received a pamphlet of information in the mail from the poison control center, including a magnet with their phone number on it. I think they were subtly trying to send me a message, which as it turns out I didn’t exactly get, because after the phone call with them this week about my 2. 5 year old daughter maybe eating some Excedrin; I’m pretty sure I will be receiving another packet of information in the mail.
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