The Midnight Adventures of Sneaky Seth

Last night after putting the boys to bed and reading to Elise and tucking her in, I decided to make some granola for the morning. I mixed it up, put it in the oven on low, set my timer and headed to the sewing room to get an order done for a customer. I decided to watch some netflix while I sewed, and needed my headphones on to hear the movie above my sewing machine. Some time later, I took out my earphones to iron part of my fabric and realized that the oven had been beeping for who knows how long. I headed to the kitchen to try to save my granola. As I rounded the corner I was met with quite a sight. Seth, smeared all over in green and red, sat in a puddle of something blackish brown on top of my counter. He grinned at me guiltily, not quite sure what my response was going to be to his sneaky endeavor. I wasn’t quite sure either. After the initial “what do you think you are doing!” response, I took a minute to stir the granola and put it back in the oven. Inwardly I debated about the awesome photo opportunity this was, but realized that since Seth loves to see himself in pictures, taking one now would be far too much encouragement for a repeat performance.

Before I could even think about punishment, I decided the first task would be to try to clean Seth and the puddle up. I carried him at arms length to the bathroom where I plopped him down into the bathtub. “Wash my hand?” asked Seth showing me his completely green hand. It was so green it was almost black. “We’re going to wash much more than just your hand,” I replied. I attacked the green patches with soap and warm water and was able to lessen them somewhat, but there was no way that his skin was returning anytime soon to a pink fleshy color. “Wash my hand.” Seth repeated. “Seth, it won’t come off,” I tried to explain. “That’s why we don’t get into the food coloring. It’s stuck on there.” Then in case he was going to panic, I added, “It will come off eventually, but not tonight.”

I pulled him out of the tub and started drying him down and that is when I noticed that the red spots on his leg had not lessened at all. In fact they were brighter than before, and growing. I took a good look at him and realized his eyes were also red and puffy and bloodshot. We went to get Daddy and then back to the kitchen to determine what Seth had actually gotten into. Each bottle on the counter we picked up and shown to Seth, “Did you drink this?” And Seth would answer in his own unique little language. Thankfully he is becoming verbally skilled enough that I could understand most of his answers. I picked up the large bottle of vanilla concentrate. “Did you drink this?” “No, I tried, but it was too hard to open,” answered Seth (my translation). Good. “How about this?” nervous about the answer as I picked up his little bottle of very powerful cough medicine that I KNOW is dangerous and I KNOW he loves. Again this one had been too hard to open. Sigh of relief. After our questioning was over, we had determined that he had most likely only tasted the maple and almond flavorings (by his answer of “taste yucky, dump it out”), but possibly drank a bottle of blue food coloring. “Me sick.” he said. “Medicine?” I think at this point he actually probably felt fine, though his mouth probably tasted pretty bad, but just wanted a sample of the bottles he couldn’t open. Because he was obviously reacting to something though I decided a call to the poison control center was in order.

Have I mentioned that I never called the poison control center until I had Seth? This makes call number 3 in regards to him, and because they take down the child’s name every time you call, I am starting to wonder at what point they start a file on a particular child and if they have me flagged as someone to keep an eye on. Hopefully not. But when I call, I keep waiting for that time when I will get someone on the other end of the line who will be condescending and say by their attitude, “You are such a terrible mom, how in the world could you let your child do something like this. Don’t you pay attention to them?” But it hasn’t happened yet. In fact, I have found them to be caring, concerned people who seem to truly want to help. I’m sure they’ve heard just about everything imaginable, which explains why they never seem surprised.

So last night, I talked to a very nice man at the poison control center. He recommended a little bit of benadryl to see if it would relieve the symptoms. Since Seth was breathing and acting normal, he didn’t think a trip to the ER was necessary unless things got worse. He promised to call back in 15 minutes to check in with us. I dug through my medicine cabinet to pull out the one bottle of benadryl I had on hand from a time Seth reacted badly to a bug bite. It turns out that I had bought this much longer ago than I had imagined. In fact, I am starting to wonder if it was really Will who had reacted to that bug bite, because the bottle had expired last year. I wasn’t sure the dangers of giving your child expired benadryl, so I left the phone and Seth with John and headed out to find more benadryl. The near drug stores had just closed, so I was forced to drive half way across town to Walmart and then stand in line for what seemed like forever to get my precious little bottle of off-brand benadryl. I rushed back out to the car and home, and of course found that the poison control center had already called back. John was able to assure the man that Seth’s symptoms were actually lessening on their own. He said he’d call back at 11, and to give him the benadryl when I got home. The benadryl seemed to work quickly and the large red welts went down until they were flat and startening to lighten. Seth’s eyes were still a little red, but he was also getting tired at this point, so we weren’t sure how much of that was due to just plain old sleepiness.

Things were pretty anti-climactic after that point. I stayed up with Seth cuddled in my lap watching a movie until the phone call at 11. Seth seemed to be doing fine, so we were told we could put him to bed, but I was advised to keep an eye on him for another couple hours to make sure he was sleeping normally. I told John not to wait up for me and I did some more sewing until the wee hours of the morning, checking in on Seth periodically. He fell asleep and slept soundly all night and woke up with only a few traces of last night’s adventure. It took me longer to fall asleep as once I was in bed I started thinking about the cough medicine I’d just put back in that cupboard. What if Seth woke up for a repeat escapade. I finally pulled myself back out of bed, stumbled across a dark house, and started pulling things out of the cupboard. It was only then I realized how much more had been in that cupboard that Seth could have drank. Child’s ibuprofen, adult tylenol, multi vitamins, vix vapor rub. Thankfully most of them had child safety caps, but still . . . I dumped them all in a walmart bag and moved them in with the medicines in my bathroom. I’m not completely convinced he can’t find them there, but at least it’s not likely he could sneak in there in the middle of the night and climb up to the top shelf of the bathroom cabinet without me knowing. Needless to say, both he and I are extra tired today, and for some reason I now have a sore throat and don’t feel so well myself. But that is probably unrelated.

On top of everything else I think Seth might possibly be breaking out with chicken pox. At least that adventure was planned, I just hope it doesn’t turn into a huge ordeal, because I need to get some rest.

6 thoughts on “The Midnight Adventures of Sneaky Seth

  1. At least you can look back on this with humor–later, after you get lots of rest. But, with the moving coming, when will that be?? Glad it ended well.


  2. I think I called poison control with TImothy at least 3 or 4 times. That child either ate everything or was “fed” things by a “helpful” older brother and sister. Glad Seth is ok and I’m jelous if he does have the pox because Nathaniel didn’t get them I don’t think.


  3. Glad it is ok! You react so much better than I ever would! I freak out with all of Benjamin’s escapades and Jorge is left to deal with them. Hopefully he will get chicken pox. I never did no matter how much my mom tried. I thought about the vaccine but a nurse suggested it was better not to as an adult so it still loomes over my head.


  4. Mariafer, what nurse told you not to get the vaccine? That kind of surprises me since chicken pox can be pretty bad as an adult. I would think the vaccine would be easier, but that is just my understanding. Maybe you should ask a few more doctors and see if you get the same opinion from all of them. 🙂


  5. Oh, also Mariafer, it is possible to gain immunity without getting a full case of chicken pox, at least that is what my doctor has told me. So you might consider getting the blood test to check. Then if you were immune you could relax about not having it. 🙂


  6. Poison control. Yes, they are always very calm. I think they are trained to be that way. 🙂 I’ve called them twice on Suzanne, but none on Madeline or James. Although Madeline was the one I had to take to the emergency room with her first asthma attack. Still keeping my fingers crossed for James…..


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