“Everyone is Fine” or “When Riker Drank Lighter Fluid”

I’m going to start this out with this: Everyone is fine, and he was never really in danger. All hospital trips were strictly of the “better safe than sorry” type.

Last night, I walked in from work to see the boys playing in the backyard while Aaron grilled dinner. I smiled, hugged my buddies, and went into the back bedroom to change my clothes.

If you don’t know Aaron, let me hip you to his groove: Aaron is the most chill man on earth. He doesn’t get angry, doesn’t yell, is rarely frustated, and almost never grumpy. He also never calls me Jennifer. Aaron calls me Jenny, a name only family calls me, and a few rare friends I’ve known from birth.

So, when Aaron YELLED “JENNIFER! OH MY GOD” You’d better believe I came running. Pantless, by the way, just to set the scene.

“RIKER! OH MY GOD, JENNIFER!!!”

I ran into the kitchen, to see Aaron holding Riker and smelling his mouth. “What’s wrong!” I asked.

“Riker drank lighter fluid.”

Apparently one of the bro’s who lived in our house before left a can of lighter fluid, the old fashioned kind with the top you twist open, somewhere in our backyard. Riker found it, thought it looked like a giant juice box (bright yellow) and pointed it towards his face. We still doubt he actually swallowed any, but it for sure got in his mouth.

Aaron took Riker, who wasn’t even crying, by the way, to the sink while I shot water down his mouth with the little hose attachment sinks have. Riker became pissed we were shooting water in his mouth, and even more pissed when Aaron tried to get him to throw up. That didn’t happen. In a dead run, cell phone in hand, I called 911 and threw some pants on.

Please note, Riker isn’t even angry. Not upset, not gagging, not sputtering. Aaron dried him off, changed his lighter fluid soaked shirt, and Riker promptly high tailed it into the backyard to keep playing, milk cup in hand, smiley as ever.

While we stood there and tried not to cry, waiting for something horrible to happen.

The cops and paramedics showed up, saw I had a happy kicking baby, who was all smiles and shy faces, and told me to take him in to get checked at the hospital.

Riker flirted shamelessly with the lovely lady paramedic, who smiled and tickled his toes.

Caden demanded that the police officers sit on the couch and watch veggietales. They smiled and waved, but apparently didn’t have time to comply.

This is the first time I’ve ever had to take a child to the hospital. Ever. Riker smiled and thought a night out with mom when he should be going to bed was the most fun. He brought Lucille, his stuffed white seal along for the ride. She was good company.

We got checked in, and they strapped him to heart monitors and put a glowing pulse monitor on his toe. Everytime I had to say “we think he drank lighter fluid” I wanted to follow it up with “seriously, I’m a good mom. I am so careful and I watch him carefully, I do not leave poisonous chemicals laying around.” I really wanted to reassure the nurses I am not negligent, far from it.

Apparently with hydrocarbon exposure, breathing problems can onset slowly. Since he wasn’t exhibiting any signs of actually swallowing it (gagging, red throat, vomiting) they decided to watch him for 3 hours, just to be sure nothing was wrong.

They brought him some toys, and we played Peekaboo Barn on my phone and hung out.

He has never been cuter, or more well behaved. He barely cried, and only because he did not want his throat looked at, thank you very much. I was so thankful to be there for a baby I knew was probably completely ok. I have friends who’ve sat bedside with their children for months at a time, and were never sure if their kids would get to come home again. I am so, so grateful to have been there for really, no real reason, with a baby who was happy and playing.

This is his “say cheese” face

He flirted, he smiled, he laughed, he played peekaboo, and sat on the bed and played with two toys, calmly and with no fussing, for over 3 hours past his bedtime. Honestly it was one of the most fun times I’ve ever had taking one of my kids out. We just played and chilled together, and he was so precious.

Now that is the mercy of Jesus. Mom’s first trip to urgent care. Do I get a my “mother of boys” merit badge now?

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About Jennifer James

I'm a full time mom who works full time. I'm a painter, a dreamer, and a believer that the most feminist thing you can do is adore your femininity. I say what I think, when it's appropriate for sharing. I write when I feel like I have something to say. I love always.

4 thoughts on ““Everyone is Fine” or “When Riker Drank Lighter Fluid”

  1. Yes. Though she does not have a bow tie, it seemed the only fitting thing to name a white seal. We are really into stuffed animal naming in our family. We have Caden’s bear- Chaucer, and his identical twin, Chaucer 2 (my mother in law bought a back up bear). We have Riker’s bear, Tim named after the name his great grandparents addressed Riker’s xmas card to- yes, Tim. Then we have Lamby-Lamb, Tigger, Hop the rabbit… and some un named stuffed turtles.

  2. I really enjoyed reading your post on the hospital adventure! His expressions are priceless and I am sure you will be telling him this story often. You are an excellent writer! Welcome to your new home! Call on me or text me if you need anything. 816 560-3852.
    Bless you! Becky Falkner

  3. Becky- You’re so kind! Sorry to bring the cops, paramedics and fire trucks descending on the neighborhood. Not exactly the image we wanted to put out to the neighbors! We’re good parents! I promise!

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