Driving with children should be banned. Forget cell phones, smoking, or texting, children are more distracting than anything else! They scream, cry, throw things, demand, pick on each other. I continuously position my rear view mirror to see them in the back seat, rather than the road.
Is that bad?
We have a plethora of toys with tiny intricate pieces meant to entertain them bouncing around the back of the van. It looks like Toys'R Us and McDs set off a mini toy nuke. I'm continually saying things like, "Share with your sister!" and "Don't make me pull over!" and "Don't put that in your mouth!" One such item is a pack of 6 glittery tattoo pens, meant to write on paper or skin. It's totally washable, I have no idea how they made glitter and bright colors so easy to get off, but it's truly a miracle! They could be covered from head to toe, and the stuff wipes off with one wet wipe! So what a perfect thing for them to have in the car, except for putting them in their mouth.
Which brings me to yesterday. Driving in Cedar Rapids with Mom, mirror positioned to keep an eye on the hellions, when Addie starts hollering from the back seat. I glance back, and deep purple, glittery ink is oozing from her mouth! What a freaky sight! I try not to panic and tell her to spit, which for her means spraying and raspberries. Purple, glittery, spittle sprays all over the back seat! I yank the car to the right across 3 lanes of traffic and pull into a restaurant parking lot, rip the door open, drag my daughter out and pry open her purple glittery mouth. I scrubbed her tongue with baby wipes, which hind sight being 20/20, not so sure about ingesting that either, and wipe off all the purple goo from her face, neck, chest, arms, hands, legs, and feet. I gave her my water to swish and spit several times. Then I reassessed.
Thoughts in my brain in less than 10 seconds:
1. If it were poisonous, would it really be in a child's pen?
2. But, what child breaks open a pen and drinks the goo out?
3. What sort of thing goes into the ink to make it that color?
4. What is glitter made out of?
5. Crap, is it lead?
6. No, it has to be non-toxic to be drawn onto skin, right?
7. Was it made in China?
8. Should I call poison control?
9. Kids swallow all sorts of things, like pennies, dirt, scissors (or was that convicts in jail?)
10. Will she listen the next time I tell her not to put something in her mouth?
11. What the hell was she doing to the pen?
She said she couldn't taste it anymore, but her tongue stayed purple and glittery for an hour after, even through a strawberry smoothie at Target. I did not call poison control, as she didn't complain of burning, or a tummy ache, or pain. I'm still second guessing myself on that, but it's past 24 hours now and she seems normal. Well, as close to normal as my child gets. I kept my panic in check. I did, however, check her poop today. I'm not going to lie, I was slightly disappointed it was not purple or sparkly.
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