With Ro out of town (in-laws unwell), Adiv and I found ourselves alone for a day and night, before my parents arrived. Not in the least bit apprehensive, I saw Ro off telling him we'd be just fine. So after he left, the routine went on as usual. We went to school, did some shopping, came back, took a nap, and then I decided to do some cooking. I put Adiv with his toys and made frequent trips between the kitchen and bedroom. Everything seemed okay. Adiv hadn't yet asked for Ro, and I promised him an outting after my cooking was done. Then I went to stir something on the gas. When I returned, I found Adiv on the bed with a bottle of his cold medicine. It was open, and empty! Fear tugged my heart. Had he drunk it up? I found a lot poured on the bedspread, but I still wasn't sure if he'd had any. If he had, how much? How did he get the bottle that I thought was far away from his reach? What do I do?
Calming down for a second, I decided to call a pediatrician who is available on the phone. He barked instructions on the phone. "Get him to throw up. Give him salt water, put your finger in, and tickle his throat. I ran to the kitchen, got some warm salt water and tried to get him to drink it. "No", he screamed angrily. Then I put my hand in to get him to puke. He resisted by biting my finger. I continued to try. After a few failed attempts, I called the doctor again. This time he was annoyed.
"How can you give up? What kind of mother are you? If he doesn't throw up, he has to go to the doctor and get his stomach flushed."
By now, I was in tears. I was scared, and someone screaming at me didn't help. I made more attempts to get Adiv to throw up. No luck. We both cried. I was scared and he was angry.
Wondering what I should do next, I called an aunt who I knew would understand the state I was in, and act calmly and quickly. She came immediately, and said we'd just have to observe Adiv. She'd spoken to some doctor friends and they said if he wasn't unsually drowsy, he'd be fine. Afterall it was only baby's medicine. It couldn't be dangerous. However if he was drowsy and not his usual self, we'd have to rush him to hospital. Adiv by then was running around and playing. When my aunt arrived, he welcomed her with a smile and showed her new additions to the house since her last visit.
"Sinx", he said pointing to a teeny Sphinx that his grand uncle brought us all the way from Egypt.
Then he flaunted his helmet, his riding skills, and eventually begged for some crisps.
"He seems perfectly okay", my aunt assured me.
I was also quite sure that he was okay. However, we'd have to watch. In the meantime the floodgates were let open. I wept; mostly because I was relieved. I prayed he'd continue to be fine. "Let it all out", said my aunt. "You'll feel better."
Meanwhile Adiv cycled from room to room.
Then my aunt suggested I go stay at her place. I agreed immediately. I had to return the next morning before the maid arrived, so I took my car. Adiv was buckled up in the car seat, and we drove to my aunt's house. When we got there, Adiv was welcomed to the sight of all my aunt's grandson's toys. He loved his car, the talking Elmo, a teddy bear as big as him, and the lawn to run on. He explored, played, ate his dinner, and eventually slept tired. The day had ended on a happy note. He was happy, and we were quite sure he hadn't drunk any of the medicine. I was exhausted from all the worrying. Nevertheless, I was happy. I made a mental note of all that I'd have to lock away with a key; medicines, harpic, washing liquid....!I had to now prepare for this curious toddler, who would explore and try to get his hands on anything and everything. For now I was just glad that he was okay. I made my last call to Rohit who had been quite worried. Then I lay down thanking God for watching over little Adiv.
Amicus: The Myth of the Neutral Expert
18 hours ago