Wednesday, September 16, 2015


I got home last night and Elijah asked if he could play with his tablet if he stayed home sick from school. We have a rule against screens during the week and I figured he was trying to find a loophole.

Thinking he was a big fat faker, I reminded him that screens are a no no and if he was so sick he should just go to bed. I even made a big deal out of carrying him up to his room and tucking him in. He laughed and gave me the impression he busted and suppressed a smile.

I commenced playing with a Star Wars sticker book with Luca and declaring it the best time I’ve ever had with him.

A little later, I heard Diana call for me. She was in our office, furiously typing on the computer. When I asked what was up, she pointed to a pile of pill wrappers on the ground.

“I think Eli took a bunch of Claritin and I need to see if we have to take him to the hospital.”

I looked down at the tinfoil pile and thought, “Wait a minute. This isn’t how Eli dies. He dies in his mansion surrounded by supermodels at the ripe old age of 155.”

I ran into his room and woke him up, demanding way too angrily that he tell us how many pills he had taken. Scared out of his head, he said zero. Those pill wrappers were not his.

I then tried to take the panic out of my voice while Diana talked to our doctor.

“You are not in trouble. I just need to know how many of these you took. We have to decide if you have to go to the hospital to pump your stomach.”

That was dumb. Eli had a full on freak out. He may have taken 4. Or 1 or seventy billion. His brain was chock full of images of doctors hooking him up to a rusty metal water pump like the one we saw on that farm in Brown County Indiana.

Diana hung up with poison control. They said he would be fine. She then sat Eli down and explained that he was never, ever to take another pill without an adult there. Ever. Never. Ever never ever.

With the rusty pump still in his head, he nodded and went back to bed. I slept crappily, with images of those snake poison stickers we used to have in the 1980’s running through my head.

I awoke and poked my head into both boys’ rooms to watch them sleep. I was assured they’d each get a massive lecture about pill popping later that morning.

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