Monday, August 14, 2006

A Repellent Weekend

I got the grand sum total of eight pages written this weekend, so I am well and truly behind on my self-imposed deadline for UP FROM ROCK BOTTOM -- which means I'm well and truly behind on my other self-imposed deadline for OLD GLORY.

But, teacher, I have an excuse, really, I do!

Friday evening, while I was playing around with website design ideas, and Kate was playing in her room with a friend of ours watching out for her, she got into the insect repellent -- Family Off, the Skintastic version?

Well, Kate decided she would spray down her room with the stuff -- only she forgot to check the direction of the nozzle on the spray. It happens -- I did it myself when I was her age. My spray of choice was the aerosol static clean eliminator.

Having experienced such a crisis first-hand, I knew what I had to do: get that girl's head under the water and wash out that eye for 15 minutes. Only, things didn't go to plan: picture Kate screaming "No 'mergency room! NO 'mergency room!" Picture our friend shouting that what was really needed was for us to take her out to the yard and use a water hose. That of course induced more screaming from Kate.

Fifteen minutes later, with me soaked and Kate soaked, I finally felt confident enough to call the ER and the poison control hotline. The guy on the poison control hotline was a peach -- he seemed quite impressed that I'd actually made a five-year-old cooperate with an eye-flushing.

Assured that I had done all I could do, I collapsed into a chair, hugged my little one until her ribs creaked in protest ... and ordered a pizza. No way could I cook after that adrenaline buzz wore off.

Our pizza was interrupted when our tomcat Max got into a free-for-all with a stray. He seemed no worse for wear when we got him in.

The next morning, both Kate and Max showed battle scars: Kate's eye was swollen and Max was limping on a leg that was double in size. So off to the pediatrician and vet we went, to their respective Saturday clinics.

Kate's doctor laughed at me when he saw her eye -- after the wait for our turn with him, Kate's eye had no visible swelling. The vet, on the other hand, did not laugh -- Max was the proud possessor of the highest feline fever the vet had ever seen.

Picture Kate holding onto the counter by her fingernails as I pulled her away from her beloved cat ... Max is now much improved after spending a few days recuperating, and when he comes back, let's just say he will be a brand new man -- or as my editor so succinctly put it -- a brand new non-man!

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