As a single mother, it’s my sole duty to keep my young ones from danger. We recently moved into a new house, and once I had put the groceries away my parents came to the door to drop my kids off at their new home.
My baby was crying, so I told my 3-year-old son to look around while I put his sister down for a nap. I then thanked my parents for their help and they drove off. My son explored his new home while I took my daughter to her crib.
After I was done singing the baby to sleep I went into the kitchen–to find my son with a bottle of bleach on the counter! He was unscrewing the cap as if he intended to drink it. I pulled him away from it and frantically asked if he had drunk any already. He said no, but just to be on the safe side I grabbed him and the baby and went to the hospital.
While I was cradling my daughter in the waiting room I remembered that I had forgotten to put the child safety locks on the new cabinets before the kids had arrived home. I’d had several bottles of bleach in there–How many could he have drunk if I hadn’t stopped him?
The thought was too much. I was terrified until the doctor approached me and said that the tests came back negative; my boy had no trace of dangerous chemicals in his system. I cried with relief and hugged my kids and took them home.
I immediately put the child safety locks on all the cabinets while making sure the children stayed out of them. Then, since we had gotten home late at night, I locked all the outside doors, put the kids to bed, and went to bed myself. It had been a long day.
Imagine my horror when I went to the kitchen the next morning to find my son lying dead on the floor. I called an ambulance and found myself once again crying in the waiting room with the baby. I managed to call my parents in between sobs and they came right away. Then the doctor came out and said that my boy had ingested a large amount of bleach.
My dad had to hold my daughter while I wailed in my mom’s arms. I told them I had used only the best safety locks, and had put them on correctly; I didn’t know what had gone wrong. My parents reassured me that this was not my fault, but I couldn’t help thinking there was something important that I had forgotten…