My son, age 6, likes to do things for himself. If he thinks he is capable of something, he doesn't see the need to wait for Mom to do it for him, or even the need to ask.
This is great as far as it goes. He can get himself his own snacks, even make his lunch (under my supervision), he can work the VCR, DVD player and computer. But then there are the times like last summer when I found him in the garage, bicycle helmet on, garage door open. When I asked where he was going he said "oh, for a little bike ride." He was five! That idea got vetoed mighty quick - and he got a long talk about the importance of always asking permission before he leaves the house.
Well, last night we had to call Poison Control for the first time. (Our oldest is 9, so we've gone a long time without having to call.) Mr. Independence decided he needed allergy medicine. His mean mother, that would be me, told him to just go to sleep (it was after 9:30). He hadn't been sneezing, or even sniffling as far as I could tell - I prefer to keep the medicine for when it seems called for.
So, what does Mr. Indepence do when Mom says 'no'? He takes matters into his own hands. We soon became aware that he was in the bathroom and he eventually admitted that he had taken allergy medicine, Sudafed and Allervert.
At first I wasn't too concerned. I've given him those things before - they are in chewable tablet form, he knows to take one. I asked my husband to have a word with him about the dangers of taking his own medicine.
But then we realized that he'd also given himself some Benadryl. Liquid. How much? We couldn't be sure. Now is when we started to worry.
His older sister, hearing the commotion, freaked out, crying that she didn't want to be an only child.
My husband called his mother, a pharmacist, to get her take. She said 'call Poison Control.'
While he did that, Mr. Independence, now a bit worried, thought maybe he had to throw up. Seemed like a good idea to me - but nothing.
We determined that he'd probably taken less than a teaspoonful of Benadryl and Poison Control said not to worry, it would probably just make him drowsy.
Darling daughter, went to bed, relieved that she didn't have to worry about being an only child.
And Mr. Independence? Well, he crawled into my lap, all the bravery worn off, and said "I think I might have to cry now."
I held him tight. "That's fine, go ahead and cry," I told him. He did, for about a minute, then he pulled himself together.
Then he got the warning to never do that again. He agreed.
He'll always be independent, and I'm glad. But my hair seems to be turning gray faster and faster. I wonder why?