Yesterday it was nice enough to go outside in shirtsleeves, so I battled the fierce wind, a curious toddler, and an unruly tarp to get the leaves raked up and and carted away from the front of the house. I was sweeping the front walk when I realized that Piper was awfully quiet. I dashed around the front of the house and found her standing in front of a bush we've never quite identified but which has recently sprouted clusters of tiny red berries. Piper looked at me and it was that look that every mother knows, no matter what form it takes: the I Have Done Something look.
"Did you eat one of these berries? Did you eat these?!" I asked, gripping her arms. She didn't appear to be chewing, but she was holding her mouth oddly, like she might have just swallowed really fast.
"I did," she said quietly.
"Oh, God. Did you really eat one?! Let me see inside your mouth!" she refused, and what followed was me trying to pry her jaw open and her shrieking and squirming away from me. I asked her twice more if she ate one, and every time she responded with the quiet and remorse-filled "I did" that usually means she did, in fact, commit the deed in question and knows she's in trouble.
I raced inside and booted up the computer.
While I was Googling "poisonous plants of North Carolina" and "NC Poison Control" to figure out what kind of berries Piper may or may not have eaten while we were outside (can you really trust the word of a 2.5-year-old?), Piper peed in her pants, took off all her clothes, ran around naked, then peed on the carpet.
While I was on the phone with Poison Control, she opened the fridge and climbed up the shelves, got some stuff out, and left the fridge door open.
30 minutes after THAT, she ate half the (cooked) bacon I was going to use for dinner sandwiches, and ran around touching everything with bacon-greasy hands.
And my husband wonders why I'm so irritable.