Wednesday, March 2, 2011


So here it is. My first post on my new blog about motherhood.

I've been waiting for a very special story to post on my blog that references my alter-ego, Erma Bombeck. Even as I read her writings from the 1960's, the timelessness of motherhood remains unchanged. The styles of clothing may have changed, but the heart of a mother has not.

So you can imagine my HORROR and fear when I saw this.

Yep, that is an empty vitamin bottle.

Which previously was only 3/4ths empty.

Because my darling almost 9 year old son, Marker Man, decided they were declicious AND nutritious.

And ate them like candy.

Never mind that he had already been instructed to stop eating everything in sight. Never mind mama had had one heckuva day and was already emotionally wrung through the ringer.

Nope, my little man ignored his common sense and ate the remains of the bottle, sneaking them one or two at a time until they were gone.

So the conversation pretty much went down like this.

Mama: Where did the rest of the vitamins go?

Tweenage girl 1: I didn't eat them.

Tweenage girl 2: It wasn't me.

Marker Man: ...

Mama: Did you pour them out somewhere?

Marker Man (looking anywhere but at his mama): ...

Mama (starting to panic): You didn't EAT the rest of these did you?

Marker Man: ... (taking a deep breath) Am I in trouble?

This is where things get tricky for us moms, because "Trouble" is such a layered word. While Marker Man was thinking about trouble meaning a grounding of some sort, his wide eyed panicked out Mama was thinking about trouble eluding to some sort of visit to an emergency room involving liquid charcoal, or at the very least, syrup of epicac. So clearly, I was unable to answer him directly.

Mama: At this point, I'm not sure. You are probably going to get sick of some kind, even if it's the hot poops or throwing up. I need to call poison control. Or maybe Uncle Jason is home.

(Uncle Jason is the family's registered ER nurse. It's handy to have one of those in every family, and I highly reccommend it.)

So I called my sister in law/BFF Tricky Nikki. Not only is she Jason's wife (and therefore an ER nurse herself by proxy), but she also runs a day care and has 4 youngin's of her own. She's had to call poison control several times, because she is not the type to 'wait it out and see' like myself.

"My son just ate gummy vitamins. A lot of them. Are we in trouble?"

Nik started to laugh and said "Why would he do that?"

"Because they are yummy."

"Does he not know they are medicine?"

Looking at my son, sitting on his bed now bawling his eyes out from the thought of having the hot poops or throwing up, I told Nik, "Yes, he is aware they are medicine."

"As long as there's no iron in them, he's probably ok. But you need to call poison control, just to be safe. Hold on, I'll get the number for you. I think they recognize my voice over there."

Honestly, it's a miracle I've never had to call poison control before this point in motherhood. But my number was up, and it was time to face the music. Fingers shaking, I quickly dialed the number.

"Poison control hotline, how may I help you?

"My son just ate 10 or 15 gummy vitamins. Should I be worried?"
*meaning more worried than I already was*

"Ma'am, I'm happy to help you. What sort of vitamins were they?"

"Princess Gummies."

Marker Man started crying even harder from his room, with the realization that he had not only consumed something he shouldn't have, but they were the girlie type of somethings. That added insult to injury.

"Ma'am, please look at the label. Were they the kind with iron?"

"No, I've searched everywhere on the label, and they did not say anything about iron."

"OK, now Ma'am, I want you to look at the ingredient list. What is the first item you see?"

"Corn syrup. Then sugar."

"Yes Ma'am, that's about all that is in those types of vitamins. He's in no danger, but he will probably get a tummy ache."

"Wait, so what you are telling me is that my kid is going to be fine because I bought them crappy vitamins and have been feeling like a stellar mother up to this point because I was giving them vitamins, but they actually do nothing?"

"Yes, Ma'am, it appears that way."

*Note to self- purchase better vitamins for the kiddos*

**Second note to self- considering the state of current events, it might be better to just live in denial and continue purchasing crappy vitamins in case something like this ever happens again.**

"Ok, well thank you for your help. I need to go console my son now."

"Yes, but Ma'am, I'm going to need your first name and your zip code before you go."

*Say anything but Charlie. Say anything but Charlie. Say anything but*

"Charlie, and my zip is ...."


"Thank you, Ma'am. Have a good night."


Meanwhile, Marker Man is in his room WAILING with imaginary ashes and sackcloth, and as soon as I got back into his room, he asked me, "Am I going to be alright?"

And now that I knew he was going to be fine, and probably wouldn't even get a tummy ache (the kid once ate a HAM SHAKE. But that's a blog for another day) I decided NOW was the time to enforce a lesson. But it was going to take every ounce of motherly instinct not to ream this kid up one side and down the other. Because he's OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER.

I have a policy in my house. Even when a situation is stupid, I never use that word. Not when it comes to the kids. I don't ever want them growing up in a home where that word is used. I have heard to many other parents tell their kids they are stupid, and it gravely effects the youngins.

"This was a very unwise thing you did tonight." I told Marker Man.

"I know." Sniff sniff.

"You could have really gotten hurt!"

"I know." More sniffing.

"Are you EVER going to pull a stunt like this again? Or do we need to have some sort of grounding?"

"No. I've learned my lesson."

"Good, because I almost gave you syrup of epicac. And that would have made for a horrible night for you."

"What is syrup of epicac?"

Now is where my Erma-ness came in. I could simply tell him what epicac is, or I could find a visual demonstration to teach him about the night he could have had. I chose to share this clip with the WHOLE FAMILY (who are NOT allowed to watch this show, but there is no cursing on this clip) and make sure the message was driven into their skulls. All of them.

Yes, this is the modern motherhood I am living.

By the end of the night, Marker Man was fine, Mama was exhausted, and we both survived the experience.

I call it a win win.


  1. Oh, I have such a lovely syrup of epicac story. Actually, it is Hurricane Mother's story, as I am the one who was force fed the epicac. Because my big brothers dared me to eat the end off of some matches. And I did. I was only 3, but the memory is etched into my being. I haven't had epicac since. And I didn't throw up in the doctor's office. I threw up all over the inside of the car. That was back when children could sit in the front seat. I got the windshield, the dash, Hurricane Mother, I got each of the front short, you could say I erupted!

  2. Aw,what a day for you guys! I had a cousin who did this when she was a kid. She ate almost a whole bottle of the Flintstone Vitamin C chewables. Boy did she pay for it! Same effects as drinking way too much orange juice.

  3. I am CRYING laughing! Charlie, I normally stalk your blogs (OSCBB, Letters to Jia), but I had to comment on this - how hilarious!!

    P.S. I should probably take this opportunity to say I adore you - truly! I'm on my own weight-loss journey myself and you are such an inspiration in every way!

  4. i'm glad he is ok, i think the crying on his part was punishment enough!! hahaha!
    plus, i'm really glad you're doing this blog, i love hearing about your family, your fb posts are so funny with all that you guys do and go through, this is another fun side to the fabulous Charlie!!

  5. Must have been in the air last week. I gave my 5 year old daughter a hefty man size dose of daddy's prescription cough syrup w/ codine. Confused the stinking bottles...should have been her pediatric Zyrtec. THAT, however was my fault and my concern caused her to become an absolute emotional mess. Motherhood, anyway. Thank God for poison control!

  6. Loved the story! Love the new blog and will be back for more! Have a great rest of the day Charlie!

  7. Love the new blog! I was giggling all the way through your story.. hehe.. I'm glad he is ok though, and I give you credit. I'm sure I would have just overreacted and lost my cool on the poor kid.

  8. My son drank bleach. That's right picked up a bottle and tried to drink it. Called poison control and now I don't even remember what they said, but we didn't have to go to the ER thankfully. Then he ate one of my Wellbutrin. Again called poison control, no trip to the ER kid was fine. Kid is now a teenager and will eat anything. Made $10. at the Chinese buffet by eating a whole baby squid. But he would of ate it anyway. He's that kind of kid.

  9. Oh my gosh, that is so funny! I'm glad they weren't toxic. Kids really know how to scare the living daylights out of you.

  10. Oh my goodness. I imagine he is learning his lesson as they, ahem, 'make their way through'? :)

    So, this should be good....between me and my little littles adventures and you and your bigger littles adventures, we will have quite a few tales to laugh about each week--no?

    Oh, how I look forward to more....

  11. Okay, just a note here....not sure if it is just my computer or what, but originally I only saw 1/2 of this post--up to the point that MM said, "Am I in trouble?" I didn't notice I had to click on 'read more' or whatever, so the first time around, I missed half of the story and the AWESOME video (thank you for the visual--ROFL). Glad he is okay--and, yeah, note to self--I buy the same vitamins. :( booooo for crappy 'good for you' advertising.

  12. Love this story girlfriend!!!! Love your new blog!!!! And...Love you too!!!!

  13. I love Erma Bombeck too! I remember reading my mom's books as a teen and thought they were hilarious. You're so funny.. this is gonna be a great blog!! =)

  14. I am a Poison Control virgin. Perhaps I'm not as much of a motherly fuck up as I feared! Or I just channel my fuckupedness in other areas. I'll go with hypothesis #1 for the win and pony ride. Yay me!

    And you my hot ass friend? Erma would be proud. Smooches! - K

  15. I love this blog! I'm a huge fan of Erma and I think you're just as funny! :) Rock on Darlin!


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