Friday, February 09, 2007


By the time I got to school this morning, I was a little frazzled. It was 11:25. I was starving, I had to go to the bathroom, both boobs were rock-solid painfully full, and I was meeting a student at 11:45 and another at 12:00 before a major meeting at 12:30.

So I dumped hats / boots / mitts / coat on the floor, popped open the computer to prep for the meeting, and shoved a fistful of almonds into my mouth while pumping, having stuck a 'back in 5 mins' sticky note on my door in case either one of my students came early. I thought I had the situation under control (don't you think?). Then the phone rang. The cell phone. In my coat pocket. I knew it must be Pynchon so I put down the almonds, but remained tethered to the pump while digging around for the phone. The line popped out of the machine. I found the phone. I rehooked myself. I answered.

Miss Baby tore a chunk off the philodendron on the kitchen counter and, possibly, ate it. What to do?

Evil plant. And now, ugly plant.

Hold on. I'll call you back. Lemme look online.

Google offers many eBay auctions and nurseries. I refine my search terms. Twice. Philodendron, it appears is poisonous. I call Pynchon back right away (I'm still eating and pumping and watching the clock for my first student meeting.)

Sweetie? How does she look? [angry and upset, and she's drooling like ten babies] Did she swallow any? [Can't tell] Call the doctor and then call me back.

Is that a bite mark? Or a rip mark?

Now my first student is knocking on the door, and I'm trying to disentangle myself from the pump and put it all away. I hide the bottle of milk under my desk. Student A enters. Pynchon calls back. Doctor's office closed for lunch.

Hold on (I say to my student). Let me look up the number for Poison Control (to Pynchon). Call me back.

Just in case your baby eats the houseplants ...

Student A gets her concern addressed. Leaves. I try to pump a second bottle before Student B comes. Pynchon calls back. Philodendron is poisonous in the sense that it is a strong irritant. To the mouth. Miss Baby will be fine.

Student B comes by and I hide a second bottle of milk under my desk. By the time she leaves, I can just barely nuke a cup of soup, which I bring to the meeting with me. Maybe tomorrow I'll go to the bathroom.

Wanna share my prunes, The Mama?


NotSoSage said...

Oh, geez, Mimi. I'm so glad that Miss Baby is okay. Isn't it crazy when your heart is racing like that and it's urgent, but not necessarily an emergency and there are ten other things standing in the way of you handling it efficiently. Your post almost gave me an anxiety attack, just reading it.

Sounds like a rough day. Tell you what, I'll hold Miss Baby. You go to the bathroom...and take a glass of wine with you.

Alpha DogMa said...

I was expecting this to end: and that's when I realized my blouse was unbuttoned and the flaps were open on my nursing bra. But then I remembered you are a real person and not a character on Desperate Housewives, so your ending makes much more sense.
Glad Mini-Mimi is safe.

Jenifer G. said...

Add this to the mental list of things you need to know as a parent...philodendron not really poisonous. Got it.

As a baby I used my walker to scoot across our apartment and pulled down (crashing to the floor) my Mom's fave large plant that was on a wooden plant stand (no idea what kind of plant) and proceeded to eat the leaves. I know this because there is a picture of me eating the leaf while the plant, broken pot, and dirt are all around me. Uh, Mom maybe take the leaf away?

My how times have changed! Maybe that could explain some of my weirdness?

Loved your story but, boy was I anxious...kept waiting for the open shirt - open door fiasco. Glad it did not happen. ;)

Mad Hatter said...

What does Elvis Costello say? "Welcome to the working week. Although it don't thrill you at least it won't kill you." Yup, clearly he didn't consult a working mom when he wrote it.

Beck said...

Gah. I can't keep houseplants alive so it's all moot for me, but I still keep poison control on speed dial. My middle child liked to eat things, you see. Many, many exciting things. Isn't it so horrifying? I'm glad your baby is safe and sound.

gingajoy said...

also glad to hear the babe is ok--oy!

i've been experimenting with doublepumping myself (mainly because I;ve lost the valve on my PIS that lets me do one at a time). i have found I can do double duty and hold both horns on with my arm across my chest, and use one hand to blog/type/answer phone. this does get leaky at times. and it might explain why my keyboard is sticky.

Mimi said...

Tee-hee, gingajoy -- we don't call them horns, we call them 'boobie trumpets' ;-) And you can always tell when I'm pumping and blogging, because my comments lack capital letters ...

Jenifer G -- that's a funny story!

AD -- there'll be cleavage in another post, coming soon, I promise ...