The teacher in me wants to decorate/celebrate every holiday with baby. So when I found adorable Valentine’s day window gel clings (much like these) in the dollar section of Target, I had to get them. I got two packs in fact. Sure I saw the ages 3+ sign on the bottom of the package, but this mom was going to be watching her baby play with them with eagle eyes so I could disregard that label. “Won’t it be so cute to see R playing with these gel clings? It’ll be a great way for her to practice her fine motor skills. And, I can put them up high enough so she’ll have to stand up to get them!” (We all know how much she loves hanging around on her bum.)
And it was cute. For a while…
Especially that morning she woke up wearing heart pajamas. For a split second, I thought, “Damn, what an awesome idea this was! She’s standing, she’s excited…She’s EATING THEM!?!” Well, not really, because I was watching her with an eagle eye–remember?
This is when she discovered the game, Let’s Pretend to Eat These So Mom Freaks Out. Here’s how you play: Baby gets up to grab a gel cling and then has to put it just far enough and slowly enough into her mouth that mom has a chance to grab them. Then mom puts the gel clings higher so baby can’t reach them. Finally, baby whines until mom moves them down again and the whole process repeats. This game can bring joy to baby for hours if you have the stamina to play. Mom does not have the stamina to play.
“Where does the parenting fail come in?” you may be wondering at this point. Well, it comes in a few days later when she wakes up and takes a gigantic poop after a night of really terrible sleep (like waking up every few hours crying kind of sleep). I open her diaper to find something I think to be undigested bok choy. I get a little freaked out and call Pop over. Did she eat a succulent? Is this some kind of mutant poop? After a little more investigating, and rinsing, we find that her poop says “Hug me” and “Too Cute.” It is, in fact, not one, but TWO whole gel clings…
This is about the moment I feel like a failure. When could this have happened? I try racking my brain to remember. And then I do. I’m washing dishes, “watching” her play with gel clings out of the corner of my eagle eye when I see her grab one and try to play our game. I run over to take it from her but realize there’s actually nothing in her mouth. “Hmmm…must have put it back on the window,” I think. Wrong! So, so very wrong.
After a call to poison control and an email to Target, I find that I am lucky she didn’t choke on the clings (I mean she swallowed two at a time!) and that I’ll never know if the clings changing color from red/pink to green in her tummy was toxic or not (I’m guessing so). Target never got back to me about that question, and poison control was mostly concerned with the asphyxiation potential and her behavior which was totally normal.
So I’m here to tell you, please mind the age labels. Unless of course, you’re an actual eagle with eagle eyes.