It has been a hellish day and I have a horrible headache (thank you fucking Expo whiteboard cleaner). I was unable to eat dinner (I blame the fucking Expo whiteboard cleaner) and was just starting to feel like I would no longer hurl at any moment when…

It is 7:15 as we head upstairs. The boys race into my room asking to watch Shrek. I put the movie in and head off to get pajamas and books so that I can get them ready for bed. I come back into the bedroom and Roark is sitting on the floor of the bathroom with Todd’s foot stuff. I grab it from him, and look at the ingredients: formaldehyde. I am not sure what this will do to him, but I grab a washcloth, clean off his foot, yell a little (a lot) and send him to watch Shrek.

About a minute after I grab my computer to find out if his foot is going to fall off, he begins crying that his foot hurts. I try not to lecture him in between my freaking out, but it is difficult. I turn on the tub, take off his pants, and stick his feet under the spray of water. I grab baby soap and wash his feet – not knowing if this is what I should do, but not wanting to wait while his feet fry beneath the freaking chemicals.

I dry off his feet and he seems fine. They do not look red. I continue to tell him to NEVER EVER EVER EVER touch anything anywhere ever again. What in the HELL is that doing on the bedside table anyway??? Jesus CHRIST I am an inept parent!

Perhaps I over-react… but I cannot think of anything else to do. After yelling, yelling some more, and eventual comforting I look into what has happened and the freakout continues. Did he get any on his hands? I do not know. Did he rub his eyes? I look at his eyes, they are red, but he has been crying – due to the whole chemicals-on-the-feet thing and his mother yelling at him. I have no idea if he is ok. His feet look ok. His hands look ok.

I stick all of him in the tub and wash his whole body. Now he is crying because he wants me to leave him the hell alone. I don’t blame him, but don’t want to risk anything bad happening:

* Formaldehyde is an eye, skin, and respiratory tract irritant. Inhalation of vapors can produce narrowing of the bronchi and an accumulation of fluid in the lungs.

* Children may be more susceptible than adults to the respiratory effects of formaldehyde.

* Formaldehyde solution (formalin) causes corrosive injury to the gastrointestinal tract, especially the pharynx, epiglottis, esophagus, and stomach.

* The systemic effects of formaldehyde are due primarily to its metabolic conversion to formate, and may include metabolic acidosis, circulatory shock, respiratory insufficiency, and acute renal failure.

* Formaldehyde is a potent sensitizer and a probable human carcinogen.

Oh crap – did he get any in his mouth? He says no. I stare at him hoping I will see some indication of what harm is done. He looks at me as if I am a crazy loon, which…well, can you blame him?

* There is no antidote for formaldehyde. Treatment consists of supportive measures including decontamination (flushing of skin and eyes with water, gastric lavage, and administration of activated charcoal), administration of supplemental oxygen, intravenous sodium bicarbonate and/or isotonic fluid, and hemodialysis.

It is a 10% solution…Roark seems fine. I think about calling Poison Control (I could mention the fucking Expo whiteboard cleaner while I am at it), paging his doctor, or going to the after hours pediatrician. Over-react much? I sit with him, watching Shrek, expecting CPS to walk in at any minute and take my kids away.

No sign of them yet. My head is hurting again (not sure if it is the fucking Expo whiteboard cleaner, the Formaldehyde fumes, or the trauma of the whole situation - I blame the fucking Expo whiteboard cleaner).