It was a Tuesday. The day went on like any normal day. Infact, it was much better. The children had closed early from school. We had played together, done 'Mummy's Lessons' together, and talked and laughed so much. The children were in the best behaviors and I couldn't thank God enough for the joy He had given me through them.
As usual, women have to be multitasking. 2 separate pots of beans were on the fire while we were having fun. And just when it was time to finalize the cooking of the beans, I remembered that the children's medications were in the fridge and needed to be warmer before I could administer them. So I brought them out of the fridge and kept on my section of the dining table then resumed cooking the beans.
After some minutes, I heard the children haggling over something.
"Give me some!" the older one said.
"No, its my own!" the toddler replied.
"Let me drink a little na!"
I could not imagine what they were fighting over.
I peeped through the glass in my kitchen door that overlooked the living room. Then I saw my toddler holding an empty bottle of cough syrup. I immediately ran out of the kitchen, forgetting the beans on the fire. She was coughing.
"Mummy, it's very sweet!" she told me with an innocent look as she handed to me the empty bottle of medicine.
I was finished at that point in time. I did not know where to start from. I turned to the older one to ask what exactly happened. It was obvious. I found myself scolding the 4 year old saying "next time, if you see your sister touching a bottle of medicine, take it from her and come and report to me!" How silly I sounded.
I called Mr. Rita, told him we have an emergency and explained what had happened. No response from him, how frustrating. So I dropped the line and called Mr. Rita's father who is a doctor. I explained which medicine she drank and he gave me tips on what to do. After that, I went to attend to the beans which was almost burnt.
Very depressing and condemning thoughts began to enter my mind. I called myself names from irresponsible mother to a woman who did not deserve the precious gifts of God. I began to think of the impact of the medicine overdose, and this was only worsened when I consulted Dr. Google.
When Mr. Rita returned from work, I immediately handed his children over to him (without greeting him) and ran into the bedroom to have a good cry. Then I cried to God because the self-condemning thoughts were so depressing. And He comforted me. He reminded me of how happy the children were to spend the afternoon and evening with me. He reminded me of the beautiful paintings that came out of the extra time I spent teaching them how to color neatly. He reminded me that none had cried or thrown tantrums while we were together. I was not so bad after all.
So I wiped my tears away and went to join the rest of the family. Mr. Rita was as usual awesome with the children. They did not miss me. And just as I was about to set the table for their dinner, I saw that the medicine had spilled on the floor of the dining table.
Phew! What a relief! She had not drank a full bottle of cough syrup but the whole experience was a lesson for me - Keep all medicines and anything harmful away from children!!!
And dear Mums, yes sometimes those self-condemning thoughts may come but I want to assure you that you are a great Mum, and no one could be a better mum to your kids than you.