Do you see that cute little face?
That is not the face of innocence and sweetness.
That is the face of terror, destruction and mischief.
I am behind on laundry. So behind, in fact, that I won’t tell you how bad, because it’s embarrassing. Yesterday, in between trying to make dinner to take to Rob at work and get Josh around to go swimming, I decided to run upstairs and put some clean clothes away and gather more clothes to wash.
I swear to God, I was upstairs less than five minutes, and the owner of the cute angelic face above was watching Dora on TV. He never moves when he’s watching Dora, in fact, he resembles a plant. Olivia was playing with her toys, so I quickly ran upstairs.
And then I heard the coughing. Strange, wheezy coughing from more than one voice. I left the dirty laundry in a pile on the bathroom floor and ran back downstairs.
Where I saw a little girl covered from head to toe in blue powder. And a little boy with suspiciously blue hands, feet and arms. There was blue powder on my tan living room carpet and a half inch thick lining the majority of the dining room floor.
“What is this,” I asked Josh.
Joshua paused, tapping his finger on his mouth in his best Pooh Bear imitation. “Think, think, think,” he said. “I think it is blue fairy dust.”
I picked Olivia up and brushed her off best I could. Her white tights didn’t have a spot of white on them, and she was coughing.
“Joshua,” I said, “Mommy is mad. What is this?”
“Blue fairy dust, Mommy,” Josh said patiently.
I started to wheeze myself. “Show Mommy where you got it.”
“Think, think, think,” Josh said again. “I don’t know.”
I glanced around the dining room and saw a yellow bottle lying on the floor. Construction grade blue chalk dust.
I called my husband at work, but by this time I was wheezing and coughing so hard that I couldn’t get the words out to ask what it was. In fact, I couldn’t get anything out but wheezes and coughs. My husband, thinking I was having an anaphylactic reaction, hung up and called 911.
I had no idea he called the fire department.
I brushed the kids off best I could and started to get coats on them so I could get them out of the house while I figured out what to do. I was putting Olivia’s coat on her when the front door burst open and in ran two volunteer firefighters carrying epi pens.
“It’s a Hazmat,” I gasped out and handed them each a child. “Get the kids out of here.” The ambulance was there at that point, so they ran out and handed the kids to the waiting crew. I sat on my front porch, gave the firefighters the empty chalk dust bottle, and inhaled the oxygen they gave me.
This was when we discovered that construction grade blue chalk dust is not meant to be inhaled in large amounts and is, in fact, toxic to the lungs when it is.
At this point, my sister calls me to see if she can borrow a pair of work pants since she is late for work. She got a firefighter instead, so she decided to swing by the house and see what was up. My sister-in-law also was a few blocks away, heard it on her car scanner(did I mention we are all firefighters ourselves?), and swung over. So now you had me, my two kids, an EMT and a paramedic, my sister and my sister-in-law, all sitting in the back of the ambulance. The fire chief stuck his head in and said, “We’ve called the hospital, they’ve got their hazmat team ready. I talked to Chemtrek and this is definately classified as a hazardous material, so you all need to go up and get evaluated.”
This was how Joshua, Olivia and I wound up being transported, by ambulance, to the hospital for official decon and evaluation.
My husband left work, and never did get his dinner.
Joshua did not get to go swimming.
And my laundry still isn’t done.
However, the kind fire department, complete with full turnout gear and SCBA tanks, did sweep and mop my floors, and my husband shampooed the carpet.
So at least something around here got done.