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Friday, September 30, 2022

Caterpillar details

One of the very best things about Poison Control is that they always call you back to see how things are going. That second phone call has traditionally been much calmer from my end of things. 

Traditionally?

Apparently I have a tradition of calling Poison Control. 

But, like, despite my best efforts apparently my kids are going to do things like drink insect repellent (Zoë), eat random yard mushrooms (Alexander), or...you know...bite a venomous caterpillar (Phoebe). 

Before that I evidently was able to keep track of my kids well enough to keep them out of such mischief. 

Or I was just plain lucky. 

The first time I called Poison Control it felt like I was some kind of human failure because...I don't know why. I'd messed up my streak of not calling Poison Control? But I learned that they are the nicest people so now I call with only a little bit of sheepishness and say, "Hey, yeah, hi. Me again. So, my kid ate a weird bug. What do I do?"

And they are always very nice. And they always make a follow-up call. And if everything could run as smoothly as poison control I think the would be in very good shape.

But this isn't really a PSA for Poison Control, though, seriously, do not hesitate to call them if you think you or a loved one may have ingested...or touched...or inhaled...something poisonous because no matter how ridiculous your story is, they will take you seriously, help calm you down, and give you excellent advice (which I assume is sometimes, "Get thee to a hospital!"). 

And then they'll call you an hour later to make sure you're no longer hyperventilating and your toddler is still alive.

Probably better to never have to call Poison Control, really. But I'm just saying that if you find yourself wondering whether you should call Poison Control, better safe than sorry. 

So, anyway...Phoebe bit a caterpillar today.

I thought it was dead. 

But after I'd finished running around the house (like a chicken with its head cut off) with her, I handed Phoebe off to a big sister (Rachel? Miriam? I dunno. They were both around and I handed the baby to...whoever) so I could call poison control in peace and quiet (because Phoebe was offering none of those things).

And I figured I should probably be near the poisonous thing when I called, just in case they asked me any questions about it, and I noticed that it had uncurled itself from its little ball and was quickly crawling for safety, so we put it in a jar.

As Andrew said in his Tweet about this sad little tale, thanks to evolution, this little dude survived!


But you can see the damage done to his little hair-do. There's a significant share of hairs missing from this side of his fuzzy little body. We can only assume those are in Phoebe's body now.

Here she is, still screaming, after about half an hour (and several ice cubes) later:


Not a flattering picture of either of us, but that's the way the world works. I don't think either of us were feeling too glamorous at this point, either.

Anyway, here are a few more views to show how much air Phoebe managed to "trim" from this poor cater-fellow. Note: left side = hair, right side = no hair.



And this gives a little view of the (remaining) tussocks:


Very fortunately for Phoebe, I think, this is actually a banded tussock moth caterpillar, which isn't actually a stinging tussock (thank goodness), though the hairs are still irritating. 

It's hard to tell, really, because it's missing all its beautiful "lashes," though you can see evidence that those once existed on the floor next to the curled up caterpillar (we used some tape to clean up that area—no hairs left behind!). 

But it could also maybe, maybe be an American dagger moth caterpillar.

It's hard to tell because he's just such a naked caterpillar now. But judging by its head (which is a solid, dark colour), I'm leaning heavily toward the banded tussock moth. And thank goodness for that because it caused Phoebe enough discomfort without being a "true" stinging dude.

Here she is crying before bed again (lots of crying, lots of drooling, lots of frustratedly rubbing her mouth with her hands):


You can see she has a bit of a rash under her lip (kind of on the left side of her face, the side toward the bottom of the picture for those of us who are directionally-challenged).

We may very well have found the one thing she doesn't want to eat more of (with salsa being a close second, though she tolerates that fine now)!

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