The Perfume

When the eldest was five, middle child was three, and the only thing on her mind was she wanted everything her sister had, whether it was good for her or not. There was the time the eldest was ill with strep throat so she was on antibiotics, and of course her little sister wanted medicine too (now this was just after we had attended a work sponsored Christmas party, where the eldest had received perfume from Santa Claus).  Just before putting the girls to bed, I gave the eldest her antibiotics, while trying to explain to a three-year old that medicine was only to be taken when the doctor said and I made sure that the perfume was placed out of reach of little hands. About an hour or so later, my sister came over for a visit, and went downstairs to say goodnight to the girls. Well, much to her surprise she found middle child stinking of perfume, middle child had climbed the shelves the perfume was on and drank it. My sister scooped her up, rushing her to me. We asked middle child how much perfume she had drunk since the bottle was empty, and she would only say she wanted medicine like her older sister.

Time to call Ontario Poison Control (1-800-268-9017). After explaining the situation, giving them the name of the perfume, they informed me that the perfume my eldest daughter had received at my husband’s work Christmas Party was toxic (ironically, my husband works at a hospital). They told me they would call the hospital in advance, explain the situation, and I was to hang up and phone for an ambulance. Oh how I so wanted to panic and lose it but I somehow remained in control and dialed 911. The ambulance arrived in no time at all, the paramedics were wonderful and middle child thought this was just grand – a ride in an ambulance. My sister stayed and watched the other two, who didn’t wake at all, even with the sirens blaring down the street and I phoned hubby to meet us in emergency (luckily he worked at the same hospital). Once at the hospital, middle child was checked and since we were unable to determine how much perfume she had consumed she would have to stay the night and be monitored. Apparently, her stomach could not be pumped. Hours went by, and nothing happened, she was fine. We had determined that she most likely spilled more on herself than she had drunk.

When they were young, the eldest, middle child, & teenage boy.


Well it is that time of year again when sleigh bells are ringing, well at least in a few homes.  Christmas is upon us and sadly many find it to be one of the most loneliest/depressing times of the year.  As printed in the Globe & Mail letters to Santa are not limited to little children. These letters are carefully handwritten, no colourful pictures, no ribbons or bows just wishes for a job, money to buy a present for their children, or as one letter writer asked for, a soul mate.

I give my utmost praise to our workers at the Canadian Postal Service who volunteer every year to answer the thousands of letters they receive on behalf of the jolly old fellow Santa Claus. In such a short period of time, these volunteers can amass many hours answering each and every one of those letters which I imagine is no easy task.  Most letters are probably quite upbeat asking for the usual thing, a Barbie doll, a truck, a train, a computer game, an Xbox, or maybe even a book.  But, as it is difficult enough to tell a young writer that Santa Claus, himself, hopes mommy and daddy will stop fighting or that daddy/mommy will be home for Christmas, how do you answer a letter from an adult who needs a job, is lonely or depressed.  Somehow our Canadian Postal Worker has to write an aged appropriate response.  They of course, cannot promise you a job because the economy will not necessarily get better nor can they promise money for presents for your children and they certainly cannot promise you will meet your soul mate. Thus what do you say?  So, as you hunt for that last gift remember those less fortunate and if you see the donation box in the mall or grocery store put something in it, because no matter what, there is always someone in worse shape then yourself.

Here a just a few places you can donate:

Merry Christmas