Friday, September 26, 2008

Close Encounters of the Fungi Kind

Before having kids, I used to have a beautiful vegetable garden every summer. Each fall, I would can, freeze, and pressure cook vegetables until the pantry was full and I had lost half of my body weight in sweat from working in the steamy kitchen. But no more. Turns out, vegetables really don't do well when surrounded by weeds three times as high as they are. Who knew?

Luckily for me, raspberries have no such requirements. In fact, if this year's crop is any indication, they seem to thrive on neglect. I've been picking raspberries every other day, and ending up with approximately 4 cups of berries with each picking. In the coming days, I'll post some of the recipes that I've been experimenting with in my attempts to use up all these berries.
Last night, I made a fresh berry tiramisu. It turned out to be a lot of work, especially since I had two whiny children at my feet and in my hair (and it turns out, they can be both places simultaneously). At one point, I was starting to lose my temper, so I decided to step outside to get some fresh air and get away from it all for a minute. The problem is, "it all" followed me outside. Natalie wouldn't let me put her down, so she came out with me by default. And Sammy came running behind me, in his sock feet, saying, "Mommy, I want to come with! Don't leave me!" So instead of going for a short walk, like I had intended, I sat down in the grass and put my head in my hands for a brief meditation while the kids milled around.

It wasn't long before I heard Sammy say, "Natalie, don't eat that! Mom, Natalie's eating something!" Thinking she was eating a blade of grass, or a weed, I didn't react at first. When he repeated it, I finally looked up to see Natalie spitting something out, and Sammy pointing at the humongous mushroom she had just sampled.

Um. It seems that every story I've heard about amateur mushroom hunters hasn't turned out well. And even though it didn't look like she had actually swallowed any of it, I had no idea how much of that particular mushroom it would take to cause ill effects. So, I gathered the kids up and ran in the house to make my first call to Poison Control.

The man on the other end of the line was very helpful. He had me describe the mushroom, and reassured me that it didn't sound like it was an overly toxic mushroom, but to be safe, he wanted me to take a picture and email it to him. I did that, and a few minutes later, he called me back to say that the worst she would probably experience was stomach upset. And since I thought she hadn't swallowed much, that odds were she wouldn't have any symptoms whatsoever but if she did start showing symptoms, to call him back right away.

She ate supper shortly after that, and went to sleep. Of course, I checked on her all night long but she was totally fine. So, all's well that ends well.

Edited to add: The Poison Control called back this morning to follow up. I'm very impressed at their helpfulness! Although I hope I won't have to do any more "business" with them.


mommyslittleblog said...

I am about to lose it, there are sooooooooo many things to WORRY about as a mommy. No wonder so many women are a bit insane after having kids. :)

You handled that well Becky. I'm glad to hear it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

Becky said...

Isn't that the truth! (About there being so many things to worry about as a mom.) The other morning, I was pulling out some gray hairs and when Sammy asked what I was doing, I explained "this one was from the time that you almost stuck a screwdriver in a light socket; this one is from the time that Natalie fell off the bed; this one is from the time..."

Carol Beth said...

Poison Control people are awesome. I've had to call them three times for Ana...the curse of having a child that my preschool-teaching friend called one of the most oral children she's ever seen.

I'm really glad she didn't experience any stomach upset...or hallucinations.

Becky said...

Beth - thank goodness for Poison Control! Hopefully Ana will grow out of the oral stage soon? That must be incredibly challenging for you.

And LOL about the hallucination comment!