The day I almost killed my daughter

Posted Saturday 11th May 2013   By Ericka Waller

It started out like any other Sunday. We went to a car boot sale in the morning and gave our girls a pound each. Thing-One immediately dropped hers and Thing-Two immediately offered up her own.

We did not let her give it to her sister. Instead she carefully chose a little dolly in a wooden crib. Her chubby hand opening like a flower. Her sweaty shiny pound. “Fank- you for mine dolly” said shyly to the seller’s shoes.

Back home we dined on Marmite and cheese sandwiches in the garden, washed down with milk and slices of apple.

Then I brushed the crumbs from my t-shirt and cracked on with digging a large hole to plant an Acer in. The husband got busy laying foundations for a summerhouse. The children bounced on their trampoline, played in the paddling pool and went in their cubby house.

I was busy swearing at ivy roots my spade would not cut through. The husband was busy making sure the foundations were flat for the summer house. We had our backs to our babies, so much more important were our tasks.

We did not notice Thing-Two get off the trampoline and go wandering. Round and round the garden. Did she stop to pick up a snail or a dying daffodil head before she found the weedkiller?

She appeared by her daddy’s side. In her mouth was the nozzle. Her little chubby hand, that so recently held her pound, was now on the trigger.

On our knees. Trying to make eye contact and be calm. Begging. “Did you spray it in your mouth baby? Tell Daddy” Too scared of being in trouble to admit the truth, she vehemently denied spraying the bottle. She did not seem ill. She seemed fine. She wanted to go bouncing on the trampoline.

Soon the sickness came. Lying on the sofa. Blue eyes too big for her grey face. “Baby, do you feel OK?”

“I OK” she whispered. but she was not. She got sick again and again and again. The husband raced her to A&E. I stayed at home with her crying sisters. Pacing, obsessively cleaning. Waiting for my phone to ring.

At last “She is going to be OK. We’ll be here for a while yet though.” I crumpled into a pile of her dressing-up clothes.

I was not there when she had her anti sickness and got treated for dehydration. Apparently when they asked her to open wide so they could put the lolly-stick in her mouth, my amazing daughter, with her sore little throat, croaked “Where’s the lolly?”

When she left she told them “I go home, have bath with mine mummy now. Fank you.”

Then finally, in the car on the way home “I did drink the drink daddy. It was yukky.”

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