"DO NOT EAT". It just seems obvious, doesn't it? You open up the box of something inedible and you find one of these happy little creatures lurking unobtrusively at the bottom of the box. Doing what, you ask? Desiccating, I guess. For those of you who think I am now going to launch into a story about how one of my wigglers ended up ingesting one of these I am now going to pop your happy bubble of "at least MY kids haven't done that." because neither of them have... yet... that I know of... but it's totally possible...
(I found this entertaining little tid-bit on what would happen if you DID eat the dreaded gel if you are interested... http://health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/systems/digestive/ate-silica-packet.htm)
While Sass was ripping apart the cardboard containers of all his enthusiastically appropriated birthday booty, several of these were left in the paper piles of the party carnage. As I picked them up I thought to myself, "Well, duh... because "Desiccant" makes it sound delicious."... but really is it a "duh"? I mean, as human beings we always make the smart moves, right? Well, duh... no, we do not.
We've all that "that friend" who dated "that guy" and ended up with "that problem", or cut the packing tape towards our bodies instead of away, or turned to yell at someone while peeling potatoes with a freshly sharpened kitchen knife, or taken that dare because our pride was more important than deep tissue bruising... because we are all human. (I hope you learned your lesson about cliff jumping boy scout troupe who saw me crash and burn and then haul myself onto the bank, a rapidly purpling mess of injured pride and subcutaneous bleeding. And yes... my buddies got quite a chuckle out of that incident, too.) Is it ingrained in our very natures to push the boundaries? Are we doomed to wound? At our simplest moments in pre-history were we standing in a semicircle, hooting rude encouragements to the hairy troupe member in the middle with the live scorpion dangling over his tongue? My answer.... yes. And I know this because I have children.
I wish I was given a dollar for everytime I have asked "Now, why did that seem like a good idea?" (either silently or aloud) while putting on a band-aid or wiping away tears because, ya'll I would be one rich bitch. The thing is, I have come to understand things like gravity, toxicity, and basic physics because I am old and have already made my numerous, NUMEROUS mistakes (and I am certain to make more). My children have no idea that any of these things exist... obviously... and it won't matter how many times I try to convince them otherwise. I guess, they will have to figure out some of this on their own.
Now, I hope I can at least get them to avoid activities that involve the word "Desiccant", "Poison", or "Rock Slide Zone" and, while I won't be able to keep them from all hurts, hopefully they will take some of my advice to heart (advice like "Don't mix your sweet liquors and always eat first.", "The boy in the brand new Mustang is a douche. Pick the one in the beat up Honda.", and "If it hisses... just leave it be. It probably bites.")... but we'll see. They might actually turn out to be careful... or they might turn out just like me. :)