After reading a blog post asking suggestions about baby-proofing for visiting relatives, a memory of my children visiting one of our relatives swam to the surface of the memory pool. The trio were old enough not to require baby-proofing measures. At least, that was true in theory. The reality was that at the ages of 10, 8 and 5, they were still entirely capable of getting into things that they ought to leave alone.
On this particular occasion the three were half-way across the state from the mister and I when they discovered their hostess's purse and keys sitting out. Rather than leave items belonging to another alone, the two eldest children sent the youngest off on some sort of errand because she might "tell". The Boy then dared Middle Child to spray the tiny bottle attached to the key ring. She tried, but it would not cooperate. He got behind the wee bottle and depressed the trigger for her. The pepper spray inside was spontaneously released into her unsuspecting eyes. Uh-oh.
The relative phoned with the child screaming bloody murder in the background. In her panic, clear thought was not happening. I instructed her to call Poison Control and to go wash out Katie's eyes before getting off the phone. Then I sat waiting for the inevitable return call. A short time later the phone rang again. Thinking that the call would be the, "All clear!", I answered. Um, no.
While the eye-washing of Middle Child went on, our youngest daughter had wandered into the kitchen and found the keys. With the pepper spray. And shot the stuff into her eyes. There was more screaming. (Have I mentioned that our youngest child has some sensory issues including water on her face? Uh-huh.) And more eye-washing. And more screaming.
We don't keep pepper spray here. It might scare off some mythical assailant, but I have more than a little trepidation about what we might do to ourselves with the stuff.