We knew the day would come, but we were not prepared.
No amount of parental warning can truly educate a child to the dangers surrounding them. Sometimes the little one has to actually experience the touch of something hot, to knock over that lamp onto themselves, or to get their heads stuck between the slats of the dining room chair to realize that maybe they should rethink doing something like that again. And perhaps the constant warnings from us parents to slow down or you'll fall, to be careful with your milk cup, to hold the bannister on the stairs, or to stay away from the edge of the pool turns us from rational bestowers of wisdom to the adults in Charlie Brown: "Mwa mwa mwa mwa mwa. MWA! MWA!" But it only takes one drop of the ice cream cone to realize that maybe you should hold it with two hands. Cry all you want about it - it's not like I didn't try to warn you.
Last night Clara did something that she may think twice about doing again. She stuck something up her nose.
About an hour past her bedtime, I heard a blood-curdling scream from upstairs, which could mean anything from her closet light wasn't on to she had lost a limb jumping from the top of her dresser. I was betting on the closet light. When I opened the door I saw her on her bed holding her nose.
Me: What's wrong?
Clara: My nose hurts!
Clara: My nose hurts!
Me: What happened?
Clara: There's something in there!
Me: Do you need to blow your nose?
Me: Clara, did you put something in your nose?
Me: What did you put in your nose?
Clara: I can't know
I grabbed a flashlight and some tweezers but couldn't see anything up in there - and no, exploring the depths of my daughter's nostrils no longer seems even a little bit gross to me any more. I was convinced there wasn't anything in there, but I took Clara downstairs to get Megan's second opinion. She couldn't see anything either, but did find that one spot high on Clara's nose was quite tender. Clara blew her nose several time but nothing substantial came out.
Megan: Clara, did you really put something in your nose or is that just a story?
Clara: I really did.
Megan believed her but I wasn't convinced. We've always called her "an unreliable witness" and I didn't want to turn this into an ER visit unless we were sure. A bit more nose blowing revealed a little blood, and I was coming around to the idea that something was up there. As we stood there debating the options, Clara blew her nose one more time and something came out: a small plastic screw, which could have fallen out of a toy or a piece of furniture. It was a smaller one of these:
Megan: Oh sweetie, do you feel better?
Me: Now you never put anything in your nose, OK?
Mwa mwa mwa mwa mwa, mwa? - But maybe it hurt just enough to stop her from doing it again.
(No, that's not Clara's x-ray up there.)