Friday, July 11, 2008

Childhood Rite-of-Passage

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!
Me: What happened?
Clara: There's something in there!
Me: Do you need to blow your nose?
Clara: No.
Me: Clara, did you put something in your nose?
Clara: Uh-huh.
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?
Clara: Yeah!
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.)


Farrell said...

whoah. I'm glad you didn't have to scaddle to the ER!

Mark Schulte, Jr. said...

Noses are such a fun place to stick things aren't they. Glad it came out without a trip to the ER.

A Buns Life said...

Nice. Glad you didn't have to deal with the ER and hopefully she doesn't switch to sticking things in her ear now!

Tracy Bittle said...

I honestly think that is the ONE right of passage my kids did not do. It does remind me of the story from my friend, Aimee. One of her kids decided to stick mini M&M's up their nose. They do melt in noses :).

I'm glad she's ok. Hopefully Kate wasn't too aware of what she did or she may get some strange ideas.

Michelle said...

OWWWW... I sure hope that my boys don't do this. Frankly I am surprised that they haven't. Thank goodness she got that out of her nose, GUARENTEED she won't do that again! Andrew STILL talks about the time we had to go to the ER because he got something lodged in his throat because he wasn't chewing properly and screwing around while eating. He definitely is a bit more tame when it comes to eating now.

KBO said...

That totally happened to my little brother when he was little. He put a plastic bead up his nose, and was too hysterical to blow it out without sucking it up further. Had to get it pulled out with ginormous tweezers at the ER.

Julie B said...

My daughter put dried fruit up her nose. It expanded when it got wet. We had to take her to the ER to get it removed. Yuck but pretty common thing for kids to stick stuff up noses....

Skye said...


Chad said...

When my wife was in residency at Children's hospital in Louisville they had a display of a bunch of items that had been removed from children's orifices. If you are ever in Louisville you should check it out. My favorite was a little pin that read "I'm 2 Today"

Melody said...

I am sorry to say this, but that is hilarious :)

Suz said...

So who's xray is that anyway?

Glad the screw is loose!

Joel Bittle said...

Chad, we laughed about the display in Louisville. I'm going to have to check that out. "I'm 2 Today!"

Tracy, if Kate knew the attention Clara got from sticking something in her nose, she'd not only try it, she'd move on to bigger and grosser items.

I'm not sure whose x-ray that is, Suze. I googled x-ray and nose and a picture came up that fit where Clara's object was.

Stuarts said...

Your daughter and my daughter would probably get along well, probably too well. Maybe we should never get them together. I had the lovely experience of rushing into a Fed Ex asking desperately for some "Kleenex or something?" because Tia's nose was pouring blood in the car. After a few blows and a little digging, I retrieved the food (a piece of Gorilla Munch) for her nasal passage, wiped up the blood and asked her to never do that again. I hope your daughter listens better than mine because she still thinks it's cool to shove stuff up her nose...

Lisa said...

Oh you brought back a memory, Joel.

Our son put a chunk of Cracklin' Oat Bran up his nose a very long time ago. Went to doctor who couldn't get it out. They told us to go to Children's Hospital's ER.

Looks like you've got a great story out of it tho. You know to use as blackmail later on in those high school years! ;-)

lovevalerie said...

Hey, I'm Chad's wife, Valerie. Had to weigh in on the foreign body in nose thing. Glad you tried blowing it out before going to the ER--I've seen families pay $50 or more to have us show them how to do the same thing.
There's also a nifty gadget now for getting stuff out of noses (and, I suppose, other places??) It's a thin, flexible plastic catheter with a blow-up balloon at the end. You lube it up, insert just past the object, blow up the tiny balloon, then pull! Ok, maybe only a doctor would describe it as "nifty." Here's a funny link: