After a fun-filled but very busy week, a jammed 4-year-old finger on Friday night followed by x-rays Saturday (it’s not broken, phew!), we were happy to have a low-key family day at home on Sunday. And what’s the best way to end a lovely autumn day in the middle of summer? Movie and popcorn. Can’t get much more low-key than that.
Unless of course, you have a curious 2-year old hanging around.
I was cleaning the kitchen while the kids watched their movie and munched away when Jacob came waddling into the kitchen, eyes watery, suddenly coughing and sneezing popcorn all over the place. I knew what he had done instantly and was actually surprised he hadn’t before. Or that I hadn’t predicted it.
“Jacob! Did you put popcorn in your nose?” He nodded, face scrunched and uncomfortable.”Is it gone? Did you get it all out?”
The watery eyes told me the answer. Something was still in there. I set him on the counter and shined a flashlight up his nose. Sure enough, I could see the kernel lodged waaaaayyy up in his nasal cavity, clearly unreachable by us.
At 9 o’clock on Sunday night, I really really didn’t want to have to head into the ER to retrieve said popcorn kernel. So I called my friend Jamie, who just happens to be a nurse for Bellingham Ear Nose and Throat. She suggested plugging one nostril and having him blow out the other side.
Problem: I’ve never actually taught Jacob to blow his nose yet. Most attempts result in him breathing heavily in rather than out, which result in further coughing and discomfort when already congested. I guess I have the same attitude towards nose-blowing as I do with potty training… He’ll figure it out eventually.
Except that now we needed him to blow his nose, and doing it incorrectly could result in an even greater problem. We worked on it for a bit with only a few scary deep inhales, and soon enough, he had the blowing down. But the kernel wasn’t budging.
While I was still on the phone with Jamie giving her the play-by-play and writing down the number for their office so I could reach the on-call doc, Annalise walked into the room looking a bit sheepish. Her face was red. She was awfully quiet. I knew something was up when I saw her lean against the wall and kick her foot back and forth like her knee was a hinge with a lazy porch swing below it. Nerves. That’s her sign.
Matt spoke first. “You did not. Tell me you didn’t.” She bit the corner of her lip. “Annalise, did you do it? Did you put popcorn in your nose, too?”
The look on her face was a dead giveaway. Popcorn jammed in nostril. Times two.
Let me tell you, you have not lived until you have two children in your kitchen covering one nostril and blowing with all their might to shoot popcorn kernels out the other side. Jamie assured me that while she’s had lots of kids come in with something stuck in their nose, never once did she have siblings come in at the same time.
We’re just special like that, I guess.
My mom says it must skip a generation, this genius-shoving-stuff-up-your-nose-and-getting-it-stuck thing, because my dad did it once, too. Only he was an adult. And it was a whopper. (Not the burger. The chocolate covered malt ball.) He got a little concerned (read panicky) when he could feel the chocolate melting. I think he’s learned his lesson, because I haven’t seen him shove anything in there recently.
So on our “low-key” Sunday night, we managed to avoid a trip to the ER because both kids did eventually shoot the popcorn out. Leesie’s fired out right to the floor, but Jacob made a direct hit with one snot-covered popcorn kernel onto his dad’s chest, where it stuck. It was then we realized that while he did actually shove a popcorn kernel in his nose, Annalise had shoved an actual popped corn. I guess she wanted to one-up her brother.
She does that sometimes. Like when Jacob says to me completely out of the blue and in his sweetest voice, “Mommy, you sooooo boooootiful.” And then Annalise says to me in her sweetest voice, “Mommy, you’re beautifuler than Jacob thinks.” Hmm.
And Leesie wins by a nose…
When all was said and done, I was slightly disappointed the ER visit didn’t occur, because, well, it honestly felt a bit adventuresome to go in with TWO kids needing harmless and rather humorous issues taken care of. We could have people-watched in the ER lobby into the wee hours on Sunday night as a family. And really, how fun is that with two kids under 5 that should be home in bed?
Ah well. Two kids home safe and sound, nostrils thoroughly cleaned out for deep-breathing during sleep. Crisis averted.
And then I ran across this cartoon a friend and colleague gave me about a month ago. It seemed so very fitting tonight:
From Baby Blues Cartoon by Jerry Scott and Rick Kirkman.