After a crazy afternoon/evening with the 3 kids who I should have enrolled in summer camps this month, I sat down on the back deck with my husband and a well-deserved glass of wine and started to enjoy the beautiful weather and setting sun.
Then I heard screaming from inside. Something about poop. Ran inside to discover that my 4yo had interrupted my 7yo mid-poop, 7yo decided to get off the pot to shut the door, but on the way back to the pot, the piece of poop that had been hanging on for dear life fell to the floor. And more on the toilet seat.
So I got out the Clorox wipes and de-contaminated the bathroom and calmed everyone down.
Finally, I returned to the deck and my now warm glass of white wine. About two sips in and just as I was starting to relax, I heard more screaming from inside. Something about a screw in someone’s nose.
This time I just yelled, “Get out here now and tell me what’s happening!” 7yo comes out and says her little sister shoved a screw up her nose and it’s stuck. Fuck. (Sorry Mom)
I find the 4yo. She has a bloody right nostril. “Did you put a screw up your nose?”
Me: “ Is it still up there?”
Me: “Why did you put a screw up your nose?”
4yo: “I don’t know. I wanted to?”
Me: “Are you SURE it’s still up there?”
Me, after searching with a flashlight and not being able to tell if the whitish thing I saw was a booger – she’s starting to come down with a cold – or a nailhead, “Are you SURE it’s still there and didn’t fall out? Because if we go to the hospital we could be there all night and it’s already past your bedtime.”
4yo: “I don’t know.”
I was now faced with the age-old dilemma: Do I risk embarrassing myself and wasting my money, the doctor’s time, and the rest of what could be a nice evening, only to be told that there’s nothing wrong with my daughter?
I was immediately reminded of the time a childhood friend of mine got a Tic-Tac stuck up her nose and went to the doctor, only to find that the tiny mint had dissolved in her nostril while she was in the waiting room.
But then I remembered the online images of someone who had a nail gun go off next to his head and had a nail inside his brain.
With images of a screw lodged in my daughter’s brain, I raced off to Seattle Children’s Urgent Care, which is fortunately only a few blocks from my house. (Yes, I realize her brain wasn’t in danger and her lung was the real risk, but I can’t help the images that come to mind in situations like this).
Meanwhile, back at the home front, my husband was interrogating our 7-year-old. After denying any involvement in her sister’s screwing up her nose, she finally admitted, “Well, she might have been hiding it from me so I wouldn’t steal it.” My husband probed, “Were you trying to steal it?” 7yo: “No, but she knows I steal everything from her.” My husband was left to wonder what else was stuck inside our 4-year-old’s nose.
But back to me!
Within half an hour of the screwing, my 4-year-old daughter and I were sitting with a nurse. She shined a light up my daughter’s nostril and couldn’t see anything. We kept trying to get my daughter to blow out, but every time she tried, she inhaled instead, sucking it farther up. Cue more images of nails imbedded in her brain.
Soon the doctor came in with a better light and saw the screw right away. It was very high inside her nostril. She explained that the least invasive way to remove it would be for me to perform mouth-to-mouth on my daughter and literally blow it out. If that didn’t work, there were special instruments she could use.
I decided to give it a go. (I’m trying to talk British now in preparation for our upcoming trans-Atlantic move).
It was one of the more bizarre experiences of either my or my daughter’s life. She opened her mouth, I placed mine over hers, and I blew as hard as I could. I heard an elephant trumpeting out of my nose, air coming out of hers, and then a cry-laugh escape her mouth as I finished. The doctor looked again – progress. I had to blow again.
I blew my brains out 4 times into my daughter’s mouth, and FINALLY this tiny little screw was close enough for the doctor to grab with tweezers.
The doctor asked my daughter if she wanted to keep it or throw it away. My daughter, only slightly traumatized by the events this evening said, “Throw it away.” Before the doctor could toss it in the trash I interjected, “Wait! Can we keep it as a souvenir? I could use this in my blog.”
I present to you now the offending screw. The red stain that looks fake is my daughter’s actual nose blood:
So there you have it: how my four-year-old totally screwed up my evening. But we are all still here to tell the story, and as the doctor assured me, there are worse orifices she has had to retrieve objects from (and no, I would not blow out any objects from any other orifice).