Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Ones Who Put Things Up Their Nose

Not that I'm an "expert"on this subject, by any means. But during my years as a babysitter, elementary school teacher, Cubbie Leader, and now as a stay-at-home mom, I've been around enough kiddies to make an educated observation. ...A "rule-of-thumb", if you will.

There are two categories of children:

Those Who Put Things Up Their Nose. And Those Who Don't.

Other personality traits seem to go hand-in-hand with one persuasion or the other. Beyond the rhino-related issues, The Up-The-Nosers also tend to thrive on making messes, climbing things, expressing themselves creatively with Sharpie markers on unapproved surfaces, jumping-jumping-JUMPING, talking incessantly to everyone, anyone, or no one, mercilessly torturing toilet paper, smearing lotion "frosting" on the carpet and furniture while mom takes a quick trip to the bathroom, pulling the polyfill fluff (a.k.a "blue snow") out of the inside of a pillow and scattering it around the room, tirelessly running around like a Tazmanian Devil, and in all ways possible completely and utterly exhausting their parents.

But to boil it down to its basics...

Those Who Put Things Up Their Nose constantly try to satisfy their nose fascination. They have a single-minded mission in life: Find perfectly sized objects and put them up into that perfect of all perfect places. I mean, after all, isn't that what that hole is there for?

Those Who Don't Stick Things Up Their Nose...don't. Nor would it ever in a million years occur to them to try sticking something up their nose.

Take sweet Roman, for example...

A very polite, very likeable young gent, who I had in Cubbies for two years. Roman was a Nose-Putter-Upper. I spent almost every evening of our time together telling him to remove this-or-that object from his nasal cavity. While the other three year olds were quietly coloring, Roman was seeing if he could reach his brain with his green crayon. While others were gluing stars to their paper, Roman was methodically gluing stars and glitter to the inside of his nose. While those around him were enjoying a snack, Roman was happily putting pieces of apple and graham cracker not into his mouth.

Even during prayer time, I would often hear, "Whoops. Uh oh..." and know that Roman was in a nose-related jam.

I frequently paused, mid-extrication, and wondered, "What in the sweet world is wrong with this kid??"


I guess I asked the wrong question because God gave us Sophie. As it turns out, she and Roman have something in common.


Last summer it was a pomegranate seed, which required an emergency trip to the doctor.

Two weeks after that, despite the unpleasant memory created by the snake-grabby utensil used during the extrication procedure, it was half a peanut. Perfectly sideways-lodged and totally unbudgeable. ...Which required another visit with our very patient, very accomodating pediatrician.

Sometime after that, it was an orange tic-tac. Sophs walked around saying, "I smell oranges, Mama..." for quite awhile, 'til eventually it found its way back out, unassisted.

Other nose-worthy items have included: beans, the end of a Q-tip, a lifesaver, several grains of rice (which she shot out bam-bam-bam, like missiles), teeny pebbles, rose petals, lavender buds, dry macaroni pieces, and mini rainbow marshmallows.

Most of the time all I have to do now is make the face and Sophie starts exclaiming, "Don't worry, I'll get it out, Mama!"

But that doesn't always work out for her.


The other day I was cleaning on top of the cabinets, neurotically dusting in an attempt to make things Open House-ready and irresistibly buyable, when Sophie came running over - this look of pure panic on her face. (She had supposedly been sitting on the couch...looking at a book.)

"Mama! Aunt Manda's necklace is gone!"

I said, "What do you mean gone? Where did it go?"

She said, "It's gone. Up my nose hole. GONE!"

I leaned her back on the floor, I didn't see anything. But from the look on her face (and her Up-The-Nose history), I knew she was not speculating - she was stating a fact. I grabbed a flashlight. Sure enough, I could see a tiny glimmer of silver way up there.

What transpired next was not an example of Motherly Love and Patience.

I, admittedly, went a little loco.

(The inside of my head exploded. WHAT THE FRICKIN' FRICKER?!) I yelled, "SOPHIE!! Are you kidding me??"

She shook her head. Nope. She wasn't. I started to do the Mad-Mom-Rant-Pace around the kitchen.

I did not have the time nor the inclination to stop what I was doing mid-stream to make yet another trip to the doctor for yet another "foreign body removal"? Nor did I want to be "That Mother" -- the one without any control or discipline in her house -- the one who can't keep her Very Cute/Yet Very Odd child from compulsively cramming objects up her nose.

I envisioned us walking up to the counter, again, receptionists chuckling, "So what's up there this time?" (It's like a fun little game at Dr. Bruce's office: dehydration or something up the nose?)

Apparently the look on my face (in combination with my Crazy Mom ranting) was enough to create a smidge of fear in Little Miss No Fear regarding her behavior. She started to wail. All of a sudden mid-sniffle she got this, "What was that?" look on her face. I asked her what was wrong. She said, "Something pokey."

I leaned her back on the floor again. Apparently snot, working its magic as the Great Lubricant, had caused the necklace to slide down a bit in her sinus cavity. I grabbed a pair of tweezers.

I was able to grab a hold of one of the little silver beads and slowly...TA DAH...out the necklace started to come.

And it came.

And it came.

...And it kept coming. (I could feel my eyes getting bigger and bigger, effectively scaring Sophie stunned silent.)

Five inches of necklace later (!!!) and Aunt Amanda's Just-Because-I-Wanted-To-Let-You-Know-How-Special-You-Are gift was out.

It seems a section of the necklace had come loose while Sophs was "reading" and fiddling with it, and my super gifted child had managed to cram five whole inches of colorful beads, dangly trinkets, and silver links up her nose.

So. Anybody want to guess her response after it was out and lying there on the carpet?


"Oh. My goodness, Mama. That was really a whopper one, huh!"


sarah p said...

ok, mom told me this story and it made me laugh. Your version is hilarious! I hope you're putting these stories in your will be a best-seller for SURE. my question is: has she worn the necklace since then? how long did you soak it in alcohol?

and, by the way, you're a fantastic mommy. just want you to know that!

Robert English said...

Wow, 5 inches of beads! Amazing! Maybe check the record books on that one.

Lindsay said...

OK, I totally gave myself away at work by laughing out loud and couldn't stop, at this story!
Good times!

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, I will get you another necklace when you get to Arkansas. A new necklace for you, this time with extra extra large beads!! Ha Ha!!
Love you & miss you,
Aunt Amanda

Anonymous said...

My favorite comment: "I smell oranges, Mama." The whole thing had me hee-hawing! Even though I had heard this on the phone, the written version was tons funnier! Love, Mooms

DePriest Family said...

This makes me want to see exactly how you get that through your nose. I'll have to wait until Ella wakes up in the morning so I can pillage her stuff for necklaces.

Kristy said...


I think (although I'm just speculating, of course, since I'm not gifted in this area) you put the whole link into your nose. Then you take your pointy little index finger and snake it up into your sinus cavity (which is surprisingly more cavernous than you would imagine it to be).

Then PRESTO, your work is done! (All except for the panicking and crying and running hysterically to mom.)

Val said...

Seriously, who knew there was so much room up there???

That is amazing! I can only imagine how you must have felt as you started pulling....and pulling...and pulling.

Melanie said...

I have one of these children and I foudn your blog in a despearate search to stop this insanity!! Every time we go through this he promises "never to do it again"! I'm ready to get out the duct tape!! help!!!

Anonymous said...

WOW...i feel so much better reading this...i have a "up the nose child" Shes 2 almost 3 and just tonight i had to fish a bead out of her nose...when she said mommy my nose hurts...i flipped out...just 2 days ago i had to fish out a piece of gum in the isles of walmart...i had to go over to the make-up section and get a pair of tweezers to get this GUM out of her nose now i have 10 pairs of tweezers :-)...i havent had a emergency trip to the doc yet...THANK GOD but im sure the day is coming...but really, you made me laugh and i feel so much better...out of 5 children...MaryJo my youngest is my crazy, up the nose, wanna make a mess kid...uggg...lucky me...but i guess shes keeping me on my toes.

Jen Monson said...

I was looking for information about extracting foreign bodies from noses, and came across your blog entry. Your description of "those who do" cracked me up, because that's my daughter. She's the reason I'm looking for advice on nose extractions. She's 22 months old, and just recently discovered her new hobby: nose stuffing. Cat food and raisins seem to be her objects of choice. I pray she doesn't find my jewelry box.

Thanks for the great laugh!!


floreksa said...

My dd joined the nose group last Easter. Nice big, fat green jelly belly up the nose.

Good to know fact - jelly belly will dissolve and eventually be blown out.

Tamika said...

Thanks so much for this page/website. I was a little frantic. My Amber Sophia put something up her nose again after a horrific ER visit around Christmas. Her choice is paper. It makes me angry and worried. But you have put a totally different spin on this. Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

Your story is crazy funny. My 2 yr old is going in the morning to an ear, nose and throat doc to have something extracted from her nose. All they know is that it looks white. This makes me feel so much better. I was really freaking out. This is not the first time but it is the first trip to the doctor. Right now her preference is the tiny beads that come out of the beany babies. Hopefully her curiosity won't grow into somthing bigger.

Rebekah said...

This happened to my little brother a few years back. Dad took him to the ER and they had him (Dad) plug the nostril opposite of the bead, and blow. maybe this will help sometime.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so I thought, I have heard of children doing this but never expected my own to do it. We did experience it once when my four year old (now twelve) put toilet paper up her nose. She was trying to stop the drips. It took awhile after the smell came to realize what had happened. She ended up at Children's Hospital having her nose sucked out. It was a tramatic experience not only for her but for mom and grandma. Well, now my twenty three month insists that things would be great in her nose. I felt so much better after reading your blog and then the comments. I am not alone. It was humerous after the trip to the hosital for a popcorn kernal. A bill for $800.00 and praying she won't do it again. Since then, paper and now a bead. Thank you for your post. It is always reassuring to think "okay this can happen to anyone".

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It was the funniest story that I have ever read. It made me laugh for hours and hours. I hope you keep blogging this way because I'm pretty sure that you bring joy to many people with your nice storied

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