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!"