Monday, November 27, 2006

a nose for trouble

It is quiet under the kitchen table—a point I don’t immediately notice because I am tying over 1,000,000 knots in a craft project with my daughter while my son repeatedly retrieves the tri-beads he has dropped onto the kitchen floor. While her craft project is progressing, his, on the other hand, has mostly resulted in several trips under the table to retrieve beads. I have stopped paying attention at this point, other than to occasionally encourage him to put another bead or two on his snowflake. Suddenly, however, the silence becomes glaring and all movement from below stops. “Buddy, whatcha doin’?” My son is never silent. I do not have a good feeling about this.

“Nothin’,” is his response, as he climbs back into his chair, hands empty, tentatively rubbing the bridge of his nose. Something is not right.

“Buddy, where is your bead?”

“I dunno,” he flat out lies, still rubbing his nose, his eyes three times their normal size. He is scared. So am I.

“Buddy, did you put that bead up your nose?”

“No,” he lies again, eyes even wider, as if mystified that I could have possibly known the location of the missing bead. He tries sticking his finger up his nose to retrieve the object that he insists isn’t there. I catch him just in time. Oh crap, I think to myself, as the realization sets in that I am probably bound for the emergency room.

“Buddy, let me see…”

I draw his freakishly-quiet body to me, his eyes growing wider by the moment and threatening to brim with tears, and tip back his head. Now I am really scared—I cannot see the bloomin’ bead at first glance, and I envision an entire evening and one hundred bucks both spent at the ER. I very unceremoniously turn him upside-down under the light and breathe a sigh of relief—I can see it. Now I just have to retrieve it.

I lead him up to the bathroom, still rubbing his nose with his wide-eyed gaze monitoring my own to determine when or if he will need to freak out. So far I have not, so neither has he. So far.

I grab the tweezers and pray hard that bead-extraction is one of my as-of-yet unknown talents. He rubs his nose again, still pondering these events and their outcome, as I flip him over on my lap and begin the procedure. Apparently it went in more easily than it came out, but with two gentle pulls and one or two frightened cries from my three-and-a-half year old, it came out, nonetheless. We are both dully relieved, and we have a nice long talk about never, ever, ever putting anything in our noses ever again. Ever. He appears convinced, at least for the moment.

I return to the kitchen and turn my thoughts toward dinner, feeling relieved and a little bit smug. I hearken for a moment back to my Girl Scout days, envisioning a bright, colorful “Bead Extraction” patch to add to my sash. Another notch in my Mom-belt. I have somehow arrived. I have removed my first tri-bead, saving my son from certain death and myself from a miserable evening at the hospital. I don my Super Mom apron and prepare now to make something spectacular for dinner, daring the beads that remain on the floor to “Go ahead, make my day.”


Beth said...

OMG!!!!!! I read this post to Tim and we laughed out loud...silence is never ever good with boys. I'm glad you saved him -- and I'm reeeeealy glad he didn't suck it up into his sinuses. I see X-rays and ENTs and lotsa lotsa cash. Go Super Mom! I hope I never have to earn this badge.

chelsea said...


just found your blog. love it! i can relate to so much.

did you guys move preschools? i haven't see you around.


lorie said...

hey, chelsea! we're still there--t/th am--but i work those days, so grandma picks up a lot. hope you're doing well!!!