Keeping Cool In a Crisis (Like When Simon Puts a Nut Up His Nose)

I don’t mean to brag, but I perform brilliantly in a crisis.  Oops, I guess I do mean to brag.

In fact, I am giving myself permission to toot my shiny horn about how I handled a medical crisis in my own home all by myself.

Typically, my life does not call on me to do anything other than utterly fall apart or shop on-line when a crisis hits, because (1) I am extremely risk averse so I expertly limit exposure to potential harm, and (2) my husband actually grows calmer when danger or drama threatens, so I have total freedom to lose my stuffing when he’s around.

But this week Jeff was out of town, and Outlaw Mama was the only adult at the helm when our family ship hit an iceberg.

It takes an unusually perceptive parent to know what to do when her young son points at his nose and screams, “NUT!”  And because I am sharp as a rusty nail sticking out of a barn door, I figured out that Simon had shoved a pistachio up his nose.  I squelched my first instinct (to remind him how expensive pistachios are and that he must not waste them), and my second instinct (to keep reading This Old House in hopes that it would all work out without losing my place in the article on paneling a summer cottage), and went with my third: I got off my ass.

Folks, just because Simon’s head measures in the 90th percentile, that does NOT mean he has a 90th percentile nostril.  I wager that his nostril is closer to the 15th percentile.  I should know– I spent the better part of an hour trying to extract a nut from it.

“Blow, Simon! Like this,” I begged, while I snorted debris out of my own nose, trying to demonstrate proper blowing.  Simon kept crying, “nut!”  Sadie employed her own technique to teach Simon to expel the nut, which included screaming “Poopy Pants,” right in his face.  That was not what I had in mind when I said, “Sadie, step back and give us some space.”

I grew dehydrated from all my blowing demonstrations; roughly 40% of my body fluid was ejected from my nose while trying to teach Simon to blow out the nut.  When my blood splattered on the kitchen table, I knew I had to try something else.

I tried to grab the tip of the nut from Simon’s nose, but it was so slippery that all I accomplished was shoving it farther up his nasal cavity.  I admit there was a moment when I feared we’d all end up in the hospital waiting for Simon’s brain surgeon to inform us whether he got the pistachio out of his cerebellum.  Eventually I ran my finger along his nostril until it popped out like champagne cork on New Year’s Eve.

Thank God I didn’t have to call Jeff to tell him that Simon had a premium nut in his nose.

Is it too soon for a Chilean miner joke? (Note: This is the actual nut that was lodged in Simon's nose.)

Is it too soon for a Chilean miner joke? (Note: This is the actual nut that was lodged in Simon’s nose.)

“Simon, from now on, you cannot put anything in your nose, except your finger, okay?” I instructed. Simon and I, survivors of the great ordeal, hugged tightly (after I Instagrammed the soggy nut).  Sadie, never one to let the spotlight pass her by, grabbed it off the table and popped it in her mouth.  Thereafter, she commenced to pick her nose.

I was calmer than that pilot who landed a commercial airliner on the Hudson River.  And I’ll be bragging about this all week.

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28 thoughts on “Keeping Cool In a Crisis (Like When Simon Puts a Nut Up His Nose)

  1. This made me laugh right out loud. I could feel the panic and the triumph. I once got my finger stuck between the body and head of a ride-on giraffe. I did not stay calm. I think there might be a blog post in that…

  2. One time my cousin put beans in his ears. They started sprouting and it hurt. All the way to the doctor my aunt said (probably yelled), “Why did you put beans in your ears!?” Finally he said, “Well, you never told me NOT to.”

  3. Thanks! I have a friend who is going through a really hard time with this right now and I passed this along to her. Your blog, as always, is always on point and insightful. This blog is always one of my favorite things to read!

    • Dude I am such a moron I posted this to the wrong one… meant to do this for Bringing in Finn. I keep saying that I don’t have baby brain then I do things like this. Oh well!

    • I will say that the parts where Connell describes the loss her of her twins at about 20 weeks was really gut-wrenching. I don’t know if I could have read that when I was pregnant, because I was very skittish about loss the entire time. It was a little better the second pregnancy. But it does have a very happy ending and miscarriages are so very sad.

      I hope you are taking lots of pictures of your belly!!!

  4. Pingback: Where Do Moms Go To Hear “Thank You”? | Outlaw Mama

  5. How did I miss this post? I think my google reader had a brain fart! I hope you at least got thanks for saving you son’s life. That’s pretty important. I’d have probably panicked immediately! I mean, I know the Heimlich maneuver but I doubt it would work on nostrils..

    • I just learned that what you are supposed to do is cover the child’s mouth with your own and then blow. That will force air out of the nose and the nut should pop out. I hope to the Heavens I don’t have to try this.

  6. My daughter put a rock up her nose last year and we ended up in the emergency room because we couldn’t get it out after 3 hours of trying at home. Even the docs were amazed at the size of the thing. But the most useful lesson I learned was from my brother, who told me when his son did the same thing he got it out by plugging the opposite nostril, and then blowing into his son’s mouth. It popped right out. Crazy, eh? In case it happens again (hope not).

  7. My kid put a nugget of cold, burned firewood up his nose while we were camping. I told him to blow, he cried. I shrugged and grabbed the backpack, announcing that I was driving to urgent care. Hours away. Walked to the car. Walked back because I forgot snacks and heaven knows ERs and urgent care facilities are known for being very very very slow.
    While I packed snacks for the long wait, Spouse held child and told him to blow. Child blew. Creosote ejected.
    I think I’m a little too quick to give up in emergencies.
    You’re a rock star. Your daughter is disgusting. In an age-appropriate way, of course. But still disgusting.

    • Oh yes, she loves being disgusting and I revel in her audacious and foul decisions. Most of them involve putting shit in her mouth.

      I can’t believe on top of bear avoidance you had to deal with nostril trauma. Too much!

  8. Pingback: I Made Up A New Word To Describe Parenting: “Harderful” | Outlaw Mama

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