When my son was around a year old he found a tiny, round, pink piece of plastic that had come off my daughter's jewelry box. He managed to quickly stuff it up his nose so far that I was unable to get it with tweezers. We ended up having to take him to the doctor where they inserted what looks like a device used during pap smears in order to safely remove the plastic. It was not a pleasant experience and since that time I talk almost daily about NEVER, EVER sticking ANYTHING up your nose. EVER! Did I mention ever?
Every once in a while I'll catch him with something close to his nose where I promptly remind him to not stick that up his nose. Fast forward almost two years.
My husband and I read to the kids from Where The Sidewalk Ends fairly regularly. One of the poems that has stuck with them is entitled "Warning" where it states, "Inside everybody's nose/There lives a sharp-toothed snail/ So if you stick your finger in/He may bite off your nail/Stick it farther up inside/And he may bite your ring off/Stick it all the way, and he/May bite the whole darn thing off." For whatever reason they talk daily about the sharp-toothed snail and how if they pick their nose it'll bite their finger off. That's all well and good, until today.
This morning the kids were in the backyard blowing bubbles when my son became hysterical. I ran out to see what the problem was and my daughter said she thought he got bubbles in his eyes or up his nose. So, I started hugging him to comfort him when he said something about a rock. The inside of me panicked and I asked, "Did you stick a rock up your nose." He manages to nod his head yes. I look up and incredibly deep, beyond my reach I can see the tip of a rock lodged in his nose. I hold the "good" nostril and tell him to blow as hard as he can. Nothing happens. He continues to cry and sucks it up further. At this point I am trying to decide whether to call 911 or rush him to the hospital. I keep having him blow, hoping to at least get it to a point where I can reach it with tweezers, although I was a bit worried that I would even be able to grab it then due to the size of the rock. How he managed to fit that rock up his nose, and that far, is beyond me. After about 5 minutes of this he finally got it close enough for me to reach with my finger nails and pull it out.
The inside of his nose is scratched up pretty badly and he was obviously pretty scared, as was I. When he finally calmed down enough and the hysterics had passed I asked him why he stuck a rock up his nose. He said, "So, the sharp-toothed snail could eat it." He was apparently trying to feed the sharp-toothed snail and wouldn't you know the snail likes rocks to eat.