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So, WILL an M&M melt in your nose?

This weekend was one of the busiest social dates of the summer. The options seemed endless: a lobster boil, a fireman's dance, and a little something called Moos & Blues which you just have to experience to believe. (Small town farmers hosting one of the biggest events of the season: pig roast, live music and an unbelievable fireworks display that ranks up there with the best of 'em.) However, I was home with Dotter (9) and Cletus (1.5) and two extra kids (aged 3 and 1).

Big V, being the stellar support system that he is, bailed on me to attend an obligatory graduation party.

So it was me (clearly outnumbered) who stayed with the children for the day.

And it was a very long day.

Eight hours later I had managed to put two of the kids to bed and the other was quietly watching a movie. (Dotter had locked herself in my bedroom hours earlier to get away from everyone. Meaning me. Because I kept asking her to help bring me a diaper. Help fill up that sippy cup. Help take that wad of hair out of the other kid's fist.) With all kids quietly accounted for, I patted myself on the back for a job well done and ran down to the basement to put a load of laundry in the washer.

And then:

Screams. Sobs. Hysteria.

I ran up the steps three at a time and arriving breathless at the top of the stairs to a 3-year old sobbing in the middle of my kitchen floor. What? What happened?!

"I want my MOMMMM!!!!"

Okay. Okay.... what the hell? Did something happen? Initially I'm thinking the television turned scary. I remember once this kid told me he was putting the movie Hansel & Gretel in and the opening scene turned out to be Freddy Krueger fashioning his spiky hands. Scared the hell out of me.


Okay. But I need you to calm down and talk to me... and that's when I noticed he was covered with stuff. Splotches of stuff. Dark red and brown stuff oozing from his nose... wiped across his arm... all over his hands. Oh, GOD! I thought. He's bleeding! He found scissors and stabbed himself in his heart and now he's going to bleed out and die and I'm going to have to explain why only left him for a second, and he was laying there so nicely and I swear I was only downstairs for two minutes tops - and somehow he managed to find scissors and I suck as a human being!


Can you stand up? Okay... we're going to go in the bathroom and I'm going to clean you up. What happened? Can you tell me what happened?


As I'm standing there ever so gently trying to wash off the dried blood and figure out where it's coming from I ask him if anything thing happened that he doesn't want to tell me about.


Sh-sh-shh... it's okay. You just need to tell me what happened so I can help you.


Really? I look down at him. You really stuck an M&M up your nose?


Well. That explained what was dripping out of his nose.

Just curious, but why, exactly, did you put the M&M up inside your nose?


Do you think it's funny now?


The first thing I did was make sure the kid could breathe. Which he could. And then I called my mother. She raised 4 kids that were born within 5 years of each other. Surely there were times she was incapable of watching all of us at one time and someone shoved a foreign object up their nose.

"Nope. None of you ever did that. We lost a couple fingernails... and Shawn did fall out of the truck when I was driving down the road... and there was that time Patrick's finger ripped off... and also when the merry-go-round tore off his knee cap; that was kind of freaky. A lot of head wounds requiring stitches, but never anything stuck in a nose."

Then I called my sister. Because she lives on a farm and people who live on farms are always dealing with gory situations. Plus she has three kids aged 2, 4 and 6 and once the oldest one brought dirt in from outside and dumped it in the house because he wanted a picnic. Surely she would know what to do.

But she didn't. Because her kids aren't allowed to put anything in their nose, including fingers, and they obviously follow this rule (as opposed to the whole "we do not dump buckets of dirt on the kitchen table" rule) so she offered to google it instead.

And that's when she told me that foreign objects stuck in the nasal passage can cause breathing difficulties and infections and that WebMD says that you need to have a trained medical professional remove the object or else horrible things can happen like death. (That's not really what she said; I just happen to know that all things lead to death and also have this horrible aversion to having death happen on my watch so I like to stick with the medical professionals at all times.)

And about this time the kid is yelling things like it hurts! and get it out! and it's stuck! So I try a different approach and ask if she can google do M&M's melt in your nasal passage? but she told me to just contact his parents instead. And then she made me promise not to have the kid stick anything else up his nose, including his fingers, because that could cause it to get shoved even higher and that would cause even more problems, like brain damage and certain death. (Okay, so I added that last part.)

And his parents were way more nonchalant then me and explained that the kid's aunt had a jelly bean stuck in her nose for like a year and she survived so it was no big deal as long as he can breathe. And I was all but he's got a candy coated hunk of chocolate up his nostril! And it's a red one on top of that! (Everyone knows red is the best. And now I can never, ever eat another red M&M without thinking of slimy nose holes.)

Eventually Big V came home from his relaxing adventures and was all "high-five, you got the kids to bed" and I was all yeah, and one of them is slowly suffocating to death and he was all "why do you drink so much?" and then I had to explain the M&M insertion drama. To which, he laughed.

It's not funny. I can't go to sleep now. What if that thing comes loose and chokes him in his sleep? I have to hold a constant vigil over his body to ensure he doesn't die on my watch.

He'll be fine.

You don't know that.

Kids shove things up their noses all the time.

My kids haven't.

Other kids.

My sister's kids haven't.

Fine. Kids you don't know. It'll be fine. Relax.

What if he dies?

He's not going to die.

We'll never be able to use that room again. I can't expect people to sleep in a bedroom that someone died in.

Why not? People die in houses all the time.

No they don't.

Yes they do. Where do you think people die?

In the hospital. Do you think people died in our house?


What do you mean maybe? Do you know something I don't know?

No, I'm just saying that perhaps somewhere along the history of this house someone might have died in it. What does it matter? It doesn't change the house any.

I can't stay here! We have ghosts!

You don't even believe in ghosts.

Don't say that out loud; you'll upset them!

The kids?

The ghosts. If they hear that I don't believe they'll make it their point to prove to me that they really do exist. I've watched Poltergeist and I do not want that to happen in this house. Can you imagine if our tv's were static all the time? We'd go nuts!

You're a very strange person, you know that?

So I've been told.

By several people right?

Don't push it.

Editor's Note:
For the record, no child died in our house this weekend. I have no idea what happened to the M&M. First it hurt. Then it settled into it tickles me when I breathe and by mid-afternoon the next day the status was I think it just disappeared in my nose.

Another Editor's Note:
I also never plan on eating M&M's again. Twenty minutes of having a kid gently blow out chocolatey snot in the hopes of extricating the official candy of the new millennium* from the human body will do that to a person.

* I got that whole "official candy of the new millennium" thing from the M&M's website. Please note, while they continually tout how great the candy is, nowhere on their so-called informational site are there any directions or advice regarding how to remove the morsel from one's nose, nor whether or not the candies which "melt in your mouth, not in your hands" are eventually capable of absorbing into the body via the sinus cavity. I believe someone is seriously slacking on their end (ahem, M&Ms). 


Becca said…
I totally know how to fix this! You should have called ME!

Clamp the other nostril closed with your finger. Blow into the child's mouth. POP! Out comes the M&M. The phone nurse recommended this to me when Charlie was two and sneezed and lodged part of a banana stem up his nose. Worked like a champ.
Brenna said…
I did the exact same thing as a kid, red M&M and all (before they discontinued the red for being carcinogenic and then brought it back again in recent years. So I had a cancer-causing candy shoved in my nose, and I am still breathing.)
Allie said…
In an attempt to hide the evidence of a stolen pre-dinner Hershey's Kiss, my twin sister once stuck the balled up foil rapper in her nose. I think we were 4. I don't have many memories of that age, but I'll never forget the horror of watching my mom pull it out with tweezers while my sister just bawled. Kids are fun!
HeatherB said…
Okay. So I see that Becca already told you how to do it, but Z shoved 4 baked beans up one side of her nose because she wanted to see if her nose could eat. Then the screaming and she wouldn't tell me what she had done (to her credit she was only two and was a little panicked). I saw that one side of her nose was a bit swollen so I pushed on the other one and had her blow. One came out. It was still swollen. Blow again. Two more this time. No more swelling, but a whistle when she would breathe. One more blow - and POP! (this one really did pop) and the last one flew out.

She is still alive.
Libbie said…
I am reading this because I was at the er today to have the green m&m removed from my son's nose...there was a lump, a little green dye came out but no chocolate ever...and we never did find I worry a little but this will make me sleep better tonight...thanks :)

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