It had to happen. Six years, three kids, a gazillion Lego pieces. Sooner or later, one of those bits was going to go up someone’s nose. I’m only surprised it took so long. So, what do you do, if hooking it out with your little finger ain’t happening? How do you get a bit of Lego out of a kid’s nose?
Disclaimer: If you’re reading this because your child actually has got a piece of Lego up their nose right now, and you’re concerned about their breathing or anything else, please call your doctor / go to A&E depending on your level of concern. I’m not a doctor, this is an anecdote (though it does feature the medical advice we were given – which obviously worked!).
Oh, the irony: Lego figures don’t even have noses.
Step 1: Insertion
As with most child injuries and incidents, I didn’t see what happened. One minute my middle child was happily playing, the next he’s poking at his nose as he sits on the loo. “Do you need a tissue?” I asked. “No.” A few minutes later I notice he is still prodding at the outside of his nose. ‘Unusual’, I thought. ‘What’s occurring?’ I wondered. At the time, middlie was 2 3/4, on the cusp of middle-toddlerdom: an age where they begin to have some self-awareness. I think he thought that I’d be cross if he blurted out what had happened, bless his little Lego-filled nostrils. Eventually he said, “There’s something up my nose.” “What?” I said. “A bit of Lego.” “What?!” I took a look – sure enough, there was a single-nub dark grey bit of Lego at the top of the poor lad’s left nostril. “How did it get there?” “I put it up.” Goggling at him and also, trying not to panic, I had a little assessment. He was breathing fine, I didn’t think it could go any further up and he was not distressed.
Time for the pinky.
One of the hundreds of very cute things about kids is the teeniness of their ‘trils. Picking a baby’s bogey is one of the most satisfying, if gross, parts of motherhood. But this bit was not for the picking. There was no way my finger would fit up there, and my son’s own had obviously been ineffective, so I moved to step 2.
Step 2: Intervention
I called NHS Direct; they said call the doctor; my doctor said bring him in, then, when I said how old (young) he was, they said I had to go to the Urgent Care Clinic (like a mini A&E in our local mini-hospital). So I went, with both boys and my seven-month bump squirming as my nerves fed into the amniotic fluid. After a reassuringly long wait (so we weren’t urgent, then), we got called in.
“Ah yes,” said the lovely triage nurse. “This is an easy one. Pop him up on the bed.”
I did so, looking around for the magic suck-y machine to be wheeled in.
“You’re going to do this one, dear,” she said.
“Me?” I gulped.
“Yes. We just need to close the nostril without the Lego in, cover his mouth completely with your mouth, then blow quite hard and it’ll just pop out. It’s much better if you do it rather than one of us, dear.”
“Ah, great!” I said. “Got it!”
Step 3: Resolution – and a Tip
So, of course, I did what they said. The poor poppet looked slightly alarmed, but I reassured him and promised him lots more sweets. I’m surprised he didn’t get the giggles at my looming face – as I always do when I’m getting my eyes tested and the optician comes at me with his retina-seeking torchlight. I held the empty nostril shut, covered his mouth with mine and blew. Quite hard. Nothing. A bit more reassurance, then another swoop, this time with a sharper blow.
It was out! I was jubilant! Next stop Grey’s Anatomy!
Should you ever have to perform this act, I would strongly advise keeping the confectionary bribe till after the operation – if you want to avoid a mouthful of chocolatey washback.
Everything Happens for A Reason, and Everything Is Awesome
They say that everything happens for a reason. A pretty facile phrase, I thought. Until a couple of weeks later, literally, I got a call from the school. My friend’s son needed to be brought home and his mum was delayed, could I come? I went. “He’s a bit distressed,” said the school nurse. “He’s got a stone stuck up his nose.”
You should have seen me! It was like on University Challenge, where there’s always one on the team that hasn’t said a word all programme, but then finally their subject comes up. “I know this! I know this one!” I almost shrieked.
I carried the poor pup home, explaining all the way what I was going to do, and how it wouldn’t hurt, just a quick ‘puff!’ and it would be gone. All the while he was getting more and more distressed, as you can imagine, when a lady he barely knew was proposing to kiss him on the lips. In fact, his body must have revolted so much at the idea that his nasal membranes bridled, because the next thing I knew, he was saying happily, “Look! It fell out!”
I don’t know which of us was more relieved.
So there you have it. A double win. Everything was awesome.*
*This is a quote from The Lego Movie. In case you didn’t know.
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Related Post: The Mummy Accident Form. Our kids come home with an accident form for the slightest scrape, but what about us? Where’s our George Clooney plaster and hug in a kindly nurse’s bosom?