No, we didn’t go to the ER.

Earlier this week, I posted a question on my personal FB page regarding toddlers and their tendency to shove things up their noses.  The responses I received taught me two things: first, I am amazed at the number of friends whose children have experienced nasal passage blockage from intentionally placed foreign objects, and second, we have a pretty good village of folks.

So Miles may or may not have shoved a fruit snack up his nose.  We lean heavily toward not, but my inner panicking parent needed some information that Drs. Google and WebMD are just unable to provide (side note: why do so many of my questions receive a “seek emergency care” response?)  We were on our way home from school when Miles said from the backseat, “Mama, I pickin’ nose!” (look, we all pick our noses, we have discussed the art of using tissues and such, but toddlers are toddlers so I don’t really freak when gross stuff happens).  So I asked Miles if he had a boogie, and if he wanted a tissue.  Once we reached a stop sign, I turned around to repeat these questions, and that’s when I saw him attempting to shove the fruit snack up his nose.

Of course he’s tried to shove plenty of things up his nose, but he’s never actually done it, he’s more or less pretending so he can get the usual “AAAAAAHDON’TDOTHATYOU’LLGETITSTUCKFOREVER!” response from me.  Because I am the epitome of calm when it comes to shoving peas in your nose.

I gently asked Miles not to do that with his snack, reminding him they were for eating only, and that putting things in our noses can cause an owie.  I turned back to the road since it was my turn, and that’s when I heard it: “OWWWWIIIIEEEEE MAMA!  OWIEOWIEOWIEOWIE!”


I turned around and noticed he was rubbing his nose, and his eyes were watering.  I calmly (not calmly at all) asked Miles if he had put a snack in his nose.  He responded with, “Snack in nose, Mama!”  Double ugh.

The “owie” and nose rubbing continued for a few blocks.  I’m completely fuh-reaking out because I just don’t know if he shoved anything up there, since I was totally focused on operating a moving vehicle and not running us off the road in my state of panic.

We get home, and I do the nose check.  Of course the snacks we buy have to be some damn organic brown rice fruit leather thing that are impossibly dark, rendering me unable to really tell if there’s something shoved in his nasal cavity.  So, you parents who choose to feed your kids the Red Dye 73 fruit snacks probably have one up in a situation like this, because at least you’d see the Day-Glo gummy bear hanging out in there.

I press on his nose, and he says owie.  Did I push too hard, or is there something lodged up there?  I turned Miles upside down and used a flashlight.  He thought this was hilarious.  He also thought it was a camera, as he continued repeating “CHEESE!” the entire time.

I moved on to repeatedly asking him if his nose was owie, if he put a snack in his nose, if he put anything in his nose.  I consult Dr. WebMD, who gives me a list of “symptoms” for “foreign object in the nose.”  Is his nose swollen?  No.  Is he rubbing it more often than usual?  No, because I’ve been doing all the rubbing/pressing/poking for him.  Is his nose bleeding?  No.  Is his nose running?

Hmm.  Is his nose running?  WebMD, are you familiar with toddler noses?  Because they run.  A LOT.  Let’s give a quick rundown…

Reasons My Son’s Nose is Running Today:

  1. It’s cold outside.
  2. It’s hot outside.
  3. We are outside in general.
  4. Flowers are blooming.
  5. He shoved his face in the cat’s belly.
  6. He’s teething.
  7. He found the box of Bisquik, then applied it liberally to his face.
  8. He shoved a crayon in his nose.
  9. He’s pretending to “blow” his nose, but not using a tissue.
  10. He’s a toddler.

So, yes, his nose is probably running.

I really don’t think he can fit a big, square snack up there, but I’ve been wrong before.  To test this theory, I had my husband attempt to shove a snack up his own nose.  See, I’m a rational parent.

After Miles sneezed several times (was it fruit snack related?) and I held him down to use the Nosefrida on him TWICE, we voted against an unnecessary ER trip.  It’s simple math:

length of ER wait + number of minutes past toddler bedtime = NO.

Instead, we agreed to monitor his breathing overnight.  And this morning?  He’s fine.  Now, if he starts sprouting leaves from his nose in three days, I’ll feel an enormous amount of mom guilt but GUESS WHAT?  I feel mom guilt every day, nothing new.

But what I really learned is this: it does take a village to raise a child (and determine if anything is stuck in their nose).  Our village can be in the physical sense, with folks we can depend on to help care for our children, be there for us during challenging times, and babysit when OMG MOM NEEDS A BREAK, but our village can also be in the virtual sense, by having the ability to reach out via social media or email for answers to our questions.  Our village begins as close as our next door neighbors, and stretches as far as the other side of the country.  Grow your village, people.  They will help you SO MUCH.

Side note: I wouldn't let the guy with the wrench near my kids.

Side note: I wouldn’t let the guy with the wrench near my kids.

I am very, very thankful for the friends we have made whom we consider to be our family, because they’ve made all the weirdness of this parenting gig seem so very, very normal.

Next up, transitioning to the big boy bed.  Cue the Psycho violins and sleepless nights.  HELP ME, VILLAGE.

Foreign object free,