Wednesday, February 27, 2013

little button nose

It's Murphy's Law that when your husband is away for the weekend, anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

During the first afternoon that The Mr. was away, our new dog, Fritz, chewed through an "indestructible" nylon dog bone. We have had Fritz for 5 weeks and he has never so much as sniffed the bone in that time. As I was pushing through a migraine, taking a rare moment to be still on the couch before the middle kids came home from school, Fritz quietly discovered the bone. He was gently, intimately caressing it with his little doggie teeth. Oh, good boy, I thought, keep yourself busy and calm. 5 minutes later, the nylon bone was ground down- half of it missing. Oh sh*%! I know how this story goes. I've read the accounts of the fatal harm of  ingesting indigestible material- the obstruction of the bowel, the perforation of the stomach, the aspiration of particles in the lungs.

I opted to wait and see how it all came out. He ate dinner. He played. He chased the cats. And made the giant leap from the floor to the bed to occupy the space beside me. He was fine.

At 4 AM, my little bedfellow woke me with the sound of sloshy, lapping grooming that dogs often perform on themselves. I hissed at him to go to sleep. At 5 AM, I heard the sound again, this time at my feet. I sat up to pull him back  toward me and my hand brushed against the crunchy chunder. Oh, the sheets- the soggy stew! Poor boy, poor bed. Suffice it to say, that after a day of vigilant monitoring of his food intake and poop exportation, he is perfectly fine.

But, in between my watchfulness of the dog and my attempt at keeping the house in order, my careful eye fell off of Violet. I was in the upstairs bathroom replacing the shower curtain liner when I heard a rumble of agitation downstairs. Her sister and brother were downstairs with her- I assumed they were just annoying each other. But, then I heard muffled words floating up the air vents, You did what?! It's stuck where? Sit still, I just want to look. No, don't try to pull it out! MOM!

I found them in the dining room. At first only Violet's feet were in view- the rest of her body was obscured by the wall. Did she have her finger stuck in the electrical outlet on that wall? Sh*&! How do you get a finger out of a socket? Henry was bent over her. Princess Commando's eyes were wide with panic. "She says she has a button stuck up her nose!" A frickin' button?!  I must have been frozen too long- running through the strategies they teach you in Parenting School for button extraction because someone yelled, Do something, Mom!   Crap, that's right, I dropped out of Parenting School 16 years ago because it was on Wednesday nights- the same night Party of Five was on TV. I don't know what to do! What would Charlie Salinger do?

I pulled my hysterical 3-year old onto my lap. I tried to look up her nostrils and could not fathom how a button would fit in those tiny holes. 'I have to blow my nose!' She sobbed. Should I let her? What if the button is stuck in her brain and it rips out part of her gray matter? Can buttons get into brains? I don't know what nostril it went into! Left brain, right brain? What's more important? Argghhh!!! Before I could work out an answer, she announced that she could feel the button. One last, snotty blow and out the button flew, right onto my lap. There it was. One simple white button. Not huge- but still something to marvel at. Lordy, that kid is trouble.

'Do not stick things up your nose! You could have gotten hurt.' I brushed the tears off of her cheeks and kissed her on the forehead.

'But, I can stick my finger up my nose, right?'

If it keeps other objects out of there, 'Sure, you can stick your finger up there.'

The moral of the story is that in a panic, you won't remember any of the lessons Party of Five has to offer, if there were any to offer at all. Except this one- family is the most important thing. And after they've barfed up their bones and blown buttons out of their noses, and all becomes right with them again, then all is right with the world.

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