Friday, October 24, 2008

What Goes Up Must Come Down

We made it through the week without Daniel. He got home from Thailand around 8:30 last night. Caleb waited up for him and slept in this morning. Now he and Daniel are collaborating over plans for the box of Legos. Nathan is napping so I'm enjoying my coffee and some uninterrupted time in front of the blog interface.

It was a reasonably uneventful week except for Nathan's fat lip and Caleb's new nose fixation. Our house is tiled throughout with hard ceramic tiles over concrete. It makes for easy clean-up but is treacherous for beginning walkers and toddlers who decide every piece of furniture must be climbed and, if possible, leaped from. A couple mornings ago Nathan was crawling across the living room and for no apparent reason did a face plant on the tile. It was not the first (or even the tenth) time this has happened so I picked him up as a matter of course and wasn't particularly impressed until I saw blood. To be totally honest, it hardly qualified as a "smudge" of blood on his chin, but for whatever reason when there is the faintest trace of blood anywhere on my child's body I immediately shift into ER mode and wonder if I still have a tube of lipstick somewhere to mark the patient's forehead for triage. As the adrenaline courses through my veins, stories about moms who lift cars off their children or carry them through burning buildings become completely believable. In the end, Nathan ended up with nothing more noteworthy than a swollen top lip. It is nearly healed already and didn't seem to phase him even at its worst. As soon as I'd kissed him and wiped the smudge off his chin he was back to tearing around the house on all fours.

Caleb's nose fetish, on the other hand, is an ongoing issue. He made the discovery this week that nostrils are a great place for storing small things like stickers and little balls of toilet paper. I blame Daniel. He was coming down with the flu before leaving for Bangkok and had a drippy nose. He got so tired of wiping it that I caught him bathing Caleb with wads of tissue stuffed up his nose. (A practical solution though not a very attractive one.) It's possible that Caleb's discovery was completely independent of Daniel's example, but it strikes me as a strange coincidence.

After carefully removing a sticker and a couple other random items from his nose, I gave Caleb the "do that again and I might have to call the doctor" lecture. Apparently he was willing to take his chances, because the lecture was completely ineffective. At dinner a clump of sticky rice somehow found its way up his right nostril. I had gone to get Nathan a washcloth. When I came back Caleb was desperately picking at it and, of course, making the problem worse. The clump did not remain a clump and while I was able to remove the foremost grains of rice, there were several that were beyond reach. I fumbled around in the drawer of baby toiletries trying to find something that would remove the rice with minimal risk of pushing it further back. Providentially, I stumbled upon the bulb aspirator. I never really used the thing when the boys were tiny babies because it made them cry and, honestly, the whole concept grossed me out. I must be getting less squeamish because I ran back to the table with a triumphant whoop and sucked out the offending bits in a flash.

Caleb didn't know what had hit him. He sneezed a couple times for good measure, shed big "what are you doing to me" tears, and then begged for the bulb aspirator. He spent the rest of the evening cleaning Bear's nose and telling him "It's okay, Bear. It'll just take a second..." He tried to repeat the procedure on his brother, but I had to draw the line somewhere.

The bulb aspirator went into the bath and into bed with Caleb that night. While Daniel was away Caleb migrated to my bed most nights dragging his bear and blanket and other paraphernalia with him. The night after the rice-in-the-nose episode he brought the bulb aspirator along. I didn't think much of it until I was startled from a doze by Caleb suctioning my nose. At that point, I had to crack down and institute the "no nose suctioning after bedtime" rule. So far he's followed it. During the waking hours we all have the cleanest noses in town.

Well, Nathan will be waking soon and it appears that both Caleb and Daniel have reached their Lego building limit. I should go join the fun.


  1. We loved the part with you waking up to Caleb suctioning your nose!

  2. Micah has a cold right now, and the bulb aspirator is our solution to suctioning out the snot. No kid likes it when they are sick, but Anna and Micah usually do love it when I let them try it out on me!