The Button

Well, here's one for the books.

Yesterday afternoon. A gray, languid afternoon lit by Spongebob Squarepants on Nick Jr and the new pink-and-purple Christmas tree (a different story entirely); a quiet afternoon. I was painting my fingernails and Scott was cleaning. All was peaceful, until--

The Boy emerged howling from his bedroom. Blood encircled his right nostril. He was gibbering something. I was focused on the blood, but slowly it came to me. "I think," I said to Scott, "he saying something about a button."

"The button!" he was saying. "I can't get it out!

Yes, folks, at nearly five years of age, my lovely son managed to jam a good-sized, snot-green button clear up into his sinus passage. This thing was in there but good. How far was it? you may ask. Far enough that even the doctor could not see it at first. Far enough for me to seriously consider the implications of just leaving it there.

Because, as it turned out, removing the button was no small task. Sure enough, we ended up in the ER. We tried, on medical recommendation, encouraging him to blow it out on his own (total flop) and a sort of reverse mouth-to-mouth to blow it out for him (interesting, but no button was forthcoming). The doctor then applied a suction tube, which sucked out everything but the button, and which caused Jordan, who was trying to be still, to go into head-shaking spasm at exactly the wrong moments.

Finally the verdict came down: knock the kid out. Yes, it took general anathesia to remove this object. General anathesia, applied with two nasty shots, one in each thigh, and five people to hold him down--you'll recall that he is not a fan of the medical establishment (small wonder). His mighty lungs were not diminished by the button. He wailed and thrashed. Then his eyes started jittering like skate bugs and he checked out.

All this for a button which was out about fifteen seconds later.

Poor kid. I'll spare the general, fluidy details of a young person on anathesia who has eaten macaroni and cheese for lunch. When he finally came to, all he wanted was his clothes, which were by then orangey wads in a hospital bag. He was limp and confused and sure the button was still in his nose. Scott produced it several times from his shirt pocket (we saved it for posterity, or maybe future blackmail), but Jordan was not convinced.

But he was okay in the end. Wrung-out, staggering and vomity, but okay.

We can only hope that the question of what happens when you stuff a hard, round object up your nose has been answered for him. But you never can tell with boys.

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