Thursday, May 04, 2006


It was bound to happen. We have a lot of boys and a lot of LEGO's.

So yesterday I'm downstairs talking with my wife (and perhaps getting a Coke; is that really important?), when, from upstairs, we hear Jonah crying. Loudly. Intensely.

We're trying to figure out what's wrong ("Are you hurt?" "Did you fall?" "What's wrong?"), when he yells out the phrase that every 21st century parent dreads:

"I got a LEGO stuck up my nose!"

This is bad. On most things I'm moderately- to overly-cautious. Wear your shoes outside. Don't jump off the top bunk. Don't eat poo. Maintain a 20 foot perimeter around known anthills. etc.

But with LEGO's I've been a little lenient. Timothy had his first Bionicle set when he was 4. The age on the box said 7+. That was bad enough, but Permissions Creep (you know, that's the thing that lets 10-year-old fourth children watch Halloween 27) set in as well. At first we kept the "big boy LEGO's" in Timothy's room, and told Jonah to stay out. This worked for about a month. That same box is now actually in Jonah and Sam's room, and has grown to a 20 gallon Rubbermaid container. So we have a 2- and a 5-year-old with unlimited access to gazillions of LEGO's marked "8+".

(Please note, this does not include the new Zamor Spheres, a.k.a. the Lime Green Balls of Death, which are all hidden away in my office. I've got to draw the line somewhere.)

All this is to say . . . Jonah has a LEGO in his nose.

Now, I don't know about you, but on hearing this phrase the first thing I do is run through my mental catalog, looking for LEGO + Jonah's nose + worst possible thing. (Actually, this was the second thing. The first thing I did was to say a word that I later had to tell Jonah never to repeat and that I promised him I would never say again.)

As to the worst possible LEGO that could get stuck in Jonah's nose, I came up with this:
According to (yes, of course I have an account, don't you?), this is a "Brick, 1 x 1 Round with Solid Stud". The "Round" part means that for something that is rather large (preschool nose-wise, anyway), it is of the right shape to perfectly block the nasal passage. That "Solid Stud" bit means that air cannot go through it.

So this is what is going through my mind as I begin to look up Jonah's nose.

And I see . . . nothing. Another not child-friendly word. Another apology.

Here's how my mind works. When I don't see the Brick, 1 x 1 Round with Solid Stud, I don't think, "perhaps it is something else." I think, "Oh, @#$*, that thing is so far up there that I can't see it." Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Instead, it's evidence to me that my son has a LEGO embedded in his brain and that we're going to the emergency room.

So I go to get a flashlight. And while I'm doing this, two things happen. One, I realize that we don't have any Bricks, 1 x 1 Round with Solid Stud. They were discontinued when I was a kid (yes, i actually know this; and regardless of what you think, in LEGO nerd-dom, I am barely a lance corpral). What we do have are Bricks, 1 x 1 Round with Hollow Stud.

See. There's a hole. No death involved.

The second thing that happens is a sneeze. Jonah sneezes.

My wife, in reward for her role in trying to comfort Jonah, shrieks, "Ewww! Where is it?"

And, sure enough, hanging from her knee, embedded in . . . well, you know what, is the LEGO. And it's not a Brick, 1 x 1 Round anything. It's this:
Except that it's black (well, green and black). It's a Technic Axle 2 Notched, of which we have more than a hundred in the uber-bin upstairs.

After resuming normal breathing, I ask Jonah, "Why did you stick a LEGO up your nose?" (Actually, although in the process of calming, I use a milder, although still apology-worthy word in the above sentence.)

His answer: "I don't know." Which means that he had this thing in his hand and thought, "I can stick this up my nose" without any awareness of, or thought toward, any long-term consequences.

This is why we don't let them have guns. Or vote.


At 1:01 AM, Anonymous kilsan said...


Sammi's initiation was last year with what we now refer to lovingly as the $400 bead. Her aunt Holly, being an avid crafter, loves to send all sorts of crafty things for Sammi to make stuff. The bead in question was somewhere between Bricks, 1 x 1 Round with Hollow Stud and Bricks, 1 x 1 Round with Solid Stud, only a good deal rounder. It should come as no surprise that her reasoning for the maneuver closely approximates Jonah's. Thankfully for my sanity, this all happened while Christine and Sammi were in South Florida and I was still in ATL. I didn't find out until everything was over and resolved.

At 8:10 PM, Blogger Becki said...

Well, you'll be happy to know I also had a close call with a nose insertion device. When you were about 6 weeks old and Garrett was barely 3, I was baby-sitting him on a long-term basis (for a couple of months). One day when I was "watching" him, he came in the den and said he had a Hot Wheel tire in his nose. Panic time! It's not even MY kid! He eventually did make a trip to the doctor's office and had the thing extracted. He also got your tiny gold ring (???) that my aunt gave you (that's before we knew the gender of children before they were born) stuck on his finger and it had to be cut off. I think I threw it in the trash. Mom


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