"I put a pea in my nose"

Sylvia said that matter-of-factly during dinner Saturday night. The same way she might announce that she’s wearing sandals. (Matter-of-fact for a three-year-old sounds surprised and slightly amazed to adult ears.) After calling the doctor and trying a few nose-blowing techniques, it was off to the emergency room.

The doctor gave her a nostril constricting spray, and had her try blowing hard several more times. Sylvia was remarkably calm as the doctor prodded the pea with a tool consisting of a tiny metal loop on a stick. Then we were back to blowing many more times.

Eventually the doctor used a trick which, according to the nurse, none of the other doctors know. She stuck an oxygen tube in the opposite nostril and had the nurse crank the oxygen to full blast. I restrained Sylvia, and the pea flew out her nose. The doctor was so impressed with how well-behaved Sylvia was that she gave her a big hug. And the nurse gave her an orange popsicle.

If Sylvia had been as well-behaved for us as she is for strangers, we wouldn’t have ended up in the ER. But that may be a little much to ask for a three-year-old.

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