I really thought we had avoided that stage.
You know, the stage where a toddler/preschooler decides to put small objects in body crevices (noses, belly buttons, ears).
Two months shy of his 4th birthday, and our youngest gave us the wonderful opportunity to conquer that stage by shoving a small Lego piece up his nose.
It happened all of a sudden, really (don't they all?!). He and Mackie had been watching a movie while I was making dinner after a long day in the office. I enjoyed the peace and quiet of chopping veggies while my sweet little son pranced up the stairs in a panic.
"Mama, it just kept going up and up and now it's stuck!" he exclaimed.
"What did, buddy?" I asked, not really paying attention.
I quickly looked up from the cutting board to see Brax squishing his nose and wrinkling it, trying to blow it out.
I panicked. Not my finest mommy moment.
I called Jack screaming at him - because it was his fault for putting a movie in for the kids, after all. Not my finest wife moment.
I screamed at Brax asking why would he do such a thing? Did he not know that mommy was busy? That she didn't have time to try and hold you down to "unplug" your nose? That we'll have to go to the doctor? And doctors cost money? Money that we had just accumulated from paying off a home loan (God's perfect timing has such convicting irony!). Not my finest human moment.
We spent the next several hours trying everything under the sun - blowing out the thing, taking tweezers, calling our next door neighbor chiropractors and using their special tweezers, having said doc make a house call (twice - one after he fell asleep at 10:30 p.m.), sucking it out with a straw, using the small vaccuum attachment on low setting, having him sniff pepper and sneeze it out....you name it, we tried it.
Fast forward to the next morning and Dr. Epp (same doc who put Brax's tubes in at 7 months old) whisked us into his office. All four of us piled in the small room to see history in the Conkling casa making - a Lego removed from the nose.
I will stand by my statement that docs cheat. They have the numbing agents, the cool nose cameras, the long instruments to quickly snatch it out, and the swag that comes with it post-removal. Brax left all smiles, thinking it was the coolest thing to have a Lego come out of his nose.
He walked out with a special jar holding the Lego piece (which we later found out he snatched from sister's set), a stuffed monkey now lovingly named King Louie, and a tractor sticker.
What's not to love?! Thanks, Dr. Epp, for your amazing way to encourage repeat customers. ;)
Now, a week later, we have some a new ground rule in the Conkling casa - no Legos in noses. It's quite simple, really. And if we can get Brax to forget about all of the fun he had at the lego-in-the-nose-removal, I think we'll make it to 4 and through the grade school years with flying colors.
We laugh it off now. But I'm still convicted by those moments of weakness - the moments where I showed God my ugly state of wretched sin that so quickly consumed me in a heartbeat. Thank you, Jesus, for grace and the rich mercies that are new each morning. Because you know I need it!