First of all, this post is dedicated to my friend Alissa, who once had a similar incident on a train with an orange tic-tac. Alissa, if you read this, know I thought of you today! :-)
Today the boys were eating lunch, and I was finally getting to preparing my own lunch. I turned around and Drew appeared to be picking his nose, so I said, "Do you need a kleenex, Drew?" He said, "No, pea in there." It took me a second to realize and process what he had said. "You have a pea in your nose?!" And Drew replied, "Yeah. Pea in there." So I told him to stop putting his finger up there and let me see, and sure enough, there was a pea in there! I have no idea what possessed him to put it in there. We tried using a kleenex to blow it out, but Drew just doesn't understand the concept of blowing his nose yet. He sort of blows through his teeth to make the noise of blowing his nose, but no air actually comes out of his nostrils, so that didn't work. I told him we needed to get it out, and after sending Mike a quick text to share the news, I went upstairs to look for the bulb syringe and to get the tweezers. Drew took one look at the tweezers, which were used on him last week to extract 4 splinters (with much screaming and struggling) from his hand, and he was having none of that! I thought he'd have a similar reaction to the bulb syringe, so I didn't even bother. I decided that I wasn't going to worry about it right then; I'd let us all finish (or start, in my case) our lunches and we'd see if the pea came out on it's own.
Drew was pretty much done eating at that point. I think he lost his appetite or something, because all he ate for lunch was peas with cheese on them. I asked him why he put the pea up his nose, and he said, "No talk Mama. No talk pea." Apparently he didn't want to talk about it. So he went into the living room and played, and I contemplated my options. I have a friend whose daughter got a popcorn kernel stuck up her nose and didn't tell her parents about it, and after months of runny noses and my friend thinking her daughter had halitosis, they finally figured out that the kernel was up there. By that point tissue had grown around it, and the poor little girl had to be put under to have it removed. I didn't really think that would happen with the pea, since it's softer (though I don't know why that would matter), but still, I was hoping to avoid that situation completely. At one point Zach said, "Drew, either Mom has to get that pea out or the doctor will have to get it out." Drew said, "No doctor!" Then Zach said, "Well, if the pea stays in there and you can't breathe for a long time, you'll die. Do you want to die, Drew?" And Drew said, "Yeah, die!" It cracked me up, but I still had to explain to Zach that a pea in one nostril wouldn't keep Drew from breathing altogether.
Just this morning I noticed that Drew has been sneezing more often lately. So in the midst of this pea incident, I thought maybe we'd get lucky and he'd just sneeze it out. But as we were coming upon Drew's nap time, I thought the chances of him sneezing on his own might be rare. And even though he had kept his finger out of his nose since the pea went up it, I was worried that when alone in his crib, he might put that finger back up there and push the pea further up. So then I thought about what makes a person sneeze. Do I get out the pepper like in cartoons? No, I knew Drew would not go for that. I remembered that my boys frequently sneeze when they get out into the sun, so I took Drew outside. No luck. Then we found a feather and I tried tickling his nose, but nothing happened. I told him I needed him to sneeze, so he obliged by saying, "Ahh-choo!!" Alas, it was a fake sneeze, so still no luck.
So I decided to take the advice that Mike had texted me and enlisted Zach's help to pin down Drew's right arm. I pinned down the other arm and the rest of Drew's body, and although he was crying and squirming, and I was definitely nervous, I grabbed those tweezers and managed to pinch just a tiny bit of the pea, but enough to pull the whole thing out! Success!! Through his tears, Drew said, "Great job, Mama!" How sweet. Then he said, "Go upstairs. Night-night time." He was happy to not have to go to the doctor, and I was happy that I didn't jab those tweezers into the side or back of his nose.
So, in almost 5 years of parenting, this was my first up-the-nose experience. I really hope it's the last. I wish I had seen him put that thing up there or that he was able to explain to me what he was thinking when he did it. Despite the slight worry that I felt about getting it out, Zach and I couldn't help but have a little chuckle about how funny it was that Drew put a pea in his nose!