Saturday, June 7, 2008

Does it count as 'Family Night' ...

when you spend it at the Emergency Room? I'm just wondering! That's where we were last evening - as a family.

Yesterday afternoon, I was ironing, and since it was over 90 degrees outside and very humid, I decided to let the kids watch a video. Partly to keep me company, and partly to keep our Dreamer from having trouble with her asthma. Naturally, the rare treat of a video calls for another favorite treat - popcorn! I made 'butter and salt' for Storyteller and 'cheddar cheese' for Dreamer and they happily munched away as they watched 'Lassie'. I ironed - not too energetically, because I am still fighting a chest cold, but I was making some progress on Mount Ironmore.

Than it happened - The Storyteller put a popcorn kernel IN HIS EAR!!!! Let's keep in mind that while he is almost 8 years old, he is still very impulsive, and doesn't think of the consequences of his actions quite as, um, thoroughly as he aught to.

He immediately knew he was in trouble this time and tried to stick his finger in his ear to get it out, succeeding to shove it further into his ear canal. He panicked. Did you hear the wailing at your house?

After calming him, I did what all good mothers do these days - I Googled it! I found out that there are not too many home remedies, and a trip to the E.R. is almost inevitable. I read one blog where a dad was successful in extracting a popcorn kernel with a straw by sucking it out with all of his might. We tried that. We even connected the vacuum to the straw. It didn't budge.

We packed a book and activity bag and headed to the E.R. for the evening. Thankfully, they got it out - after a few tries. They used a vacuum, tried to pry it, and finally grasped it with alligator grips. It only took 2 hours.

I'm not saving the kernel for his scrap book.

After all we already have a very black dime that once made it's way though his digestive track - getting painfully stuck once - while we were on vacation a few years ago. We don't have any photos of that vacation, but a number of x-rays documenting the path of the dime! Along with a receipt for the two quarts of blueberries that finally made the dime's passage possible.

So, we're not keeping the kernel.

Does a trip to the E.R. for popcorn kernel extraction count as a 'fun family night'?

I'm just wondering.

For those who wonder what the result of sticking a popcorn kernel in one's ear might be - well, ear drops every four hours for 7 days and no swimming, bathing or showering for 5 days. Of course, a follow up with our pediatrician next week is also required. His ear drum is scratched. So our E.R. visit was just the beginning of the fun.

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  1. Oh, Heather...
    My older daughter made me bestfriends with the Poison Control Center. I remember when she drank shampoo. (YUCK!) They said that the worst thing that would happen would be her tooting bubbles for a few days. LOL I also remember her getting an 'iron-on bead' stuck around a tooth. The doctor had to to pull it. I remember the eaten plant and a handful of pills at grandmas. Ipecac created quite a mess! I could go on...
    Needless to say, I felt like the worst, unprotective, unqualified mom in the world. Let me tell ya, if it wasn't possible, she found a way to make it possible.
    Thanks for stirring up my memories and a few laughs.
    In Him,

    Kid Update: She's 13 and has appeared to turned out normal, so far. We're not sure what the gandkids will someday look like though. I figure that if they have 10 fingers and toes, we'll be doing pretty good! LOL

  2. Christina - I'm glad our story brought back memories!
    The really funny thing is that I was just telling our Pastor on the phone yesterday that I was so thankful that Storyteller seemed to be outgrowing his tendency to find trouble - it had been almost 3 months since he did anything really crazy! Spoken too soon, I guess!

    I am so glad your daughter has turned out to be 'normal'. You've had quite a time with her! I think we have only had to call poison control twice, thankfully, and this is only our 6th emergency room visit.

    We keep praying for wisdom in guiding our impulsive child and for insight to protecting him from serious harm.

    We've also started to keep a running total of all of the funny 'extra' expenses he has incurred! Perhaps we'll present it as a joke at his wedding or graduation ...

  3. You are too funny.
    Just wanted to let ya know, that I posted about this post on my blog. (I hope that you don't kind...)

  4. Wow! It's amazing what a popcorn kernel can cause! I'm glad that he'll be okay (after all the drops, etc).

  5. Oh my! What an adventure...and not a good one either! I'm glad they got the popcorn kernel out and he will be ok! Hopefully your next family night will be different...LOL

  6. It reminds me of the time my then, six-year old daughter stuck a pussy willow up her nose. Try explaining pussy willow to a foreign-speaking doctor, (who couldn't see anything up in their.) He finally did get it out with some vacuum type thingy. I still do not think he learned what a pussy willow was, though. Same daughter stuck a bead in her ear, another ER excursion. When we asked our daughter why, why? Her explanation was "I just wanted to try it." Hmmm.

  7. Yes, this post is bringing back memories for me, too. When we left on our honeymoon, everyone threw birdseed at us. Can you believe that one of those seeds found its way into my husband's ear and during the week started sprouting. A trip to an Urgent Care facility got it out, and the nurses and doctor had quite a laugh!

    (By the way, I'm glad everything turned out okay with your son.)

  8. Sorry to hear about all the drama. If I told my son he didn't have to wash for 5 days I would have to hide the popcorn!
    You made an unpleasant and expensive evening into a pleasant and humours story!


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