Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Of Ears and Issues

In October, we had pumpkins, and like any good girl-raising family, we decorated them with Mrs. Potato Head pieces.  Poked holes in them and plugged them with plastic ears, lips, eyes, crowns, earrings....these pumpkins were fancy.  Of course, we saved the plastic parts to use again next year.  Some of them are still tumbling around unhindered in the back of our vehicle, because the black hole under our back seats needs plastic ears in order to thrive, apparently.  (Otherwise, I surely would have put them away by now...) 

Mia found a pegged-ear as I buckled her into her seat this week, and -- because of some necessary compulsion -- placed the peg directly into her own ear, thereby creating a humorous third ear as well as a frantically lecturing mother. 

"Mia, we NEVER put things into our ears, okay?  Not into our ears OR our noses."  (Because something in me needs to cover all tempting cranial orifices with the same, swift lecture.)  My eyebrows were furrowed, my lips were firm, and I wasn't letting this go.  The notion of things being shoved into ears freaks me out. 

Once, when Mia was small, she poked a tiny turquoise bead up her nostril.  She screamed and sobbed while digging for it, poking it further with each swipe, until I helped her blow her nose -- and the impacted bead -- into a kleenex.  And it was fine.  But...what if that had been her ear?  You can't blow your ear into a kleenex.  And if that something were pokey, like, say, a potato head peg,  there's the additional freak-out factor of a ruptured ear-drum.  Shudder.

"But why not, mom?"  Mia took the toy away from her ear with obedient disappointment.  Her cute joke hadn't gone as planned. 

I explained about ear drums and how delicate they are and how much it would hurt to poke one...and I tried to do so with mere technical terms instead of emotional worry.  She wasn't freaked out in the least.  My auricular anxiety seems not to have been transmitted into her genetic code. 

As I climbed into the driver's seat, happy to have averted an unlikely crisis, Mia piped up with one more question:  "But why can't we put things into our noses?  Do we have a nose-drum, too?"

So I smiled.  And laughed.  And relaxed. 

For a moment.  Until:

"What would happen if we poked a needle into our ear-drums, mom?"

I almost drove off the road. 


  1. Ah children. Always one step ahead of us.

  2. oh my goodness. the crazy they come up with can make a mama crazy!

  3. Ahhh! I shudder along with you--having just had a bout with ear-wax clearing inside a tiny ear canal, not wanting to disturb anything delicate in there.

    Loved the bit about the plastic body part required for the function of your vehicle. ;)

  4. so far neither of my kids of gotten any thing stuck up their nose or ears. I'm sure my day is coming though. i just hope it isn't a needle!

  5. Needles, ears, ack.

    I worked in a daycare one summer during college, and the amount of beans and pebbles I pulled out of small noses and ears that summer was impossible. And I was always left with the lingering question... WHY would you do that??

  6. I have yet to face the task of extracting something from an orifice other than the mouth. I know my time will come, and I am extremely squeamish and scared of what the stuck object will be!


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?