Sunday night I served chicken tacos and black beans for dinner. After we had eaten I began clearing the table and putting things away. #1 and #2 were still at their places, chatting and giggling. Suddenly it got quiet and then #1 blurted out #2's secret.
"Mom, #2 has a black bean in his nose."
I inspected the dark orifice, but found no evidence of bean.
"Well, #2. I hope you don't die. Beans on the brain are deadly."
All traces of silliness drained from his shocked face. (Does this make me the worst mom ever?)
"Let's give your body some time to try to get rid of it on its own. If it doesn't come out in 20 minutes I'll have to take you to the hospital."
I had no intention of taking him to the hospital. I figured if the bean didn't birth itself, it would disintegrate over time, never posing any real harm. Maybe I'm totally wrong. Please inform me if nasally ingested beans are in fact deadly.
I kept cleaning up the kitchen, my mind moving onto other things like, "Why didn't I make dessert tonight? Where is my chocolate?" Several minutes passed before I remembered #2.
He was still sitting at the table, head hanging low, looking despondent. He was doing his very best not to cry.
Oops. I guess you shouldn't joke about death with a five year old. I knelt down next to him and wrapped my arms around him. "I'm sure you will be just fine. You body is probably working really hard right now to get rid of that bean."
He laid his dirty face on my clean shoulder and broke into deep sobs. Gasping for breath, "I" gasp, gasp, "don't," sob, sob, "want," sucking air, "to," snort, snort, "die."
Then a thought struck me. All this crying was producing a lot of mucus. Just what his little nose needed to expel a big black bean. I grabbed a tissue and told him to blow. While he blew I explained the mucus theory. He blew harder. On the fourth or fifth forceful blow I heard a huge "thwack" sound. We checked the tissue and sure enough, there was that slimy legume!
I thought the boy would wipe his tears away and shout hooray. But no, the relief was so immense he collapsed his dirty face onto my other clean shoulder and shook with more sobs. Sobs of joy from the deliverance from death by bean.
When he finally calmed down he was still laying on my shoulder, shuddering with after-cry-shocks. "I'm so glad I'm not going to die. I'm so glad I sniffed out that bean."
In his prayers that night, "I'm thankful that I sniffed that bean out."
First thing the next morning, "Mom, member when I almost died yesterday, but I sniffed that bean out?"