The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Where's the button?

“I’ve got a button stuck up my nose.”

“You’ve got a button stuck up your nose?”

She nods and thrusts a finger up her right nostril. “I can’t get it out.”

I sigh. This is the second time Meg’s climbed out of bed since we thought we’d settled her down for the night over an hour ago. The first time was to complain that a button had come off her pyjamas. “Come here and let me take a look.”

Personally, I’m sceptical: Meg’s nose is quite small and the remaining buttons on her jammies look too big to fit up there. She’s also got a heavy cold at the moment and a fair amount of mucus emanating from her nasal passages.

“What’s going on?” asks Maggie as she sees me kneeling in the hallway, tilting Meg’s head back and turning it to the left and right in an attempt to shed more light on the matter.

“She says she’s got a button stuck up her nose, but I can’t see anything.” I’m about to squeeze the outside of Meg’s nose to see if I can feel it, then realise if a button is up there, this action would be extremely painful.

Maggie rolls her eyes then disappears for a moment and returns with a handful of paper towels. “She’s probably just dreamt it. Come here Meg; let’s blow your nose.”

As Meg snorts into the hankies, I begin to head back to the computer. I’m stopped in my tracks, however, when Maggie suddenly says, “Oh my God, she was right!” I swivel round and sure enough there’s a wee pink button protruding from the snot-filled sheet of paper in Maggie’s hand.

“Does that feel better sweetie?” asks Maggie and gives Meg a hug. Meg nods and is happily led back to bed.

It’s at times like this when I realise that if anyone was to try and write a definitive parenting manual to cover every eventuality, it would require a building the size of a small city to house all the volumes.


eg(scotland) said...

I've got a button nose. It sits above my mustache!

Presumably some other garment is missing a button if it didn't come from the PJs.

I think you should have a go at writing the manual - at the very least the contents page.


Julie said...

I think every kid puts something up their nose. At least it didn't require a trip to the doctor like mine did. I don't remember it, but my mother used to tease me about it.

PI said...

Now will you believe her? Tut tut!
Thank God for Mums who have common sense running through their veins. No offence:)
I used to stick dried peas up mine at every opportunity. Grandad had a grocer's shop

Mary Witzl said...


My mother swallowed a straight pin when she was eight and never saw it again. I put one of those little Christmas bells up my nose when I was two, and at the age of three polished off a bottle of aspirin. My eldest ingested an entire bottle of cough syrup at age three, and my youngest wrapped a rubber band tightly around her upper arm one winter when she was eighteen months old and had, in essence, a tourniquet on all night. The mark was there for two years afterwards, and the pediatrician said that it was a wonder she didn't lose the arm.

How do we ever survive childhood?

Carole said...

Button button, whose got the button? Every parent needs to go olfactory diving at least once in a lifetime. Welcome to the club. Good times.

Jessica said...

Wow, I chili pepper up my nose when I was little (I don't remember, I've just heard the story from my parents) and thankfully the little stem was sticking out and my dad was able to pull it out :) Anyways, I definetly think all kids stick something up their nose at one point or another! Great story!!

ADW said...

I shoved styrofoam up my nose when I was a kid - A LOT of it. One of my sisters ate a bucket of carpenter's glue. This stuff happens. At least you got it out without needing medical attention (=

Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

Twin X tried to test the idea that you could poke your own brain by sticking a pencil up your nose. He made the mistake of not self-experimenting, but rather using the nose of his brother, Twin Y, who was asleep at the time. All that resulted was a sharp cry and a bloody nose - not from the effect of the pencil penetrating Twin Y's dura mater, but from the hard jab that landed on Twin X's own snout from his recumbent brother, who awoke just in time.

Sassy Sundry said...

Fun fun. Apparently, I used to stick little bits of food I didn't want to eat up my nose.

Kim Ayres said...

EG - it did come from the PJs - the first time she got up she was complaining about a missing button - it was this one that found its way up her nose

Julie - So what did you insert?

Pat - what a fantastic image :)

Mary - I was never one for inserting or ingesting, however, I look back on my times on go-carts and wonder how I ever survived. I might blog about them one day.

Carole - :)

Jessica - makes my eyes water just thinking about it!

ADW - I can see the definitive parenting manual haveing several streets worth of books just to cover nasal insertions

Dr McCrumble - I'm so impressed by your sons' fascination with hands-on, practical experimentation. To much time can be spent on the theoretical without ever getting round to the applied sciences.

Sassy Sundry - I would have tried that, but knew I'd never get an entire stick of broccoli up there.

quinn said...

Hey kim..soooo glad she went and blew that button out. In general those stories are hillarious however, left un attended a button ( or whatever ) up the nose can lead to some very serious health issues.
I am so glad it came out and she is super fine.
I did daycare as you know. I had a little boy about 6 years old. He had a cold for a while the usual runny nose. Then we all started to notice when he came over there was this horrible odour around him. His sister was fine. For a few days it became more and more obvious that it was indeed HIM that smelled bad. He was clean, his clothese were clean ..but this odour was unbearable.
His father picked him up one day and implied I wasn't taking good care of him due to the odour. Then on the monday after a weekend at home with dad he came back still smelling and worse than ever.
I decided something was very wrong with this child it had been a week and the smell was worse. I took a flashlight and checked his ears and then his nose. It was plugged looking etc. but I asked him if it hurt and he said yes. I took a q-tip and tried to clean it but it was a hard mass.
I called my boss( daycare agency) told them of my findings and that I was going to call the dad and have him take the child to the emergency.
The dad came, took the boy...turned out he had some sort of stuffing like from a cushion or chair pushed up his nose. It had become a massive infection and he was placed on intense medication. The doctors said how good it was that I had persisted in trying to find out what the smell was, they say a couple of more days and it would have spread into his brain and would have most likely been in very grave danger.
I am soooo glad you guys got the button, now it can just be a funny story like it should be.

Amy said...

My daugher Emma shoved a fake diamond earring up her nose. When we asked her the typical parent question "why did you put an earring up your nose?" she answered, "it was there, I wanted to know what it felt like, I couldn't stop myself and I don't know why!"

I'm glad Meg's button came out easily.

Nicole said...

hee hee hee

jotcr2 said...

That is a decent excuse to get out of bed.

Julie said...

It was the spongy thing from the "Lilt" hair permanents -- they had sponges instead of the papers for wrapping over the ends.

I think I was about three. I didn't tell my mom about it, so it took a few days before I actually went to the doctor. It was kind of like Quinn's story except without the infection.

Belovedlife said...

My oldest daughter, Ellie, was smelling popcorn one day. She would smell it before she ate it. Well, she managed to inhale a popcorn kernel up her nose. WE wound up in the pediatricians office, they almost weren't able to get it out, You see she was eating BUTTERED popcorn, which means it was greasy and slick and hard to grasp with the forceps...lucky for us she was crying so hard, her nose began to run, when they told her to blow her nose, it popped out..
She was about 4 when she did are kids across the boards.....

SafeTinspector said...

At least it came out! Poor kid.

Getting something stuck in an orifice is something that every kid does at least once a childhood. Sam had a kernel of unpopped corn so far up her nose we had to have a pediatric ear-nose-and-throat doctor go after it.
I had a wadded up straw wrapper spend a month in my ear canal.
What did you have in your orifices?

BStrong said...

A job well done. When you were in your late teens and early twenties, did you ever think that you would be talking about a remedy to dislodge a buttons from a nose and feeling a sense of accomplishment when all goes well:)

Pendullum said...

The ole button up the nose trick...
Word to the wise... you know those magnetic earings that are out for kids who do not have pierced ears... and like to have flashy earrings...Well, if they go up the nose... well, you need to go to the hospital to have them removed... as they need to know you out and surgically remove the magnets as they are too close to your brain...(my girlfriend's ten year old son's wee escapade two weeks ago...)

Kanani said...

Oh, buttons up noses! Ack! Well, good thing you got it out.
Right now my son is having raging allergies --he has to thoroughly rinse his sinuses out with this machine.

Kim Ayres said...

Quinn - I'll forever worrying about odd smells from now on...

Amy - I guess you can't get a more accurate answer than that!

Nicole - :)

Jo - it was certainly one of her better ones

Julie - it's a wonder anyone grows up and still has a nose left on their face

Belovedlife - lucky it wasn't toffee popcorn...

SafeT - any orifice insertions I may have been involved in myself will remain a private matter. Unless I can think of a good blog post about it.

BStrong - when I was in my late teens and early twenties I figured I'd be amulit-millionaire rock-god by now

Pendullum - I'm sure I read something somewhere about magnets being used to improve brain function. Maybe it just means that those who've had one stuck up their nose learn not to do it again.

Kanani - there's a machine for rinsing sinuses? The world has just become a slightly larger place...

Brave Astronaut said...

When my wife and I were preparing to leave the hospital after the birth of my son, I kept marvelling at the fact they were going to let us leave.

All we had to have was a solidly installed car seat. I kept asking where is the manual? I need a manual! I mean, my wife and I both have siblings who had kids, and we both had parents, but where was the friggin' manual? I DON'T KNOW HOW THIS THING WORKS!

I am firmly convinced that every parent should be sent home with:
1. the aformentioned car set, solidly installed
2. some form of manual (I'm guessing the abridged version, as per your comment), perhaps a list of links, ooh, another project I don't have time for but would make me a fortune.
3. TiVO. A must have for every new tv-junkie parent.

Archie said...

Great blog you've got here - glad to hear everything came out alright!

jennifergg said...

Wow! Glad she's okay!

Kim Ayres said...

Brave Astronaut - if only we could download the appropriate behaviour into them...

Archie - welcome to my ramblings and thank you for taking the time to comment!

Jennifer - she's made of stern stuff

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