Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Purple Crayon in My Ear

The title got you hear, didn't it? Titles tend to do that. My favorite titleist is Tawna Fenske, who blogs with titles such as "My cat is a filthy pervert," "I don't know my brother's name," and most recently "The boys who live with me and pull my hair."

And this one is the title of my new book, a children's book. The inspiration for it, as you probably guess if you know me at all, is my 7-year-old son.

Oh, you won't believe the plans I had yesterday--the "I'm-going-to-get-everything-on-my-list-done" plans. I was already doing pretty well, too. I dropped off the kids at their schools, and had managed to buy ALL my groceries for the week in less than an hour, when my husband called my cell.

First clue something was up. Nobody calls my cell. But he did. His opening? "I'd tell you 'You're not going to believe this,' but we both know our son."

Crap. "What happened?" Seems my son is in the nurse's office, with a blue crayon in his ear. The pointy end of a blue crayon. Without even stopping to drop off the frozen foods, I head to his school.

Nurse #1 (yes, there will be more than one): "I took tweezers and tried to get at it, but it's too far in there."

Me: "Great." Then I turn to my son. "How did it get in there?"

Son: "How should I know?"

Excuse me?

Anyway, I call the doctor's office, then call my Zumba place and cancel the morning session. We get to the doctor's office.

Nurse #2: "A crayon, huh? How did it get in there?" My son does not detect her smile, but I do.

Son: "Some kids must have been playing with crayons, and one must have just flown into my ear." He acts amazed. Future actor, my son.

Nurse #2: "Oh, other kids, huh?" Wink. "You just stick to that story, okay?"

My son nods, and soon we are meeting with the doctor. A new doctor. First time he's ever seen my son, and my son has a crayon embedded in his ear.

Doctor #1 (Yes, there will be two of those, too.): "How long has the crayon been in his ear?"

Me: (After a glance at my son, who shrugs.) "I have no idea." Days? Weeks? Since birth?

Doctor #1: "How did it get in there?"

Son: "Some kids were sword fighting with crayons, and the tip of one broke off and flew right in my ear."

Doctor #1: "Huh."

Me: "You know, you're not in trouble. You don't have to lie."

Son: "I'm not lying!"

The doctor tries a fancy kind of ear tweezers, but can't get the crayon out. So, it's off to the ear, nose, and throat specialist, my son still maintaining his innocence throughout the hour-long drive in the car.

Nurse #3: "How'd the crayon get in your ear?"

Son: "I have NO idea! It's a mystery!"

I roll my eyes. I've been dealing with this for the last seven hours, and I've about had it. But we're taken into an office to wait, AGAIN. The ENT comes in, already grinning. He's seen this a million times before. Kids are in and out of his office all day, with popcorn kernels, beads, even sprouting bean seeds in their ears and nostrils.

Doctor #2: "How'd the crayon get in there?"

Son: "I put it there. I stuck the crayon in my ear, and it broke."

I have no idea what magic the doctor has pulled to make the truth happen. Maybe my son recognizes his BS won't fly here. But there it is, the truth. Then it's the doctor's turn to lie.

Doctor #2: "Lay your head that way. Let me just look here for a minute, so I can figure out how to get the thing out." Son lies quiet, while the doctor slips a metal loopy thing into his ear.

Son: "OW!" Starts crying. But blue crayon pops out. "You said you were just looking!"

Doctor #2: "Yup."

Turns out there are good reasons to lie. A bit of vacuuming (yes, vacuuming) of my son's ear, and all the little blue crayon pieces are out. And my son will NEVER put a crayon in his ear again. In fact, he will likely warn his whole class not to, every year until he graduates from high school. And I have a great idea for a children's book.

All in a day's work.


  1. I HATE days spent in medical facilities with an afflicted child.

    Good for you finding the silver lining.

  2. That is a FANTASTIC STORY!! Hahaha! And a good lesson...when I was in college, I thought my ear was infected and went to the scary college infirmary. The doctor looked in my ear, shook her head, stuck long tweezers in and yanked out a gross gob of waxy cotton. My ear bled, I fainted, and when I came to, I got a lecture about the proper use of Q-tips! Apparently I had been overzealous in my ear cleaning! At least your son learned his lesson early ;)!

  3. Yes, Stephanie. My son has all the interesting trips, too. Three concussions, etc. With my daughter, it's always pneumonia. (NOT so funny.)

    Elizabeth, I'm glad you liked the story! I've heard of your experience before. My FIL actually went to the doctor because he couldn't hear, and the doctor pulled a packed wad of ear wax out of both ears. It appears he'd been shoving wax INTO his ear all this time, also with Q-tips. I tend to use diluted vinegar in my ears instead... he said pulling out all that wax was pretty painful. And gross.

  4. Last year the same thing happened to me and i didn't like it either when the doctor finally got that annoying crayon out of my ear.