As we walked down the driveway--the dog tied to my waist, Chickie and Zoodle in the stroller--Chickie cried, "Oh, no, my treasure!"
Figuring she'd dropped it, I said, "You'll have to find it when we get home, Chickie."
She began to cry. "It's stuck in my nose!"
Oh, no. Not again.
I stopped the stroller, grabbed a tissue, and instructed her, "Blow! Blow it out!" She tried, but the treasure did not emerge, and her frightened nasal inhaling certainly wasn't helping the matter.
"Okay," I told her, turning the stroller around and walking back up the driveway, "we'll have to go to the hospital."
Immediately, Chickie panicked. "No, Mommy!" she protested. "I didn't put it in my nose! I dropped it! I dropped it!"
As quickly as I could, I took Chickie out of the stroller and deposited her inside, where she continued to sob and to scream her insistence that she'd dropped the treasure; it wasn't in her nose. I put the dog in his crate, where he was not thrilled to lose his walk (that's his "treasure"), and I put Zoodle in his car seat.
Next, I called The Engineer at his desk. When there was no answer, I called the receptionist. "Hi, Susan," I said. "It's Beth. I need to talk to The Engineer--it's an emergency." She quickly and calmly told me she would get him, and soon I was explaining the situation to him. He agreed to meet us at the ER.
Meanwhile, Chickie's screams continued, and she was running around the living room, determined that her short little legs could go fast enough to avoid me. I could tell that wrestling her into the car seat, and then into the hospital, was going to be difficult without a good, strong tranquilizer, and wouldn't you know it--I was fresh out of darts. Add a baby into the mix, and the task was sure to be nearly impossible. So I decided to take Zoodle over to a neighbor's house.
I rushed toward the garage to retrieve Zoodle, and suddenly from the living room I heard a much calmer Chickie voice proclaim, "Mommy! My treasure came out of my nose!"
And there it was, a little red bead, in her hand (and very soon thereafter in the trash.) My whole body filled with relief.
Immediately, I called The Engineer's office again. "Hi, Susan," I said. "Can you tell The Engineer not to leave? The bead came out."
Oh, apparently he hadn't filled her in on the details of his family emergency. "The bead came out of Chickie's nose."
So the receptionist got a story to tell at dinnertime; the dog got his walk; I got to avoid yet another nose-related ER bill, and Chickie--hopefully--got rid of all desire to be so nosey.