Family Health

The One Where the Two Year Old Put a Bean Up His Nose


So, another ER visit for the Morgan family. Woo hoo!

This isn’t even one of those helpful blog posts where I tell you all sorts of special medical stuff because EVERYONE knows not to let your toddler put beans up his/her nose. I did not win at parenting yesterday. So consider this something like a photo essay on the joy of paying a huge co-pay for a bean. A bean!!!!!

This all happened because we used to have a rice and pinto bean mix that the kids had in a sensory table. It was a huge hit and they loved it…

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…but then Calvin developed a habit of putting things up his nose and we had to toss all of the beans out. We also had to remove erasers, puff balls, small foam stickers, buttons, Barbie accessories, etc.

He finally broke the habit and we’ve been letting him use the occasional nostril-sized object. Or, we thought he’d broken the habit. Blah.


Kyle noticed that Calvin kept saying his face hurt but he wouldn’t tell us why and then I looked into his nose and saw a something that was not supposed to be there. So Kyle held him down and we used an aspirator and saline solution and a pair of tweezers, but eventually we got to the point where (A) the screaming had us worried someone would call the cops and (B) I didn’t actually know if I was pulling it out or pushing it farther in.

So, I took him to the ER. It was almost an Insta-Care situation but I was afraid he was going to choke…I don’t know. I hate making that call and I feel like I have to make it all the freaking time. WHY ARE WE IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM SO OFTEN, UNIVERSE? NOT FUNNY.


We waited for a couple of hours, which is sort of a bummer but always serves as a reminder that we are the healthiest/luckiest people in the ER if we aren’t making the top of anyone’s to-do list. Finally, the nurse and the doctor came in.

Side note: Calvin is a surprisingly agreeable kid despite being the most mischievous person I’ve ever met. He has his two-year-old moments but on the whole he doesn’t freak out about strangers and he’s generally pretty polite. So I wasn’t surprised when he cheerfully allowed them to swaddle him until he was immobile. They were surprised though and told each other this was going to be easy because he was being so cooperative.


Not so much.


There was kicking and head whipping and eventually I had to help the nurse hold him down so the doctor could get a Foley catheter up and inflate it to pull the bean out. It was a pinto bean, leftover from our sensory table days, and I did get a mini-lecture from the doctor about how that’s not an appropriate plaything for a two year old which I KNOW but couldn’t really be defensive about because…yeah…not winning.

The amazing thing is that we put the rice and beans table away a year ago and somehow that bean survived the clean up and all subsequent clean ups and Calvin was the one that found it and he must have immediately shoved it up his nose. That’s a Christmas miracle right there.

It’s been tossed and we are again a bean-free house, but Eva made a sign for their room just in case:


If you can’t read Eva-ese, it says “Don’t put ‘eans in your nose” and that’s a picture of sad Calvin with a knife hovering in front of him because she thought they were going to cut his nose to get the bean out.

As for the bean, Calvin was too terrified of it when it finally came out to let me take a photo. To be fair, apparently it went in dry but grew as it got soggier (ew ew ew) and it was actually stretching his little nose to the limit so it was probably pretty painful. To give you the visual, I snuck in while he was sleeping:


Ew, right? So don’t let your kid put beans up his nose. And now you know.

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