Ingesting Foreign Bodies and Other Matters

You are what you eat. That’s a great quote, though I never use it.  I had my daughter with Autism, I’ll call her Tori, at the Ear, Nose, Throat specialist today to check on the ear tubes. While waiting, I discovered an enchanting display of foreign bodies removed by the good Doctor. I laughed out loud once I realized what the collection was. You would think that with five children, at least one of them would have stuck something up their nose or in their ear, but no. (Knock on wood.) It brought to mind a recent conversation I had with Tori.

“I swallowed my bunny!”


“I swallowed my bunny!”

My mind raced. Did she have a rabbit figurine small enough to swallow? Wouldn’t the ears really really hurt on the way down? What should I do?

Then my number two boy, ‘Kevin’, said, “She swallowed her PENNY.”

Sigh of relief. “Oh, is that all? It’s okay, Tori. It’ll come out.”

What can I say? I’ve been doing this motherhood thing for fifteen years.

There were many coins in the Doctor’s display case. Also beads, popcorn kernels, TEETH, (hoping they were pulled out of the owner’s throat), pearls, jewelry findings, earring backs, unidentifiable masses and strange metal objects as well. I like it that Doctor has  a sense of humor. I also like it that so far, none of my children have had the bizarre notion to put something in their major crevices that wouldn’t also come out. Although, I do remember another conversation I had many years ago. I was in the bathroom finishing up after a lovely hot shower. I heard one of my older children yell frantically, “E has something in her nose! I tried to get it out, but I couldn’t!”

I toweled off even faster. Than a minute later, “Oh, I got it. It was a booger.”

Head against the cool tile. My life is so glamorous.

And finally, one last memory from the vault of motherhood’s funniest moments:

I’m shopping with my oldest, Dale, and it is just us two. The others haven’t come along yet. In his theatrical voice, meaning, loud enough to hear in the back row, he chimes, “There are three things on our bodies we can eat. Lips, boogers, no we don’t eat boogers, and fingernails.”

And lastly, here is an excerpt from a conversation I had with my brother-in-law, who is a respected physician in his own right.

“What happens if, hypothetically, a little child eats poop out of a toilet? Oh, and it’s not their own poop? Do they have to get their stomach pumped? No? Okay, good.”

You are what you eat.