My wife left town for a few days to visit some friends in the far away land of Austin, TX. I stayed behind to man the fortress with our 6 kids (ages 6, 4, 4, 2, 2, and 1 at the time) (that’s right). Saturday night we go through the normal bedtime routine: read Bible stories, say prayers, get tucked into bed. Approximately thirty minutes post-routine I hear one of my 4y/o daughters crying. I go into her room to check on her.

She is sitting up in her bed, eyes half closed: “Daddy, there’s a flower in my nose.” I laugh a little at her funny dream and ask her, “How did a flower get in your nose?” Her: “The wand got it in there.”

Me: “So a magical nasal flower wand implanted a flower in your nose.”

Her: (confused stare)

Me: “Where is the magic wand now?”

Her: “In the drawer in the playroom.”

Me: “Let’s go back to sleep. I’ll look and see if there is a flower in your nose.”

I then proceed to perform a fake nasal flower extraction when I notice that her nose is red and bleeding a little.

Crap. Surely there isn’t actually a flower in her nose, right? I take her into the bathroom to look with a flashlight. Sure enough, at the very back of her nasal passage I can see the edge of something shiny. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Me: “Did you shove a flower wand up your nose?!”

Her: “Yes.”

Me: “WHY?”

Her: “I don’t know.”

After numerous attempts at nose blowing, I figure that my best option is to attempt to extract this shiny object with some tweezers. Otherwise, I will likely be waking all of the kids and loading them up for a fun-filled adventure to the emergency room. No tweezers to be found. So, I head to the neighbor’s house to ask if I can borrow some tweezers—not a cup of sugar or some eggs—no, no…a pair of tweezers to pluck a flower out of my daughter’s nose. After successfully borrowing tweezers, I attempt the floral extraction. No luck. The flower is too far back in there.

I decide to carry my daughter with me to the neighbor’s house to see if they would be so kind as to watch the kids while I embark on an undoubtedly lengthy ER adventure. We decide to take one last stab at it. The three of us stand there—one of us with a flashlight, one holding the nose open, and one of us wielding the tweezers—playing a disturbing real life version of the game Operation.

Finally, my daughter (after numerous attempts) blows her nose enough to move the object into tweezer range. I pull out a shiny metallic flower—a little larger than the head of an eraser. There was much rejoicing.

The moral of the story: avoid magical-nasal-flower-wands at all cost. They are horrible toys.