My 4-year-old son, who has an impressive built-in radar for noticing fun being had by others, jumped on my back and demanded a “horsey ride.” (I feel more like a hippopotamus right now, but that’s another story we’re working on.)
My baby laughed again. (Side note: I swear baby laughter could remedy most of life’s woes if people just allowed it to soak into their souls for a few minutes. I’m getting to the part of the story that details an exception to this rule…)
My sweet little son then did what comes natural to younger generations. He shoved his finger up a nose. Unfortunately, it was my nose, not his. At this point, I had one rider in the imaginary saddle on my back and one tiny, destructive thumb jammed in my nasal cavity.
It was a sweet Norman Rockwell moment … well, until I realized that Baby Jack missed his last manicure appointment and apparently is related to Freddy Krueger and/or that lady in the Guinness Book of World Records who hasn’t trimmed her nails since sticking a finger up her dad’s nostril while he was giving impromptu horsey rides in the home office.
My wife happened to be in the room documenting the sequence with her smartphone camera, you know, just in case she gets a Groupon to make a cheap, but awesome, photo album to possibly give as a family Christmas present. And, really, if it’s A) cheap, and B) gets me out of me having to shop for Christmas presents (yeah, right) then I’m all for it.
Excruciating pain makes my memory get a bit fuzzy, but the ensuing conversation went something like this:
Daddy Horse (aka The Stallion): OWWWWW!!! MY NOSE!!!
Mom (Family Photographer): Don’t move! This is a perfect picture!
Baby Jack (Nostril Enemy No. 1): Geeehehehahoobwaahahaaagoogooheehee!!!!
Aidan (Kentucky Derby Jockey Wannabe): Faster, Dad!
Mom: I said, ‘DON’T MOVE!’
Sydney (Kentucky Derby Jockey Wannabe II): Can I have a ride?
Aidan: Dad, Sydney’s trying to knock me off of your back!!
Mom: Hold still!
The Stallion: OWWWWW!!! MY NOSE!!!
Baby Jack: Geeehehehahoobwaahahaaagoogooheehee!!!!
After removing Baby Jack’s razor blade of a finger from my middle turbinate, possibly the superior turbinate, I then assessed the damage in my nose while, and this part is impressive, giving two wiggly passengers a horsey ride, not retaliating against my face’s new enemy and striking poses that provided Instagram-worthy moments for my wife. (Don’t tell our family. The photos are their Christmas presents, assuming that Groupon shows up in her inbox before December.)
WebMD.com claims that human bodies have about five liters of blood in them, and at least four liters of plasma and platelets was rushing out of my nose at the moment. I hadn’t seen that much blood since I was in our church gym (for a basketball game, not a Red Cross blood drive).
Well, that might be a slight exaggeration, but there was enough blood on my finger to get photo documentation. (The boys in my family will enjoy that part of the Christmas photo album, especially when I tell them how I single-handedly hospitalized 17 Ninja-like thugs trying to steal an old lady’s purse and all they did was barely even bloody up my nose. But don’t tell them. We don’t want to ruin any Christmas surprises.)
The horsey riders wanted their money’s worth, so we put a tissue up my nose to ensure that I wouldn’t completely bleed out, and the ride continued. This time, Baby Jack was more interested in yanking the tissue out of my wounded nostril and trying to put it in his mouth, of course, than shoving any more of his claw-like cuticles into the darkest regions of my nose.
Morals of the story?
1. Soak up every “Geeehehehahoobwaahahaaagoogooheehee!!!!” your kids give you.
2. Never say no to giving horsey rides.
3. Don’t move when Mom is trying to capture Instagram/Christmas album moments.
4. Don’t let Mom take photos that show how much hair you’re really losing.
5. Sometimes being a fun father can hurt.
6. Wear a face mask when crawling around Baby Jack.