Plan: a nice quiet Friday night

...and now: the reality of Friday night:

4:00 p.m. Liam, lying flat on his back in our pebble pit under the swings: "Mom, I'm a seal!" Me: "Oh..."

4:15 p.m. Liam, calling out from under the climbing wall: "Mom, can you get this out?" Me, used to having to remove big boogers: "What is it? Do you need a Kleenex?" Liam: "It's a rock booger." Me: "Really? Liam, with a big grin, nods his head. Me: "Will, need your flashlight!" Me, after confirming rock booger: "Why did you put a rock up your nose?" Liam, with a big grin: "I'm a seal!" Me, confused.

4:25 Me, after being unable to find a small crochet hook: "OK, everyone in the car!" Will: "We're going to Dr. Mueller's for a lollipop!" Me: "No, Dr. Mueller is gone for the day. We're going to the hospital to have the rock removed from Liam's nose." Liam: "I want to go see Dr. Mueller!" Me: "Sorry honey, we're going the emergency room and Dr. Mueller will not be there, neither will her lollipops."

4:30 On the way to the hospital, following the directions on the GPS. I had pre-programmed the hospital as a favorite a few months ago.

A sampling of Will & Liam's chat, while I'm trying to control a big case of giggles in the front seat, listening to this exhange: Will: "So, Liam, why did you put a rock up your nose?" Liam: "I'm a seal." Will: "I put a peanut up my nose one time, but Mom got it out. I didn't have to go to the hospital." Liam: "Do you have a peanut up your nose now, Will?" Will: "No, I never did that again. And you shouldn't put a rock up your nose again, Liam." Liam: "Oh."

4:45 Arrive at ER. On a scale of 1 - 5, 1 being trauma, we are judged as a 4. (Liam was quite normal, breathing just fine.) Watched Nemo 1 1/2 times in the children's waiting area, Purelling like mad.

6:30 p.m. Bill rescues Will from the boredom and takes him home for dinner.

7:20 Nurse,in the exam room: "Liam, why are you here?" Liam, suffering post-traumatic stress from the flu shot earlier in the week: "Don't hurt me! No band-aids!" Nurse exits.

7:25 Me, with a sudden thought: "Liam, there is just one rock in your nose, right?" Liam, looking at me out of the corners of his eyes: "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, Mom!" Me: "Liam, how many really? Just one?" Liam, with that grin of his: "Two Mom." Me: "REALLY?" Liam, nods and holds two fingers up.

7:30 Liam, finding the call button: "What's this Mom?" Me: "That's how you call the nurse." Liam, talks into the call button: "I need a nurse... I said, I need a nurse!... Did it work Mom?" Me, hardly able to control myself at this point: "I don't know. Maybe you need to call the doctor." Liam, again talking into the call button: "Doctor, I need a nurse!"

7:35 Doctor: "Liam, what happened?" Liam: "I put a rock in my nose." Doctor: "Why did you do that?" Liam: "I'm a seal." Me: "When he was a dog last spring, I did the Heimlich maneuver to get the rocks out of his throat." Doctor: "Ohhhh.... this procedure should be less traumatic. Let's have a look Liam." Liam obediently tipped his head back. Doctor: "Liam, you have a rock in your nose." Liam proudly nodded.

7:40 Liam, with his Superman cape on, (a very clever straight-jacket of sorts: pillowcase behind him with both arms inside so that when he was on the bed he couldn't move his arms) Doctor, starting procedure: "You're doing great Liam. We're going to take that rock out now." After a little work with the big tweezers, and a little yelling from Liam, a rock came out. (I wouldn't have gotten it with my crochet hook.) Doctor, taking his head light off: "It's out Liam." Me: "I think you should take another look, just to make sure there aren't two." Doctor, putting his light back on: "Oh yeah, that's right." Liam, hearing me and seeing the light come back on, "There's only one, Mom! MOM, THERE'S ONLY ONE!" Doctor, taking his head light off: "You're right, Liam. Only one."

8:00 ...back home, finally, the beginning of a nice quiet Friday night