“Mommy, I need to go to the doctor,” Ashley very emphatically informed me as we were brushing her teeth one night.
Ashley has recently decided the doctor’s office is a fun place to go and frequently comes up with reasons she “needs” to go. I expected the usual “I’ve got a bad cough” (which she doesn’t have) or “my tummy hurts” (which seems to be her generic reason for why she can’t eat, go to bed, get dressed or any number of other things). So I was a bit puzzled when she replied “because I’ve got fuzzies in my nose.”
“You’ve got what?” I asked, knowing I was in for one of those explanations that only preschoolers can come up with.
“I’ve got Melvin’s yellow fuzzies in my nose.” (Melvin being one of the children she attends daycare with .) My inquiry as to exactly what yellow fuzzies are and how she got them in her nose prompted a sigh and a look that implied I should somehow already know this. But she patiently – and ever so slowly – replied, “Melvin’s yellow fuzzies from his car seat. I put them in my nose. And now I need to go to the doctor.”
I asked a few more questions, but still couldn’t determine exactly what a “yellow fuzzy” might be, but I did look at her nose, which appeared to be fine. As we left the bathroom, I told her that since it was bedtime, she was going to bed and we’d talk about the yellow fuzzies and her nose in the morning.
“But, Mommy, I really need to go to the doctor,” she persisted. As we walked out of the bathroom, I told her that as long as she was breathing okay and her nose wasn’t swollen, we weren’t making a trip to the emergency room. Andy heard this remark and asked what was going on.
Ashley, deciding that her father might be a more sympathetic audience than I had been, hurried over to him and said, “I’ve got Melvin’s yellow fuzzies in my nose.” Andy looked at me for clarification. I shrugged, “Who knows? She’s four. She seems okay to me.”
Ashley, however, still believed she could convince Andy of the seriousness of her plight and repeated her story to him. The combination of her earnestness in telling her tale and the description of “Melvin’s yellow fuzzies from his car seat,” left both Andy and I laughing hysterically. Ashley gave us both a look that suggested she thought we were pretty useless as parents and walked to me, looked me in the eye and very seriously said, “Mommy, you need to call my doctor. Dr. Williamson. He’ll know what to do.”
I tried to reassure Ashley that she was fine and that we’d evaluate the need for a doctor’s visit tomorrow – even as thoughts about how I might try to explain the situation to the doctor made it difficult for me to control my laughter.
Thankfully, Ashley has a pretty strong self image and isn’t easily hurt or intimidated. After a few minutes, she just looked from her father to me, sighed again, and, in a tone I suspect she’s heard me use before, said “I think I need to go to bed and get some rest. “
After she was settled in bed and I was back downstairs finishing up the day’s chores, I felt a little bad. After all, she had been so very serious, and her father and I had been so very amused. Ashley is often a funny child – as with most preschoolers, it’s sometimes hard to know exactly how her little brain works. But usually her silliness is at least somewhat intended. I hoped she took our laughing in stride.
I did make sure to check in with her first thing the next morning as I was still feeling a little guilty. She just shrugged and said “I don’t think I need to go to the doctor. My nose feels fine. The yellow fuzzies went away on their own.” (Whew, what a relief! – Especially since I still don’t know exactly what yellow fuzzies are!)