We had a birthday in the house this week. A fourth one for the youngest member of the Green family, and as I put her down to bed on her last day of being a 3-year old, I reflected on the saying, "The days are long, but the years are short".

Because it did feel like just the blink of an eye ago that we were welcoming her into the world. However, in my time as a parent there have also been days, and even hours (particularly from 6 till 8pm), that felt like a lifetime.

Such as the day we were gearing up to go on holiday, the quiet frustration of trying to load the car while tripping over tiny people, who just so happened to be starving at that very moment, when they hadn't wanted breakfast a half hour ago.

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"Dad," said one of the tiny people.

"Is it important?" I questioned, knowing full well whatever it was would be important enough for the conversation to continue.

"I've got a mint stuck in my nose . . ."

"A what, where?" came my somewhat amazed and slightly worried response.

"A MINT stuck in my NOSE."

Sure enough, that's what it was, and no amount of home surgery would get that mint to budge.

Off to the doctors, we went. "Why did you put a mint in your nose?" I asked in frustration, sighing as we sped toward the surgery.

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"Well . . . I wanted to see if it would fit." Oh. Of course. I should have guessed.

The minutes felt like hours as our appointment time came and went, the dream of arriving at our holiday destination this side of midnight slowly fading, somewhat like my patience.

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, an almighty sneeze rang out, and with a look of amazement, the mint stuffer raised her tiny hands toward me, lifting the slimy, minty ball like Mufasa proudly displaying Simba to the pride lands. "Oh, it's out, Dad."

A mixture of relief and "why couldn't this have happened at home before this nightmare played out" washed over me, and after a quick explanation, we were back in the car, only three hours later than anticipated.

Yes, the years are short and they'll go by in the blink of an eye, but a nostril and a mint can stretch a day (and a nose) out quite well!

• Don't miss Adam Green and Megan Banks (filling in for Sarah van der Kley) on The Hits Hawke's Bay from 6am to 9am, Monday to Friday