Monday, March 19, 2007

Digging for Buggers

I know. I know. I'm still doing it.

If you had told me before I gave birth that I, an intelligent woman who speaks four languages and has a Masters Degree, would develop an obsession with cleaning out her child's nose, I would have laughed and vowed that I would never do such a thing.

But just a few months later, I find myself facing a profound inner struggle as I see my angel's air passages clogging up with the Paris pollution. I tell myself, no, I won't do it. No, I'm just going to leave him alone. The midwife told me that he clears out his nostrils by sneezing.

And then he'll sneeze, but the nose is still stuffed because the culprit is lodged in the front crevice of the opening. I had never known about, nor paid attention to, that huge shelf on the inside of our nostril where a whole lot of bugger could gather and hang out.

So, I made a game out of it. I made silly sounds and silly faces.

That didn't work.

The digging and the wails continued and the worst part was that I couldn't even get them out. They would dry up and cling all the more.

Then a light bulb went off in my dim head. If I couldn't get the hard substance out, then I just needed to soften it. No more digging into my child's dignity (I know, I know...I've said that before). Instead I figured if it is softer, maybe then he can sneeze it out.

I believe there is always a solution; you just have to be creative.

So, I took a cotton swab, dripped a small amount of almond oil on it, explained to the angel what I was going to do, gently inserted the swab into each nostril really controlling myself not to dig (Oh, the challenges of motherhood), did it without bringing forth any tears and then for good measure, I put the swabs into my own nose making sure the angel was watching.

Done. Now we just had to be patient to see what would happen.

Well, I didn't have to wait for long.

A few minutes later, the bub rubbed his face when he was overcome by sleep and to my very pleasant surprise (I never thought I would say that!), there on his upper lip was a very large, round, obstinate-that-makes-parents-into-obsessive-clean-freaks substance.



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