Subject: Your Nose is Not a Pocket
Date: 10 Mar 1999 00:00:00 GMT
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mumthra)
Organization: RadixNet Internet Services
Newsgroups: alt.foot.fat-free, alt.slack
Spunky strives to teach Baby Bo everything she knows, but she forgot
to pass along the hard won lessons about the nose pockets. I ignored
it as another random Fruit Loop warning when Spunky tried to tell me
that the baby had a blue thing in her nose. Hours later I sighted it
myself. It was no Fruit Loop.
I held her upside down and examined her nose in the fading sunlight.
We debated the possibilities: was it a bead? an Evil Barbie shoe?
perhaps a pair of Evil Barbie shoes? maybe the cursed turquoise nose
bangle of the sniffly cat people?
Baby Bo is terribly strong now, and it didn't take much experimenting
to recognize that I couldn't extract the nose thing alone without
doing more damage. All the same, I pinned her down a few times and
tried to suck the thing out with a turkey baster, just to be sure that
expert nose plumbing help was warranted.
"Mmgwahba!!" she said.
I made the decision to take her to the nearest Emergency Room and
began to ready everyone for a special episode of Disrupted Dinnertime.
The Rev was trapped in an unusual technical bog and was going to miss
most of the action. "I'm sorry," he said, "but she picked a bad day to
stick a thing in her nose."
Complicated child care was eventually arranged, and throughout the
delivery drive, the big sisters argued. They argued about who was
louder and about who had the moon on her side of the car more often.
The moon fight wasn't even the dumbest argument they had all
The dumbest argument went something like this: "You hit my eye!"
"I didn't! I hit you like this!" *WHAP!*
I felt relieved to arrive at the emergency room with only Bo, and it
was an even greater relief to find our local ER is not hell on
earth--at least not at first glance.
The waiting rooms were fully upholstered in supposedly soothing
pastels, and either the shortest wall or the entire area was built as
a tribute to the memory of Herbert "Lefty" Goodeed. In essence, it
resembled part of a remodeled airport that served the clumsy more than
it looked like a bus depot after a bad wreck.
There were a dozen parties ahead of us, and a few of them were still
waiting to be assessed by the triage nurse when we arrived. A serious
case came in just after us, and as if by silent signal, the triage
nurse appeared to usher them past the Pesky Paperwork directly to
Medical Attention. I suppose he really did have "labored breathing" so
I didn't complain, but that doesn't mean I didn't MIND being knocked
down the triage tree.
When the nurse returned, she started to quiz each of us, presumably to
make sure that none of us believed that we were bleeding to death.
This nurse wasn't going to let anyone murmur their complaints
discretely: we were to announce them for everyone, and then let her
bark them back for accuracy.
"So you slipped in the SHOWER and got a Talking Ken doll lodged in
your RECTUM--is that right?" she would have said. "Why don't you give
us a peek real quick. Don't be embarrassed! You don't know any of
these people, do you?"
As it was, we had a little boy with a big splinter, a big boy with a
wrist on ice, a little girl with a forehead gash, and two men with
neck pain who were not traveling together, in fact, the men were the
only ones who didn't have a parent handy. Last of all, the nurse
looked at me and asked why I was there with Baby Bo.
"She stuck a thing in her nose," I said. Everyone laughed.
"She picked a bad night to stick a thing in her nose," said the nurse,
"What sort of thing is it?"
"A blue thing."
"Sign here," she said.
Signed in and committed, we began the official waiting period after
about a half an hour of waiting to wait. Bo couldn't be tempted to sit
in a chair, particularly with the chance to pound her sneakers on
shiny hall tiles, so she stomped all over the first floor of the
hospital. I followed her at a respectful distance, just to be sure
that she didn't hop an elevator or try to "scrub in" somewhere.
When she orbited back to the waiting area, she pulled herself up to
the bullet-proof admitting window and tried to interview the aides:
"Embweee? Hal-oh. Deebweh beedoo?" They ignored her for as long as
they could, but she was using her most forceful cuteness ray. Once
they said hello, she said goodbye and the orbit began anew.
Now I am accustomed to watching small children for long periods of
time, so this wasn't as hard for me as it would have been for a
one-legged aunt. Bo is a very entertaining little creature,
fortunately. Both of the times I became bored I was immediately
snatched into the clutches of panic, because whenever I became bored,
she would vanish. Thus, for every two hours of stomp-stomp-stomp and
exploration there were two seconds of pure parental terror. Typical.
The rest of our family appeared long enough for the girls to buy us
snacks and for the Rev to scare off a potential suitor. The guy simply
evaporated when the Rev loped into the room. It saved me some trouble,
I bet. I had just been wondering how hard up he would have had to be
to try to pick up a woman with a baby with a thing in its nose.
Finally, with snacks, Bo was ready to sit still for a little while and
watch "Melrose Place." I was deeply confused by "Melrose Place",
although she seemed to understand it perfectly. Haven't some of those
characters been twenty-five for fifteen years now? Does using the same
story lines over and over stop the aging process?
While I mulled on these things and Bo munched on her QUACKERS,
Splinter Boy's dad arrived. Splinter Boy lounged patiently with his
foot up as Mom tried to explain in hushed tones. Dad looked aghast.
Mom looked apologetic. Dad reached over and yanked the big splinter
out of his son's foot. Mom looked aghast. They left in a flurry of
I felt some sympathy for Splinter Mom, but I was envious too. Nobody
was going to swoop in and yank the thing out of Bo's nose. Maybe she
could have a cataclysmic sneeze...
Something was wrong. She had a little shiny object in her hand. As I
whooshed to her side and scooped her up, she began making spitting
noises. Something slammed solidly against the end table.
The SMELL hit me next. She blew huge, fruity, wet raspberries in my
face and exclaimed, "Bleh!" I studied the little glass bottle that
she'd thrown down. It was a container of concentrated sour apple air
freshener, half of the concentrate remained in it, and half was
apparently on or in my baby. Judging by her soaked and smelly sleeves,
most of it was there.
I wondered if a poisoning would speed our progress, but the air
freshener bath and gargle didn't have any detrimental effect--other
than transforming her from a cheerful and friendly angel of
destruction into an aroma terrorist. She continued her rounds, and
marched across the chairs crowing at her favorite patients.
Sometime during the *fourth* hour, she began to play pick up sticks
with our pretzels in the hallway. I knew I was getting tired when I
was compelled to explain to every passing stranger that my baby was
not actually eating off the floor.
She was getting comfortably familiar enough to let some of our fellow
wait mates hold her, briefly, and she even spoke on the phone with the
father of the Wrist Boy. Well, she didn't exactly *speak*, she just
sort of wafted her horribly fresh apple breath onto the receiver.
When our turn finally came, someone actually said, "I hope everything
comes out alright."
Bo and I wrestled in and out of a small examining room. I couldn't
quite believe that they would ever see us if I closed the door, and
she wouldn't stay if I left it open. It took her about one full minute
to climb down from a swivel chair and stomp out into the emergency
room corridor. We did that many, many times before she started to
wail. I held her, but she fought me and cried louder, so I grasped her
in a sort of livestock hold in the corridor until someone acknowledged
"Haven't you been seen?" a nurse asked.
"No," I said, moving toward her with what I hoped was an intimidating
speed, "We have not been seen. We have been here for over four hours
now, and if we can't get this thing out of her nose very soon, you'll
have to admit *me* for exhaustion. She has reached critical mass and
so have I."
That did it.
The lone doctor peered at her nose briefly, and announced that we
would need a larger space to work on her--for elbow room. Wisely, he
did not underestimate her thrashing abilities.
With difficulty, Bo was papoosed--strapped like a velcro mummy to a
miniature surfboard. One grubby little hand was left free for me to
hold while I talked to her. She didn't hear me, since she was busy
screaming and only stopped screaming long enough to get a big lung
full of air to scream some more.
The doctor focussed a big light on her nostril and approached it with
a thing that is best described as a nose funnel. The purpose of the
nose funnel, I think, is to gently stretch the nostril. It didn't seem
to do much for Bo, although it did make her nose look exceptionally
tiny. He tweezed at her twice before he pulled an impossibly large
blue bead out of her and showed it to us.
Driving home, at midnight, I reminded her that stuffing things in her
nose should be saved for emergencies or for situations where large
sums of money are at stake. I reminded her that under ordinary
conditions, her nose is not a pocket, even if she might be able to get
a billiard ball in there.