Subject: Your Nose is Not a Pocket

Date: 10 Mar 1999 00:00:00 GMT

From: nospamum@radix.net (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

afternoon.

 

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

whispers.

 

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

us.

 

"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.