I want to introduce you to a good friend of mine. Goes by the handle of Nubby Nosesucker. That’s not his real name, of course; nobody knows his real name. But we’ve had some pretty good times together. Like a modern day Bonnie and Clyde, we’ve robbed more booger banks in the last two years than I can count, honed our skill. And now we’d like to share some things we’ve learned.
First of all, nosesucking (or aspirating the nasal cavity, if you prefer) is all about swagger. It’s about owning the boogers. Taking what’s rightfully yours, if you were the Robin Hood of Snotsley. You’ve got to be confident, and go in with purpose, steely resolve. Like a proper wiping, there’s no place here for hesitation or daintiness. This is a heist. Hit them before they know what’s even happening, then disappear with your booty. For this caper you will need:
1. A nasal aspirator. Preferably a new one. I’m all about re-using and recycling, but I have my limits.
2. A tissue or rag in which to stow and transport your goods.
3. A bit of saliva applied to the tip; really helps in dislodging some of the crustier barnacles adorning your baby’s inner passage.
Ready? Now, follow these steps:
1. The number one rule of nosesucking is there is no nosesucking. Practice your ninja stealth, blending with your environment. Camouflage and subterfuge help. Your baby is on a need to know basis, and the less they know, the better.
2. Aim! Yes, there is usually snot straight up in there, but there are also frequently hangers-on on the sides of the nostrils. Scout the terrain, locate potential targets instead of just going in and firing blindly.
3. Remember to squeeze the aspirator first. Now that you’ve acquired your target, go in guns blazing. This is not a wig-wearing, note-sliding robbery. This is a give-me-all-your-booger-and-no-one-get-hurt kind of deal.
4. Suck and sweep. You can maximize your efficiency by combining an extra sweep of the side on your way out. It’s all in the wrist.
5. Re-direct. Your baby will most definitely cry. Every time. Never easy to listen to, but he/she is not in pain, despite what those tears tell you. Hold them, sing, give them a toy, some tummy time, a bouncy song. Anything to take their minds off what just happened.
I compare this to burping Bub when he was brand new. He was born early, so we went to the hospital to hang out with him. We would feed him, and the nurses would tell me to burp him. I thought every little exhale was a burp. Great success, I was a natural! But of course I was barely tapping him, afraid he might break, not even getting close to an actual burp.
Same thing with aspirating at first—I used to go in soft, afraid I might poke him in the brain. Of course this is not possible, and you’re not hurting anyone. It’s not fun, it’s not glamorous, it’s pretty gross—but you’re doing the right thing.