mocking stuff is bad karma

I really need to be more careful of what I openly deride as preposterous.

First, I made fun of the Hair Fairies, “Manhattan’s Head Lice Helpers,” whom you can hire to pick the lice out of your children’s hair for you.

But then my children got lice.

And so did I.

And I quickly reconsidered my position that such a company was a ridiculous idea. I mean it IS a ridiculous idea. But a wonderful one as well. (Raoul, I’m talking about you and your magic comb. Call me.)

Then, I thought it might be humorous if I shared with you all the grossness that is Nosefrida. For those of you who haven’t seen it in action, here it is:


Now, even the Nosefrida people have a sense of humor, since I cribbed this photo directly from their website, and they dubbed this photo “bad hair mom.jpeg.” Now that I look at her hair, I guess I wouldn’t call it “good.” But it is definitely not in the top ten things I would call “bad” about this photo, as I made clear about two months ago.


I believe it was Arnold Horshack who first said “Up Your Nose with a Rubber Hose,” but I do not think he meant it to be taken literally. Am I right about that, Arnold? You meant it as an insult of the most cutting sort, did you not? And here we have a baby, an INNOCENT CHILD, of indeterminate gender, being subjected to this procedure by HIS OR HER OWN MOTHER.

I have certainly not been incorrect in pointing out, in the past, that this thing is derisible in the extreme.

But Maddie has been fighting a cold. And great green ropes of mucus have been cascading from her nose.

And two days ago, her pediatrician, after examining her ears and declaring her “75% of the way to an ear infection,” turned to me and said: “Have you heard of the Nosefrida?”

I said I had.

How have you heard of it?” he asked, a little bit disappointed. “It’s very new in the States.”

“I, ah, read about it online,” I said, omitting the details that 1) I had in fact read words that I had written myself; and that 2) those words were “utterly and completely nasty.”

He wrote down the number of his preferred pharmacy. “They’re the only ones who stock it out here,” he said. “Make sure to tell them I sent you.”

I sent Maddie’s grandfather to fetch the Nosefrida, since going myself would have meant putting Maddie down, and she would have none of that. Plus, I needed time to steel my reserve that I was actually going to use this thing.

And then the Nosefrida arrived. I took Maddie upstairs to use it before I could change my mind. “Can I watch?” Cooper said. Needing moral support, I agreed to that. Which was a good thing, because in the end, I needed Cooper to lay his full weight across Maddie’s chest just to keep her from rolling away.

In the photo above, if you notice, the yellow-tunic’ed baby is not exactly happy with what is happening, but seems cooperative enough. I do not know how they managed to take that photo, because when I stuck the big plastic pen in Maddie’s nose and then sucked on the other end, she completely lost her mind. I mean I have *never* seen her this upset. And NOTHING CAME OUT.

I carefully read the instructions, while Maddie screamed, to make sure I wasn’t missing anything:

How to Use
Place the Nosefrida close to the nostril and apply suction. Apply again if not satisfied.

Well, I definitely “wasn’t satisfied,” but it is hard to put into words just how dissatisfied Maddie was with the whole operation.

How gross was it? In the end, not that gross, since it completely and totally does not work. After a few more tries, I got a few little boogs out yesterday, but the emotional costs for Maddie were definitely not worth it. So now that I’ve gotten to know the Nosefrida personally, I can say with authority: it’s not that gross, but that’s because it sucks. I think its new ad campaign should be

“The Original Nosefrida: When the Regular Old Nasal Bulb Aspirator Is Not Useless or Terrifying Enough.”

If Maddie needs further intervention, I’m going to hold some black pepper under her nose and let her sneeze a few times. Now THAT will do the trick.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Bittan August 20, 2008 at 8:23 am

You must not have used it right, it works so well. You have to wiggle it around, slurping (sorry) will be heard and snot WILL come out! I have prevented so many ear infections and sinus infections with this thing. Good luck!

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Ginger August 21, 2008 at 1:19 pm

ow…. I was thinking of getting one of these, my pediatrician said they work great too…. Hope I have better luck, it looks like such a simple concept right?

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Amy August 21, 2008 at 2:48 pm

Well, as you can see, there are other points of view on this thing. I do concede that there is perhaps a learning curve on this product, since I didn’t do much wiggling with it (I did hear a distinct slurping however). I will say that when my pediatrician asked how it was going, and I told him how unproductive and harrowing I found our entire Nosefrida experience, he said “Well. But then, when she starts to really cry afterward, stuff comes out, right?” So, as far as he was concerned, it works because it makes the baby so upset that they start spewing snot on their own once you stop, out of pity.

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Marketing Mama August 23, 2008 at 1:00 am

Hey – I just found your blog from the Motherwear breastfeeding blog. Loved watching your clip on there…

This product sounds hilarious, and so funny you ended up using it. My key to success with the blue bulby nose-sucker has been to close the other nostril, in order to create maximum suction. Seriously, you need to try that, either with this nosefrita thing, or with the blue bulb. Also if using the blue bulb you need to squeeze it before inserting into the nose, then just let go once it’s nicely lodged in there.

Um, yeah. hope that helps!

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