This apple definitely did not keep the doctor away

Do you want to know six words that will make a rainy afternoon more exciting? Try hearing your daughter say, “There’s an apple up my nose.”

Fire the nanny! Oh, wait, that’s me …

The first thing I did was call the doctor. I didn’t freak out until the receptionist asked me to be put on hold.

“No! I won’t be on hold!” I shouted.

The poor lady’s ear must have been bleeding, but I wanted immediate instructions. My daughter wasn’t turning blue, but she was really scared.

Five minutes later, we were driving to the ER at Swedish Edmonds.

“Have you tried an angel kiss?” they asked me in triage.

No, I hadn’t, but divine intervention sounded like a good idea.

What happened next was pretty traumatic. I had to pinch one side of my daughter’s nose and blow into her mouth. The hope was that the apple would pop out on its own.

Unfortunately, all that came out was snot.

Plus my daughter started screaming, “I don’t like that kiss!” at the top of her lungs.

Probably the people who heard us in the waiting room were getting the wrong idea.

That’s when the physician’s assistant mentioned “the alligator tool.”

My preschooler may be just 3 years old, but she’s not stupid (unless there’s fresh produce involved). The possibility of an alligator going up her nose was enough to make her focus.

We all took a deep breath and tried again. This time my daughter did her own blowing. After a lot of huffing and puffing, a gooey bit of apple fell into my hand.

That sounds gross but it could have been a lot worse. Before we left, the PA gave my daughter a stern lecture about places in your body where you shouldn’t put things, including your nose, ears and rear end. Then he looked at me and said, “Questions.”

Uh-oh. I didn’t know how I was going to answer any questions. How dare I unload the dishwasher instead of watch my child eat? Where’s the supervision in our house? Go ahead and label me “Worst Mother of the Year” right now.

But actually, the PA was just wondering if I had any questions for him, not the other way around. Then he gave me a discharge paper that was titled, “Foreign Body — Nose.” I’m thinking of saving that for my daughter’s baby book.

The real question, of course, is why did my daughter put an apple up her nose in the first place? She still claims it was “an accident.”

Um … I’m pretty sure that you don’t accidentally get an apple stuck up your nose, just like 16-year-olds don’t accidentally get pregnant.

There’s implantation involved either way.

Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at

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