That Time We Vacuumed a Pea from the Baby’s Nose

Our day started with three Jehovah’s witnesses, two plumbers, and one dog in heat. That would have been enough for any normal family, but my overachieving 18-month-old decided to stuff some peas up her nose during dinner for extra excitement.

The shenanigans started while I was helping my husband clear the table. I picked up a plate and some silverware and took literally ten steps to the kitchen.

“Mama!” I could hear my six-year-old giggling from the dining room.

“I’ll be right back, Sweetie,” I responded. My husband was filling the dishwasher. “Dinner and dishes? I’m pretty lucky!” I said, smacking his rear end.

“Mama, you have to see this! Ash put a pea in her nose.”

“A what?” I sighed and rolled my eyes before handing him my plate. Then I turned and walked casually back to the table. I know my youngest daughter is a trouble-maker. She’s like a cat, cute but sneaky. My oldest, Rey, was stifling laughter with her hand when I arrived. The baby had a bright green pea protruding from her left nostril. I snorted. “Grab my phone babe, I need to document this,” I said, along with every other great parent when her child had gotten herself into trouble. My husband ‘carefully’ tossed me my phone before returning to the kitchen.


I snapped the photo, then pushed on her nostril, popping the pea out faster than one of those machines that pops out tennis balls.

“Taken care of,” I pretended to dust my hands.

“Wait Mama, there’s more!” my oldest shouted. She likes to exaggerate, as most kids do.

“I’ve told you before not to tell stories.”

“Mama, I mean it. Look! Look!” she jumped up, pointing and shrieking from the other side of the table. I decided to entertain her and peek. I reclined the high chair and peered up the baby’s nose to find yet another pea. It was within pinky-reach, so I quickly pulled it out.

“Well that’s enough fun for me,” I sighed and walked away, wondering if it was too early for a gigantic glass of wine.

“Mama, I think there’s another one,” my oldest had gotten up from her chair. She had one eye closed while pushing Ash’s nose up, stretching the nostrils wider for a better view. “I see something green!”

“Stop being silly,” I admonished. “It’s probably a booger.”

“No really, Momma! I’ll get Daddy’s flashlight.” She ran to the kitchen, came back with a tiny hand-held light. She shone it up the baby’s nose and there, tucked in the highest part of her nasal cavity, was another freaking pea. They were piled in her nose like lottery balls in the tube, only there wasn’t a prize to win.

“My dear God,” I whispered. “Only my child.” I pulled her out of her highchair and attempted to plug the pea-less nostril whilst blowing into her mouth to get it dislodged. Nothing. I used a nasal aspirator. Nope. That stupid little pea was stuck.

We put out a call on Facebook for tips on dislodging objects from body parts, because the people on Facebook are always right. Right? Not surprisingly, nothing helpful came of that, either.

“I don’t know what to do,” I said to my husband. “Maybe it will just fall out on its own?” After many trials, no luck, and a frustrated baby, I called it quits and put both kids in the tub.

A while later, my husband popped his head into the bathroom. “Do we have juice boxes and duct tape? I have an idea.” Good ideas don’t normally start with duct tape, but my husband is resourceful, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

“Check the kitchen,” I said, drying off the kids.

When I came out of the bathroom, he had duct taped a juice box straw to a sippy-cup lid and to, finally, the vacuum hose. “This is going to work. I know it,” he said.


“Wait. You want to vacuum the baby’s nose? Are you alright?”

“Yes and yes. You hold her down. Rey, you hold her arms and I’ll use the juice box straw to vacuum out the pea. Are we ready?”

“Oh boy,” I said. “I guess we don’t really have a choice.” I laid Ash on the bed, straddled her gently and held her face so she couldn’t move. Her cheeks were squished together like a little Cabbage Patch Doll. My eldest daughter held her arms firmly in place and my husband carefully put the tiny white straw in the end of her nose. I held my breath as the vacuum hummed, coming to life.

I bit my lip and squinted my eyes, praying that it would work. He slowly pulled the straw back, nanometer by nanometer. Time seemed to stop as more and more of the straw became visible. When the end of the white plastic was finally pulled from her nostril, I could see a tiny green pea stuck to the end. The three of us erupted in joyful hoots and hollers.

Kids do stupid stuff. All the time. And some of the stuff is stupider than other stuff. This, amazingly, sums up  what six years of parenting has taught me. So if anyone needs a vacuum attachment for removing small objects from children’s small body parts: noses, ears, etc., I have one and it works like a charm.

19 thoughts on “That Time We Vacuumed a Pea from the Baby’s Nose

  1. Heheheh I laughed when I first heard about this but laughed even harder reading this. Kids. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They certainly keep me busy with their antics 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. How on earth did I get my 3 daughters through their young years! I think most of the ‘pea up nose’ situations I chose to forget. But the vacuum idea, brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Like I said, it was all my husband.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I seriously hope I never have to deal with this but as of late my daughter seems super tempted to attempt similar stunts so at least now I have a plan of attack!! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. brockbuildersteel October 27, 2016 — 2:25 pm

    Lol’ Our Garden ‘Sprite’

    ‘Well at least they’re organic’ Lol’

    ‘Our Vacuum Cleaner moment… was…
    Hello Danielle, this was an enjoyable post of yours of which you shared an exciting and laudable time with your wee daughter and her father. Speaking upon my our own wee ‘Sprog’ and Sprites’ my dear daughter ‘Misty’ was at the time three and a half years old cut little girl, (now a grown woman with her own children. When she was still a wee little girl wearing her little blue denim ‘Oshkosh – Begosh’ Bib over-alls, and long sleeved tee shirt and wee ‘Red –baseball cap upon her head. She watches me and her mother exhaustingly search our entire home over and again’ for three days, we even did the parent to tot’ negotiation and even tried bribes, she had us by the parent berries’ and she knew it’ no keys meant we didn’t leave the house, and yet still we could not find the set of keys to the ignition of the Pickup truck.

    ‘This was her way of keeping Mommy and Daddy from leaving for work, or to the store, as she demanded all of every minute of our time spent together. Then upon the third day of not driving anywhere’ to include the lumber mill for my work, she still had that wee ‘hidden canary grin’ and sat upon the settee and watched us as we down zipped the tall bag compartment upon the upright vacuum cleaners and there in the bottom beside the dust collecting bag were the set of vehicle and house keys and over upon the settee was a smile n’ ‘little Misty’.

    Thanks for sharing your story Danielle. 🙂


  5. I know your pain. I had mine put a bead up their nose. One of those really big colorful beads you slide onto necklaces. Wish I had thought of this vaccuum idea with the straw. ER couldn’t do anything for us because they lacked the proper equipment. Ended up at the eye doctor because only they had the tools to dislodge/remove it. Horrible day hahaha seriously.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. OMG this is hysterical – great narrative hook and I love this line: “They were piled in her nose like lottery balls in the tube, only there wasn’t a prize to win.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! Wow, glad I made you laugh 🙂


  7. Wonderful account! Thank God I didn’t have the pea experience, but I can assure you I had others. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s just another one for the books. There’s another story I have about my first daughter claiming to put a bouncy ball in her you-know-where. That one ended with a cat scan…


  8. The lottery ball description – brilliant! I remember reading this on fb. You made it into a wonderful story, one to trot out when your daughter brings her first beau home!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on and commented:
    hahahaha. How could I resist reading a blog that starts with: “Our day started with three Jehovah’s witnesses, two plumbers, and one dog in heat” – the joys of kids….


  10. your husband should patent the idea……LOL I just laughed. the things kids stick up their noses.


  11. That was AWESOME! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for a wonderfully entertaining story with several laugh-out-loud moments. It only took the first paragraph to keep me reading to the end.

    Liked by 1 person

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