The little guy has been sick for a few weeks now, going from viral infection with a rash, to a cold, followed by another cold. This current cold leaves him really snotty in the nose and throat, and he is coughing a lot.
It breaks your heart to see a little one crying and uncomfortable. It breaks your heart even more if you are the one making him cry, even if you are doing something that is what is best for him.
In this case, I am referring to cleaning out his nose. We use a näsfrida, a Swedish invention (of course!) that you suck out the nose of the baby using your own sucking power. It basically replaces a “bulb,” and it can be used as a more wholistic approach to clearing a little one’s nose instead of using sprays or medicines.
The thing is, my wife can’t do it. She knows the little guy hates it when we “suck out his nose” (but then he’s happy immediately after it), so she makes me do it while she holds him steady.
By this point now that he is a little bit older, he is starting to really struggle whenever he sees the näsfrida. And that comes with crying. Loudly and a lot. And that means he is freaking out like this because of me, and because of something I am doing. Then it’s over and he’s safely in his mom’s arms.
Tonight I had enough of that. Why do I have to be the one who does this? Why is it ok that I have to make him so unhappy? I just hate causing that kind of terror for him and I don’t want him to build a negative view of me for any reason – but if I have to be the one, then at least he can be comforted by me too, not “released” after I am done to his mom. So if I’m doing this “suck out the nose” thing always then I will also pick him up and calm him down.
Alternatively my wife can also do the dirty work on this, or we can start using medicines or saline sprays to clear his nose. There are a lot of comforting and safe things that I do as his father – let’s let those things be what he experiences more than others.