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The Incredible Baby Trick Only My Nanny Knows

Hazel's eyes

6 month old Hazel winks her poppy-seed-free baby eyes

A few weeks ago, I quit my full-time magazine job in order to go freelance, partly because I wanted to see my 6 month old more. But then I said yes to all the freelance work that came my way, so I have pretty much been slogging away nonstop in my home office all day and into the night. Still, my nanny, V, and I are having to adjust to the fact that I’m in the apartment while she’s looking after my baby. I kind of feel like I’m invading her turf (I know if I were a caregiver I’d think it was a big drag if the baby’s mother were present the whole time). Not surprisingly, V has been spending a lot of time down in our building’s basement play room and just bringing Hazel up to nurse.

As far as babysitters go, V is amazing. Hazel always lights up when she sees her. And now that I’m home more, I’ve been able to witness some impressive feats of nanny power. One trick stands out in particular.

Last week, I was gazing adoringly into Hazel’s cute baby eyes as she nursed, when I noticed that a black thing was floating around in her lower lid. It was about the size of a small poppy seed. Okay, it might have been an actual poppy seed, because I admit I had eaten an “everything” bagel that morning while she was breastfeeding. (It happens, right? Or am I a terrible mother?)

I had some saline eye wash in my closet, so I got it out and squirted it into my baby’s eye. Hazel screamed and writhed, and although the object moved around a bit, it didn’t come out. I wanted to avoid sticking my finger in her eye and possibly blinding her, so I sprayed more saline eye wash as Hazel thrashed around, crying. I thought, “Are we going to end up in the emergency room?” That’s when V stepped in.

Guess what she did?

She blew the seed out. You read it right: My nanny blew a poppy seed right out of my baby’s eye. In one quick, spit-free blast. Kind of like when you go to the eye doctor and get that glaucoma test with a puff of air. It was that fast.

Hazel immediately stopped crying, and I put down the eye wash. V wiped my baby’s face, then headed back down to the play room.

Guess I still have a lot to learn.

More Posts From Esther:

How We Got the Baby to Sleep Thru the Night

My Baby Wants an iPhone

Does My Cesarean Really Count as ‘Giving Birth?

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