By Paige Tucker


One Friday night, Julia Reynolds was lying next to me in our bed to fall asleep as we were heading into the weekend. She drifted off snuggled close to me and I was enjoying every minute of her cuddles, but then I started smelling something less than pleasant coming from around my sweet angel’s face.

  I was sniffing all around her head and face to figure out where the smell was coming from. Surely a toddler’s breath cannot be this bad, I thought, but I made a mental note to crack down on our teeth brushing the next day.

  The smell continued over the weekend and then she had some nosebleeds seemingly out of the blue. We realized she must be battling a sinus infection that went quickly from zero to 60.

  Smack dab in the middle of this epic flu season we’ve had, I was desperate to avoid the doctor’s office at all costs! I called the doctor, hoping to get a prescription called in for an antibiotic. The only symptoms Julia Reynolds had were a runny nose and…that smell. It had gotten bad. I’ve had some sinus infections in my life, but never do I remember one with such an offensive smell accompanying it.

  When I rattled off her symptoms, the doctor immediately said she quite possibly stuck something up her nose. What?! I was thinking no way! I was positive Julia Reynolds would’ve told on herself had she shoved something up there.

  The next day my husband ran into a pediatrician friend and recounted what we’d been dealing with. Her initial reaction? Sounds like there’s something stuck up her nose.

  So this is a thing. I didn’t know this was a thing. Did you know this was a thing?

  We loaded up for the doctor’s office and braved the waiting room for our appointment. At that point, I’d used a flashlight and obsessively googled the issue and was now certain this was no sinus infection.

  I was fully expecting an acorn or a rock from my avid collector. I asked her many, many times if anything had gotten stuck in her nose and she kept telling me no.

  A quick exam with the doctor, and Voilà! Not a pebble, but she did indeed have a large wad of tissue nestled into her nostril. It wasn’t pretty to see but the fix was instant. You could see the relief wash over her as the doctor removed the offending Kleenex. My sweet girl’s face looked like those videos you see of children who get glasses or hearing aids and then see or hear for the first time. She probably had been more miserable than she let on with the pressure that tissue was causing… and mercy me, if she was smelling what we were smelling?! No wonder it was such sweet relief!

  When I told her teacher, she immediately told me her son had done the exact same thing at that age with a ball! And she said she’ll never forget the smell.

  The doctor says they see everything from balls, to Legos, to marbles. But the telltale symptom is always a foul smell.

  Who knew?? Parenting is often like that. Just when you think you’ve got everything figured out, especially with babies, something changes.

  The surprises, hiccups or call them what you will, don’t seem to come as quickly as children get a little older, but still, it’s not uncommon to find yourself well-versed in a subject you knew nothing about just the day before. Thankfully, everybody “nose” how to keep up with all the curve balls – G O O G L E!!! 

After twelve years in local news, most recently as evening anchor of NBC 26, Paige Tucker is now a work-at-home mom and freelance journalist. She produces two series for NBC 26 TV, First Responders and 26 Women Today, and you can see those stories on Tuesday nights. Paige and her husband have one daughter, Julia Reynolds, who is three years old.

This article appears in the March 2018 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
Did you like what you read here?