Feeble Knees

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A Month of Firsts

What's the old saw? "Bad things happen in threes?"

Or maybe it's supposed to be "good things happen in three?" I dunno. We've been walloped by a few of Bug's not-so-hot firsts in this order:

  • First Cold
  • First Tooth
  • First Ear Infection

This all started several weeks ago and culminated in the Baby Perfect Storm this week.

First he got the cold, presumably from the three-year-old child of a friend who came to visit us around the end of April. Three-year olds, I've discovered, have a great propensity for picking up every single object within a five mile radius just to infect them with their germs. This is especially true of baby toys, which, it turns out, are absolutely irresistible to older children when they have colds. Bug got sick the day after my friend and her child came to visit, and that whole first week was bad. Really bad. Unable-to-fall-asleep-with-stuffy-nose-bad. Waking-up-screaming-several-times-a-night bad. Every time I tried to nurse the poor little guy the congestion was so thick he'd make these loud snotty snorting sounds, and it made me want to punch my friend in the nose. (I am only a very little sorry for feeling this way; Jesus knows about it. We're working on it.)

Then, while suffering with said bad cold, Bug started really teething, like, "chomp down on anything and every thing with those little vise-grip jaws and drool buckets" kind of teething. Oh joy. If I could have, I would have had him on a continual drip of Infant's Tylenol. I dosed him every five hours or so around the clock, but at the same time worried obsessively that I was wrecking his little liver with all that acetaminophen.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, the cold persisted and I began to worry it was turning into a sinus or ear infection that might require antibiotics. I'd been waiting to call the doctor, knowing that nothing can be done if it is just a cold and that they'd tell me to wait it out. By Monday, the cold was now more than two weeks old, so finally I called the pediatrician and spoke with a nurse who said "absolutely bring him in." So off we went. The doctor saw some fluid in one ear but no infection. She said "keep an eye on it", then dismissed us with a pat on the head. I am happy to report that I did not then go hunt down the nurse who told us to "absolutely come in" and sock her in the nose. (Jesus knows. We're working on this one too.)

Wednesday the tooth finally arrived - just the very tippity-top of a little white ridge came through the gum. Hallelujah. Things seemed a little better after that. We had a slight reprieve, though the cold was still hanging in there and the poor little guy was just not completely himself.

Then things started going downhill again Thursday. Friday morning he was a mess. Afraid of being sent home again with another pat on the head, I dreaded the thought of packing him up and hauling him out in the rain (which seems to be unending; if I didn't know that God promised to never destroy the earth by flood again I'd be seriously considering procuring a boat by any means possible).

After hours of fussing and crying and then screaming, I called the doctor and off we went. One look in his right ear told the story. Ding-ding-ding, we won the prize: a prescription for amoxicillin. Praise God.

Somewhere in the midst of all this I turned thirty-five. It's all a little fuzzy. Looking on the bright side, at least I can run for President now. Might not be a bad gig. After this month, I bet it's a cakewalk.
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