The boy that left the doctor's office just three days ago with nothing more than a head cold located rather completely in his nose, now has a painful ear infection. He, who insisted he felt fine and didn't hurt anywhere, had to be picked up early from preschool Thursday when he melted down over not getting his trick-or-treat bag back when he felt he should. His teacher kept saying he felt miserable. I kept saying - but he was fine yesterday and he was fine this morning until we got into the snit about wearing a winter coat.
Then we hit 2am Friday. At that time, Logan decided he needed to use the bathroom. It should be noted that when he moved from crib to bed a year ago we sort of, kind of drilled into his head this idea that he couldn't get out of that bed on his own unless the sun was up or his clock said it was after 7am. Typically it has its perks, but if he rises at night for the bathroom (luckily not often although he's accident free at night), it does involve calling one of us to escort him.
I got him settled in bed. I fell back to sleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow, but I was jarred awake by the sounds of my child paging me again. His ear hurt. In my half-asleep state I figured it was merely from laying on it for a length of time. I told him to lay on the other side and go to sleep.
I left. He cried. Bruce said something about maybe he has an ear infection. I said something about it being easy to be sympathetic from under the covers. The three of us ended up awake in Logan's room debating his ear ache. He took some chewable generic knock-off of Tyelnol. He refused the decongestant. He cried loudly when I left him alone with Dad so I could google treating preschooler ear infections. He woke his sister.
We split the child care duty - each soothing the frazzled nerves of a kid. A warm compress to the ear, some cuddling in the recliner with "Megan's songs" and finally snuggling close back in the twin bed as I gently rubbed his temples, Logan drifted off to sleep. I didn't even move from my spot. We were all back to snoozing by 4am. Megan got up to start her day at 6. It's been a long day.
Before Logan woke up shortly after 9 this morning, I had called and gotten him a doctor's appointment. He was eager to go and had to be talked out of sitting in the van until we left 2 hours later. We brought Meg to my parents. I had already juggled two kids on the 'sick' side of the peditrician's office once this week. It went rather well but I wasn't ready to press my luck and hope for two in a row.
The doctor took one look in Logan's ear and said "Oh yeah, that's infected."
"So fast?" I had asked him. He nodded without saying much more because he was already pressing the stethoscope to Logan's back. He did say something like "lungs are clear," and then something else to the tune of "just that nasty ear and the nose." Logan is now on antibiotics, which does little to ease the actual pain that seems to ebb and flow. Moments of sheer agony peppered between stretches of almost normalcy.
Of course, in most grey moments comes a few shining points of light. This one is no different. Today we learned that at her young tender age, Megan has aquired a sense of empathy - at least to a degree. As Logan walks around holding his ear and moaning, she'll put her hand to her own ear and watch him intently. She did this most of the afternoon. Studying his every move. Seemingly taking note of his winces or his moans. Sometime between dinner and falling asleep on the living room floor at 6:30 pm, Logan was laying face down in a ball on the floor whimpering about his ear. Megan toddled over to him, her hand raised in a familiar stance. She likes to pet Logan for some reason, but her petting is more like heavy patting that drives him insane. I shook my head at her and whispered "Nice, Megan, be nice." She smiled and said back "Nigh."
She got near him and bent down close to him. She pressed her cheek into his back and wrapped her arms around his sides. He started to yelp "She's tackling me! No Megan!" But she wasn't tackling. She was hugging. She nuzzled him a bit - seeming to burrow her face into his spine a bit. She hugged him tighter and she said softely "Ahhh, brabah."
"She's trying to hug you Logan. She's trying to be loving." I explained. He lifted his head slightly and smiled. He glanced at his side to see Megan's knees tucked closely to his rib cage. He put his head down and said "Thank you."
Megan sat up happy at the recognition of her kind deed. She started to "pet" his back. I showed her instead how to rub it. Then I showed her how to tickle. Logan laughed as I gently ran my fingers on the spot where his shirt had ridden up from Meg's bear hug. Megan loves to hear Logan laugh. She wanted in on it. She ran her fingers up and down the same area. He had a fit of laughter that sent her off in hysterics.
He seemed much improved after that. We threw on a CareBear DVD Meg had gotten with a birthday gift. Some folks have Sweating to the Oldies, we, apparently, have low-impact bear areobics. The first clip on the DVD was excercising with the Care Bears. So we did. Or at least I did, at first. Logan balled up on the floor again and Meg elected to be held as I danced around. I put her back on the floor to hug Logan. She stared at the bears running in place and then she ran - three steps up, three steps back. She flopped her arms around as they waved theirs. She got in a good work-out.
We danced together then, the three of us. We collapsed in exhaustion. We switched over to the DVD of Logan's early days. His first days home through his first birthday. Logan loves watching those movies. Megan seems to also. It's the only thing she sits for for any length of time. She smiles and murmurs the names of the voices she hears. She giggles and points at the baby, knowing the baby Logan is her big brother. She climbed on my lap to watch as she cuddled. Logan stretched out on the floor next to us.
"Honey, why don't you lay down on your bed. Or at least let's start your bath now." I said, knowing he knew enough about time now to know it wasn't time for either in the routine of a normal day.
"No," he said, "I'm not sleeping." And with that he closed his eyes and drifted off. Megan was ready to leap on him again. I bathed her instead. The dog was attempting to do uncharactistic obstacle course jumps over him. I gently picked him up and held him until his eyes shut tight again. I laid him in his bed despite a soft protest and said a silent thanks to some foresight of having dressed him in soft sweats today and for having removed his shoes hours ago. I whispered that I'd be back once I got Meg in her pajamas. He was out cold before I got to the door.
Megan drifted off easily a good half-hour before normal. They're both sound asleep but I have my doubts about how long it'll last. The little nose is starting to run now. She's also chewing off her fingers today and one has to assume that her still two lonely teeth will indeed someday have company in that mouth! The boy - well his Advil will wear off in a few hours. He's been laying on two pillows but still its the way he slept last night.
I'm about to head to bed in hopes of sneaking in a few hours before we're pacing the halls again. It's been a day of highs and lows. Which is appropriate I guess in that it's a day in a life and a being a normal life it's one with its notable highs and lows. I hate seeing my child in this much discomfort, but it's been nice to see the little spots of light too. It makes me remember that even in the crankiness of moods, even in the discomfort of the common cold, your child can still touch you in a way no one else can. Makes those moments when you start to consider camping on your roof with a bottle of wine worth it - in fact, it makes those moments seem so very nothing in the grand scheme of things. Just as it ought to.