Not long ago, I brought our youngest, Cooper, to the doctor basically because he was “extremely fussy.” He’d been on the decline for about a week – more cranky than usual, not sleeping, and (shockingly) eating less. Overall his temperament was just off, and I knew something must be very wrong when he all but lost his appetite.
Cooper is an eater, ever since birth, so if he wasn’t interested in a meal, Mommy needed to take notice. Now, of course, I’d been watching him, but there was no fever, no tugging on the ears … nothing, in particular, that I could put my finger on.
With that said, enough was enough. I was getting just a little frustrated with all the screaming, hitting and spitting (ugh... spitting is the worst). Honestly, I started wondering that this was “it.” I mean: What happened to my sweet boy? Had the terrible twos come an entirely too early? Does he hate me? What’s going on?!? So we packed up, headed in to see the doctor, and on the way, I prayed for a diagnosis other than “it’s just a phase … it’ll pass.”
My pediatrician and I have been through three kids together, so by now we know each other very well and if I came in for “fussiness,” he knew I wanted to be positively certain there wasn’t a medical explanation first. First came the stethoscope – all good. Next were the eyes and throat – they’re clear too. Then came time for the ears – this was the one I was banking on – maybe it could be a rip-roaring ear infection! That would explain why my angel baby has turned into a tiny mess… but he hasn’t been messing with his ears, and there was no fever, oh dear. So I held my breath, and after he gave the ears a check, I heard those five magic words, “It’s a double ear infection.”
Before I could even help myself, “Oh thank God!” burst out of my mouth. I was worried he may think I’m an evil Mommy who wished illness on their innocent babies, but instead, we both had a good laugh. Once we came up for breath, he said, “and I can fix that!" Amen! Thankfully, there WAS a reason that my Super Duper Cooper was unhappy, and it wasn’t “just a phase.” Poor baby had a DOUBLE ear infection - hallelujah!
To be clear, I never wish for my children to catch an infection, but if they’re super irritable, cranky, and un-pleasable, I feel much better being able to pinpoint the problem - a treatable one at that. Within hours of receiving his first dose, our Super Duper Cooper Man was eating, and smiling, and the house breathed out a big sigh of relief. I've had a few fun Mommy-to-pediatrician moments, and this one was worth visit!
Jordan Schupbach is a mother of three living in the Houston area. She blogs at www.lattesandliving.com - sharing the good, the bad and the frenzied.