Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ear Infections

Want to see the saddest pictures ever taken of our son?
Russell opted to lay on the floor one night during dinner rather than eat because he felt so crummy.
He quickly fell asleep.  Russell hasn't fallen asleep anywhere other than his crib or car seat since he was about four months old.

Last week Russell had double ear infections and went on antibiotics for the first time.

We knew something was up when we were up at the cabin and he didn't want to do anything other than sit on my lap and watch Shrek. It was the first time we used TV as a distraction; after dealing with incessant whining and fussiness for several hours, we discovered that this was the only thing that made him not cry!

We learned that sick kids are kind of tricky. Well, I take that back. When they have a fever, it is obvious. They are burning up so give them some Tylenol and be super loving and patient because, duh, they're sick. Russell had a fever of 103.4 for a was a little scary for me.

But when little kids aren't feverish but are still acting abnormal, it is such a puzzle. It is a never ending saga of questioning everything the child does as well as your own parenting skills. Are they throwing a tantrum because they just really don't want that type of toy or is it something else? Is his nose running because he'a teething or because he's sick? Did he just wake up in the middle of the night because he had a nightmare? Or is the house too hot? Or is he sick? Does he not want to eat because his metabolism is changing or because he's sick? Etc., etc.
This one's the worst. This is probably when his fever was the highest.

This constant questioning also happens because for ten minutes he could be the fussiest, most inconsolable being ever and then for the next twenty minutes, he's as happy as a clam to rearrange rocks on the patio. When that happens, you're like, "Well, I guess he's not sick, because he seems OK right now!" But then a few hours later you are perplexed when your otherwise ravenous toddler won't eat.

So last week was tricky like that. Actually, things got rougher for us after he started the antibiotics. I think I expected them to make everything better within 24 hours; when he continued to act so crazy (tantrums, picky eating, waking up at night) several doses into the antibiotics, I started to accept the fact that Russell was just moving into his terrible twos and that I needed to get a grip on this parenting stuff--Ignore those tantrums! Remember, you're the parent! All that sort of self talk. I was getting so frazzled and down right terrified for what might be in our future of toddler behavior that I promptly checked out several toddler parenting books from the library because I was sure I was messing my son up royally.

But then, Russell became happy again. We started going whole days without any meltdowns and now it has been over a week and we've had many of these types of moments:

Hindsight is always so clear. A big fat "DUH" keeps sounding in my mind because obviously, our little boy was still feeling icky. I don't know why I was so set on second guessing everything. I'm still interested in reading those books but I'm just grateful that I don't have to have such a handle on that tricky behavior quite yet.

Fun with Grandma on her birthday celebration

"Mom, I think I just got stuck in the cupboard!"