So today we had the morning of three back to back pediatrician appointments. Our doctor’s office is transitioning to a new computer system and there was a mix up with our appointments. I showed up last week for Anthony’s 4 month visit and they didn’t have us on the books. Instead they had Anthony, Ben and Bella all slated for today. What a mess.
Fortunately my sister was able to go with me so it wasn’t quite as gruesome as it could have been.
Bella went first—she just had to get a couple of shots because our pediatrician doesn’t like to give them all at once—and she was an amazing trooper. She impressed the doctor with her stoicism. She held my hands in hers, looked right at the needle as it went in, and didn’t flinch, didn’t make a sound. But it wasn’t that she wasn’t scared or that it didn’t hurt or disturb her. I know it really did. It was an act of courage and it really moved me. I told her how proud I was of her. My brave girl.
Anthony was next, the big happy baby. He impressed the doctor with his happy, bubbly personality. His smiles and chatter and spit bubbles. And his rolls of fat. Don’t forget the happiness of rolls of fat. He endured the exam beautifully and at the end when he got his shots he only screamed for a minute. As soon as I picked him up he was fine again. I passed him off to my sister in the waiting room and he was asleep on her shoulder by the time Ben and I came back out.
Anthony weighed in at 21 pounds, which was a bit less than Dom’s prediction of 23. Still, a large fellow! He’s 26.5 inches long too. Bigger than some one year-olds.
I knew Ben would be the hardest. Last night it finally dawned on me that all his clingyness and sleeplessness and fussiness were classic signs of an ear infection. Has he not had an appointment today, I’d have been calling to ask if they could fit him in. I was actually surprised he’d let me take Bella into the exam room while he played in the waiting room. For once the lure of unfamiliar toys overpowered his hurt and need to cling to me. (He’d completely pushed away his new school bus when we were getting into the car, an unprecedented sign of how bad he felt.) Sure enough he went in docilely enough and watched while Anthony had his turn. He asked for a lollipop, which I allowed him, hoping it would make him more amenable to the exam. It didn’t. Not really. Just more sticky. He balked when the doctor tried to measure his height, ducking under the bar and then jumping off the scale and refusing to get back on to be weighed. So we had to put him on the baby scale and hold him down to measure his length. He gained only one pound to 29 pounds, but grew three inches. He’s quite tall at 34.5 inches. He protested enormously being listened to, and looked at.
Sure enough, his left ear was infected. I was so relieved. Not happy he has an infection but happy his poor sleep has so simple an explanation. Happy to think that in a few days the ordeal will be over for both of us.
He didn’t have to get any shots this time, but did have a finger stick for the lead and hemoglobin tests. He turned up a little low on iron, which didn’t surprise me. He’s been a pretty picky eater and doesn’t really like meat. Plus he’s been growing so much. So he’s now got iron drops for us to put in his milk. He gulped down the first dose with never a protest. And I’m going to work on making sure he gets more iron in his diet too, of course.
So after the round of doctor visits, we had to go to the pharmacy. Even there Ben was already seeming to feel better. I left my sister and the other kids in the car eating burgers that we picked up at the drive though and took Ben in with me. He loved the undivided attention and was soon playing quite happily. We went home and gave him some tylenol and soon he was running around in the yard, happy as can be. He went down for his nap without too much fuss. Bedtime was better tonight. He still didn’t go down till 9:30 or so, but that’s better than 10. And it wasn’t fussy, clingy just restless.
I got him to lie down next to me on a blanket on the floor finally and then manufactured several trips out of the room saying, I’ll be back in a minute. On the last trip I didn’t come back and he never cried so he must have gone to sleep eventually. I need to go move him to his bed in a bit so he doesn’t freak out in the middle of the night.
And now I should really go get some sleep. Now that my nerves have stopped jangling from the boredom of lying in the dark with a restless toddler. I knew that he wouldn’t put up with me praying with him, it was just that kind of night. So I stared into the dark and fretted. Not conducive to peaceful evening.
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