Friday, February 27, 2009

The Jerk

Last week, I was feeling like I spent most of my time in negotiations. I thought far in advance about how I could convince my son to wear socks each day. I talked up the thrills and delights of his tractor plate at dinnertime. I offered to race him upstairs when the bathtub beckoned. But, most of the time, he was having none of it. He whined and flailed and threw his cars. I despaired, wondering where my easygoing kid had disappeared to. I thought (hoped) it was his molars. I didn't want to resign myself to the idea that he was just kind of a jerk, but the thought crossed my mind. He'd just turned two. This is how they act for a couple of years, I thought. Maybe I should hire a live-in massage therapist to reduce my stress, I thought.

I was ramping up to a business trip, and I was hosting my book group. I had a lot to do and plan and think about. And the more I had to do, the crankier Theo became. He spent the weekend alternating between angelic glee and freaked-out screeching. He'd even stopped sleeping well. He demanded attention at 3am, and then wanted books read and balls tossed and games played. All three of us were delightful to behold when it was time to get up.

Tuesday night, he woke up crying (again) and screaming. OUCHY OUCHY OUCHY he said. EAR he cried.

"That's a pretty clear signal," the doctor snorted when I told her the story the next morning. We gathered up our Amoxycillin and went on our merry way. He's not a jerk, you see, he just has an ear infection.

All this made me feel a little bad that he'd obviously felt miserable for a while but I'm not embarrassed to tell you I was relieved. Because he's gone through cranky periods before and I hoped and thought it was teething or illness and in the end he was just cranky. So this time, when the doctor handed me the prescription, it was good to have a solution that didn't involve trying to have patience, trying to listen and talk and convince a toddler that screaming should be confined to emergency situations and the playground (and possibly those evenings when his mother just can't take it any more).

(To those of you anticipating the Oscar pool results, I apologize for the delay. I promise to post the big news later this week. Thanks for your patience.)


Maria said...

I'm impressed he told you that it was/is his ear. I hope the meds are taking the edge off!

Kathy said...

maybe Gia has had an ear ache for the last 6mo?