Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Diary of an omniturnal mom

The year of the ear

Mommy hasn't slept more than two hours in a row in two weeks. She was about to get a break from Baby O over the weekend. He was all set to spend the night with Nana on Friday night.

Thursday afternoon, he had a fever. Mommy wasn't too worried about it. His sister had a fever earlier in the week with no other symptoms. It'll pass, she thought.

All day Friday, he had a high fever. Sleep over with Nana is cancelled. Really, what kind of mommy would pawn her sick baby off on someone else? (I considered it for about 30 seconds, actually.) The baby did take his first few steps on Friday evening, though. Despite the fever and, just as mommy suspected, an ear infection.  

(I swear that he did this on purpose. He knew that I was about to get a good night's sleep.)

Saturday morning, at the doctor's office, the fever registered 103.7.

Mommy's reaction?

OH MY GOD, she practically yelled at the nurse who quickly assured her that he'd be fine. After all, he was smiling and wiggling and wiping his snot on her neck, or, as mommy calls it, snuzzling.

After the doctor cleaned enormous balls of wax from his ears, she diagnosed an ear infection. Mommy is a little embarrassed by all this, but tells the doctor that she can barely get the kids pajamas on, let alone clean his ears.

He wallows in dirt.
And, as she later discovered, getting a dose of antibiotics in this child is even harder. Mommy would rather give a cat a pill, in fact. That would actually be easier. It's amoxicillin, for crying out loud. It's not as if the stuff tastes like dirt. Actually, maybe that's why he hates it. It doesn't taste enough like his favorite substance on earth right now.

After one particularly frustrating attempt, Mommy growled (yes, at the baby), "Fine, have an ear infection for the rest of your life."


A cranky baby who was up every two hours the night before goes down at 8:45 a.m. for a nap. While nursing him, she notices some red blotches on his cheek. She starts freaking out. Is he having an allergic reaction to the strawberries she's been giving him?

Oh, wait. That's just blood, she think as she starts breathing again.

HOLY CRAP. IT'S BLOOD. His nose was bleeding.

Mommy adds blood to the growing list of bodily fluids that she's come into contact with that morning alone.
He woke up two hours later somewhat happier and ready for the monthly trek to Sam's Club where mommy drops $200 on food and beverage that will just end up on the floor. This outing comes with the promise of pizza and/or a hot dog for good behavior. Of course, mommy gets her fountain Diet Coke for good behavior, too.

Back home, she sets Danny and Fi up in front of games on PBSKids.org. Danny quietly navigates the web site with his sister happily by his side for at least 20 minutes while mommy puts away groceries and keeps the baby happy by feeding him apple chips. It was too quiet.

Mommy peeks in, expecting to find Fiona standing on the desk jamming scissors into the stapler. (Hey, anything can happen with this one.)

Nope. Still quiet. Mommy is suspicious.

Upon closer inspection, it seems that they have found her secret stash of jelly beans. Which means someone stood on the desk to reach them.   

Oh well, she thinks. At least there were no sharp objects involved here. She takes the jelly beans with her and finishes them off while putting away the groceries.

It's finally nap time. Synchronization without medication seems like it may be possible that day. A mommy can dream, can't she?

It seemed possible for about 40 minutes until the baby coughed himself wide awake and miserable. Danny was discovered arranging his menagerie on his sister's bedroom floor in preparation for "sleep." Ten minutes later, he woke Fiona up.

The silver lining? It was a gorgeous day and Fiona actually woke up in a good mood.


The baby is up bright and early after the usual up-every-two-hours rodeo. The other two are fast asleep (and stay that way until 8 a.m.). Mommy thanks the ceiling (because that's where God lives) for this unfortunate turn of events. And, no, she doesn't want to see this as quality time to spend with the baby. He gets all his quality time overnight, 'kay?

She spends most of the day wiping blood and snot off the baby's face. Her heart just sinks when she realizes that he is wheezing. No wonder he's so tired and miserable. Mommy resigns herself to even more baby wrestling and restraining in her future. Out comes the nebulizer or, as mommy likes to call it, the misting torture device.

That evening's antibiotic dosing attempt was an utter disaster. Mommy put the baby in front of the mirror, thinking maybe that would be a distraction. He wanted nothing to do with the syringe and put a used Q-tip in his mouth instead. (Seriously, that can't have tasted better than Amoxicillin.) The baby wound up with sticky, pink goop in his freshly washed hair. And Mommy just started yelling about why they don't make a skin patch to administer antibiotics.

Her worried 4 year old followed her around asking, "What's happening? What's happening?"

Mommy's losing her mind, sweetie. That's what. She turned the baby over to his father for torture, um, nebulizing.

This day's silver lining came in the form of a neighbor whose son is Danny's best friend. He spent the afternoon playing with his bestie while mommy and baby and Fiona slept.  And, yes, there was a little, um, medication involved in ensuring a peaceful naptime.

When mommy is this exhausted, blood is better than allergic reactions and two kids with pilfered jelly beans glued to the computer is "enrichment." It seems the side effects of exhaustion--delayed reactions and lowered standards--are the only way mommy is making it through the day without collapsing. That, and wonderful neighbors. And Diet Coke.

Oh, and jelly beans. Don't forget the jelly beans.

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