Edward has an ear infection. As I recall he was just treated for an ear infection and I worried that: a) we might need to go see the ENT if he is trending toward gloppy ear; and b) as much as I like antibiotics I felt like he has received several rounds in the past couple of months and that is Not Good in the general scheme of things. Fortunately my pediatrician keeps better records than I do and was able to invalidate my conviction that Edward is swimmin' in 'illin (he's been treated three times in two years.) They also told me that his last ear infection was in July - hardly cause for alarm. The pediatrician went on to say that the need for tubes (or 'ear grommets' as Patrick likes to say after reading a most disgusting but informative booklet at the ENT) is significantly reduced after the age of two so... chill. I chilled.
It does seem like we have been sick both repeatedly and forever, though, doesn't it?
I had made an appointment for Caroline as well since she has the same cold that Edward does and I worried that maybe I am just not as adept at determining when she needs to be seen. The last time she was at the doctor was in July and the only reason I brought her was because I wanted to take her to that shoe size carpet thing at Target to see how big her feet were before I ordered sandals for her online and I figured I could get Edward checked for an ear infection and then swing by Target with both of them afterward. The doctor checked Caroline since she was there and it turned out she had an infected ear as well. Who knew? So although she seemed fine except for a runny nose I brought her in today as well.
The pediatrician finished with Edward who was huddled against Steve's chest - tears streaming down his hot red cheeks - and looked at Caroline who was standing on a chair in her diaper doing something that looked very much like the mashed potato. She was bellowing "Seet Cah-uh-YINE! OH OH OH!" and then applauding herself, loudly, followed by jazz hands.
"Aaaaaand... what brings her in today?"
I felt like a fool when I suggested she might need to have her ears and lungs checked for lurking Disease when she was so clearly a poster child for health (and musical theater.)
She's fine and she has gained three pounds since last summer, pushing her almost into the twentieth percentile. I am embarrassed to admit that I still chart her growth because that seems like the sort of thing of thing a parent stops worrying about after babyhood in the absence of health issues but... there it is. I have an online med calculator saved in my browser and I have been surreptitiously plotting Caroline as if I will one day discover that she is actually not a pixie.
I think I feel guilty that she was born little, like I should have somehow managed to stop throwing up and guzzle a protein shake back when it would have done her the most good.
Here. A never before seen photo of the back of Caroline's head as compared to Steve's hands at age two days when she was released from special care nursery for a few hours before they snatched her back again because we failed to keep her warm enough. Talk about a kid who needed a milk shake - she was 92% blanket and 7% hair.
Patrick started his new school today. It felt horribly rushed to me but his new teacher was anxious to get him started and felt that this would be a great week to begin since he would have extra time to work one-on-one with Patrick while the other kids finished their end of trimester projects. Patrick was APPALLED by our decision to move him but after a few tears and some well-argued but useless protests he managed to be mostly resigned by this morning. In the car he wondered pointedly what his real school would be doing this week (no comment) observed that it was so early the stars were still visible (not true) said he was very nervous (fair enough) and then settled down to discuss what book on tape we should get for the commute (excellent suggestion whoever you were - thank you.) When I got him this afternoon he was wearing his winter coat zipped all the way past his mouth with the hood up - he looked like Kenny. I suspected he was not going to fling himself at me and thank me for the best damned school day of his life and I was right. First he harangued me about the fact that he had gotten lost and was then late for recess and had not had anybody to play with once he got there and he didn't know where to go afterward and he lost his coat which he found again but he still hated it. He said he was much happier at his old school and that his deadline to decide between them was going to be Christmas break. I said oh dear, oh well, give it time, don't be afraid to ask for help, nothing, I expect you were and no we are going to give the new school more time than that and ultimately Daddy and I will decide what is best for you. After simmering for a while over his grievances he noted that the playground seemed fun. An hour later he said that one kid had just come back from Hawaii and had brought postcards for the whole class and he had given one to Patrick too. His name is Eric. Eric, I heard still later, is nice. In fact, everyone in the class seemed nice and they did math that was easy at first but it actually got kinda hard after a few pages. Patrick informed me of this last part with grudging admiration in much the same way a knight would speak of a vanquished yet worthy foe. They did grammar and although Patrick says he still does not know what grammar is he discovered he is good at correcting sentences, so that was ok. And they had double library and got to pick an animal to research and draw and he chose penguins and drew two of them on the side of a mountain chasing after eggs that were rolling down the side. One penguin is saying "Oh no! The eggs!" and the other penguin is saying, "The mountain was your idea." I told him I look forward to seeing it and he told me that he had a lot more work to do on penguins before he would share his work. Penguins, apparently, are not all comic drawings.
In short: I (and now you) know more about what Patrick did today than I have heard about his entire first three months at the old school. I consider this very encouraging even if I have ruined his life.
Self Timed Portrait - Boy with Friend
(not pictured, mother wondering where the fuck her camera had gone and fearing that Caroline had finally succeeded in grabbing it)
PS Twin Cities gathering this Saturday - if you are interested in joining us and do not receive another email from me tonight let me know
PPS I am tied for the lead in the football pool this week - thank you Tennessee. I don't care who wins tonight as long as their combined points total more than 57. Then I clean up. I made the mistake of telling Patrick what the pool pays (er, would pay if this was not merely for entertainment purposes, I mean) and he just about fell over. What sort of parent lets her mercenary seven year old know that there is more to be made in three minutes of gambling than in two years of honest Lego picking up? For shame.
PPPS Patrick is on book three of Harry Potter and loving it. We started reading the series together and then he realized he could get through it faster on his own. I am so happy that he has finally gotten into fiction I can barely contain myself. I tend to be one of those people who presses books on you when you leave my house and now I have a captive to inflict my tastes upon year-round. I keep waking up in the night shouting, "Oh! And The Westing Game!"
Any suggestions for books on tape for us?