My poor 19-month-old has been on antibiotics for an ear infection in November, December, and January…and once again, he’s crying at bedtime and getting angry at things he normally wouldn’t. My dilemma here is that he’s also working on at least two teeth, and aren’t the symptoms of teething and ear infections kind of, um, identical? Pain? Grumpiness? Sleep issues? I have three children and I have yet to see a one of them tug on his/her ear for pretty much anything. Fevers don’t accompany other illnesses at this house, either–if my kids have a fever than they have a FEVER (the kind that requires capital letters) and that’s a big part of what’s wrong with them. And so I dither. Is it teething? Am I paranoid? My oldest child’s teething years are partly responsible for the dithering. I brought her in over and over for sudden screaming during the night–that’s a classic ear symptom, right?–and it took me many appointments and a year or two to accept that her first sign of a new tooth–before you could see ANYTHING, even a tiny bump in her mouth–was her waking up and screaming during the night.
Every twenty minutes.
For three hours.
This went on for WEEKS. Because my children–her especially–have impossible, ridiculous, preposterous GUMS OF STEEL. Nothing gets through those babies. Not a thing. Pushing a metal spoon on the tooth? Tried that. Nothing. You can see so much white that you’d swear the tooth was through already? It happens. That doesn’t mean a breakthrough is imminent. Teething is kind of the pit of despair at my house, because it goes on, and on, and on, and ON. And by the way, they don’t sell age-appropriate teething toys for children who have NO teeth on their first birthdays. (To be fair, that was my oldest. My middle shocked me by pushing two through at 10 1/2 months, and my son had at least one by 9 months. I about fainted.) And when one-year molars come in at 20 months? Please. Nothing helps.
But I digress. The point is that I have a usually happy-go-lucky 19-month-old who is acting unhappy now but has a well-check on the 20th (yes, it’s really really late. I forgot to make his one year until really, really late, and those shots and the 18 month shots have to be a full six months apart.). And Monday is a holiday.
Moms, what would you do?