I hate being ambushed, by anything. I don't take well to sudden proclamations of engagement, pregnancy, surprise parties, well; anything really. I like to be in the know, to have a pretty good idea of what is coming down the pipe. My easy access to the Internet has only fueled my need to know. I check store hours, directions, stock, prices, age requirements, height requirements, check-in hours, pool hours, any detail I think I might need before doing whatever it is I need to do. Rarely do I venture out for something without the item already set aside for me or a clear idea of what it is I am going to be doing. I have confessed to the occasional carefree, spur-of-the-moment days I truly do enjoy, but they are not my preferred state of existence.
So this morning when our phone rang several times as Rosebud and I were upstairs, and running into my bedroom and all the way around to the other side of the bed seemed too taxing; we let it ring. Suddenly, my cellphone that I keep in the diaper bag starts to ring too; now I am hightailing it down the stairs.
Papoosie Girl is in the office at school, and is extremely upset and in pain. Her ear is hurting and they want me to come and pick her up right away. After quick changes for myself and Rosebud we are off to pick-up Papoosie Girl who is sitting on the bench in the office clutching her ear. Bugger. She was fine this morning, usual breakfast, TV, off to school. No runny nose, no high fever in the middle of the night (our usual ear infection calling card), just serious ear pain. Our doctor closes at noon on Wednesday's so I make a hasty call (it is 11:50am) and the wonderful receptionist who has known me since before I even had the girls says to come on over, there will be a wait, but just head over. Lucky break as I really hate taking the girls to walk-in clinics. Don't think for a second I don't know how lucky we are to have a family doctor, many of our friends live in communities where they rely exclusively on walk-in clinics.
After an hour of waiting we see the doctor who examines her ear and declares it, "quite red and angry" he gives us a prescription and says to take some Advil for the pain. OK I am not new at this, how can this go undetected? Papoosie Girl had tubes in her ears at the age of two after a year of chronic ear trouble and has always been extremely sensitive to ear pain. Suddenly I feel a bit sick for making her finish her spelling homework sheets last night. Was it hurting then and that is why she was having trouble concentrating? More bugger.
Despite being in the trenches for six years now I felt so horribly unqualified today. What kind of parent misses a "bad" ear infection. Sigh. I need a cup of tea real bad and since Rosebud is finally down for her nap and Papoosie Girl is all medicated and quite cozy reading in my bed (our sick spot in our house) I am going to do just that.
Does anyone else feel like this sometimes? Things you have covered a million times before are somehow missed in the shuffle of life with small children. I know I am not the only one, but boy did I feel a bit new today. Now I am replaying the last few days in my head fruitlessly looking for clues I might have missed. Was she more cranky than usual, more difficult? She certainly never said her ear was bothering her, but wouldn't a good parent have picked up on it? All will be well and most likely forgotten in a few days, but I am amazed at how these moments present themselves to me as if to say, know matter how much you think you have figured this out - there is a long road ahead of you. I can hardly wait, and I really mean that. Just maybe send me long, detailed memo first?