Tai has his five-billionth ear infection of the year. I thought it might have been, last week but when I took him in on Tuesday, they said no. Then this weekend his eardrum ruptured and leaked disgustingness all over his hair, cheek and neck. It kept leaking (though more slowly) the rest of the weekend. I can handle bodily fluid (well, except vomit, of course) but this totally grossed me out. Monday morning I called the pediatrician and they said bring him in. I also had to drive Brogan and Des (Tom's dad and his husband who were visiting from San Diego) to the airport. So, being the horrible Mom that I am, I put on Tai's shirt and shoes. This is where the tantrum began. He took a break for the 10 minutes he shared a McDonald's hashbrown with me, and the 20 minutes he slept on the way from the airport to the pediatrician's office - but other than that? Tantrum. Screaming, crying, thrashing full-out losing his mind. He freaked out on the walk from the parking garage to the doctor's office. In the waiting room. In the exam room. Through the doctor's exam (where he completely flummoxed her by saying 'I want an ouchie!' when she told him there wouldn't be any ouchies. She said she'd never had a kid ask her for a shot before.) , through the walk back to the stairs (because I was avoiding the elevator), through the lobby and out the door and to the car and the whole way home. Over an hour, all told. He was thrashing around so much when I was carrying him out that I could barely keep from dropping him. Everyone was staring. I was blushing.
Nothing helped. Distraction, ignoring him, singing to him, offering stories, offering the iPad, offering a drink or food, rocking, hugging, not touching, rubbing his hair, stepping away, staying close, counting. The doctor offered stickers and to play with her light - both of which he usually loves. No go. I will admit that at one point I considered slapping him because I was beginning to think he was hysterical - but I didn't because I wasn't sure it would help, but more because I wasn't sure it wouldn't just be a frustration outlet for me and I knew that would not be good.
He cried because he wanted to go home, then when we left he wanted to 'play at the doctor's house'. He wanted an 'ouchie' and when the doctor found him a sticker that said 'ouch' he threw it on the floor. It was total inability to be soothed. I felt exhausted by the end of the day, because he had two more tantrums - though they were both much shorter, and no nap. I felt horrible for him, because I'm pretty sure it was his ear (though Motrin didn't help)... but it was hard to hold to my equanimity.
Fortunately today the drops and antibiotic seem to have helped a lot. The drops have both pain relief and antibiotic in them, so I think that helps his ear a lot. I managed to get him down for a nap, though I had to wake him up. He had another meltdown because I was taking him to play with a friend (so I could have my Toddler Break) and I felt shitty. He was like, 'no Paxton! Stay home, please!' Just begging and begging. But then Yvette offered him mango and all was right with the world. His last tantrum was because I went to take him home and he didn't want to leave. *sigh*. Just can't win.
Hopefully tomorrow will be even better. But if not - anyone have any suggestions? Besides some Valium and wine for Mama?