The best nights, as you can probably imagine, are the ones where I get home around 10:30 after working all day and hosting a trivia show to find that Miles is both still awake and screaming at the top of his lungs. Last night was one of those nights.
This time, however, he seemed to be having an actual problem that extended beyond the typical “being a toddler,” as he kept tugging at his ear and saying, “Owie! Owie!” A call to his pediatrician led us to the conclusion that, f*** me, we had to go to the hospital again.
Being at an age where logic is virtually nonexistent, it became impossible to determine if Miles’s continued screaming was the result of his ear hurting or his anxiety about seeing a doctor (who would inevitably tell him to “lay down,” which he said repeatedly he had no intention of doing). My only objective was getting Miles the help he needed, so if I had been tired after arriving home I surely wasn’t at this point, screaming or not.
Once we were admitted, Miles started to relax a bit. We let him sit on the bed rather than lie on it, which helped allay his fears. For a while anyway, because once the nurses arrived to check him out and attempt to give him some pain meds, he was flailing about like a child who was 20 minutes from hovering over the bed and projectile vomiting pea soup. Suffice to say, they were going to need to find another way to medicate him.
As time passed and we waited on the doctor to arrive, Miles found his second (third? fourth?) wind. It was 2:30 in the morning, the TV was stuck on a Rizzoli & Isles marathon on Lifetime (with the sound down), and I was chasing Miles around a hospital room, trying to keep him from manhandling the equipment.
Fortunately, the doctor who tended to him was amazing, engaging Miles in conversation, putting him at ease, and even letting him play with the equipment.
“Do you know what this is?” she asked.
“Um,” Miles said, looking at the thing in her hand. “A stethoscope!”
“That’s right!” she said. Then, to us, “Are you all in the medical field?”
“No,” Jaclyn said. “He just…knows a lot.”
She was obviously convinced, because she then handed the stethoscope over to Miles so he could check our heartbeats with it.
When again faced with the dilemma of medicine ingestion, the doctor offered an alternative.
“We could issue a suppository…”
I didn’t think that was likely to go over well.
“We could also crush a chewable and put it in something. Would he eat ice cream?”
Miles of course didn’t even give us a chance to answer. “Yeahyeah,” he said, “I want some ice cream!”
“Okay!” the doctor said. “I’ll have to go check to make sure we’ve got some.”
As she stepped out, Miles darted over to the door. “Go see if you have ice cream!” he called behind her.
As we continued waiting, Miles had a thought. “The teacher gonna bring me ice cream,” he said (he kept referring to the doctor as “the teacher” for the entire visit). “I’m gonna get toppings.”
“Miles!” I said, flabbergasted. “This isn’t an ice cream shop! I don’t think they have toppings here.”
He walked over to the door, slid it open, and called out, “…and bring toppings!”
“Well,” I muttered, “I guess it’s sorta going to have toppings on it…”
Ultimately, Miles had a minor — MINOR — ear infection, one the doctor said we could expect to subside in a couple days. As we were finally on our way back home around 3:30, Miles let loose a big yawn.
“Are you sleepy?” Jaclyn asked.
“No,” Miles said. “I’m just a little sleepy.” Then, “Are you sleepy?”
“YEAH,” we both answered.