Not My First Rodeo

Michael is the third baby I am raising.

So why does it feel like I don’t know what I’m doing?

This week, I have been dealing with a super fussy kid. He’ll still give out smiles, and Flora can make him belly laugh out loud, but he’s also covered in drool; fussing at his mouth, nose, and ears; and not sleeping well at night.

He’s on his third ear infection. He’s on his second antibiotic for his third ear infection. He may be teething. His nose is runny, his breathing snorty. I started him on rice cereal last Friday to see how it would take.

After six days of the antibiotic, and five days of rice cereal, I stopped the latter. We went to the pediatrician to see if the former was helping.

And, oh, yeah, it’s not ringworm. It’s just eczema.

What I am mystified by is our stops and starts with solids. A lot of the behavior I associated with teething — the ear pulling, the runny nose, the fussy nights and cranky days — are also signals of an adverse reaction to solids. This was strike two for us on that front. (Strike one was oatmeal cereal, which caused a diaper rash.) Michael’s verdict on solids has been: mouth, YEA; body, NAY.

The ped (Dr. J, probably the most senior doctor in my kids’ practice) says he still has fluid in his ears, but they are not infected (in his words, they aren’t “hot”). So we’ll keep on keeping on with the current abx. He’s scheduled for *another* ear recheck next week.

The ped also poked a little fun at his colleague who diagnosed M with ringworm. “Dr. K is still young,” he said. Dr. J probably has some 30 years on Dr. K.  “He probably hasn’t seen many rashes in his time.”

As far as solids, I’m giving it another two weeks. I may start him on fruit (bananas) or vegetables (sweet potatoes or carrots), or even yogurt (soy-based) rather than cereal again.

As far as teething, how panicked was I to stumble upon this story at Snopes.com regarding teething medication? Answer: pretty panicked. From Tuesday to Wednesday I had probably given M four doses of the stuff. I tossed it after reading that article.

I guess four years between children is long enough to make me forget everything about having an infant. Including the good stuff, of course: the cuddles, the smiles, the kisses, the amazement of watching a child develop. I guess that’s one reason people have more than one!

8 thoughts on “Not My First Rodeo

  1. You’ve raised more babies than me, but my experience is a bit more current. I don’t have experience with ear infections, but my understanding about solid foods at Michael’s age is that it is just practice. He should still be getting most of his nourishment from milk/formula until 1 year old, so there is no hurry to get him into the habit of solids. If it’s a problem, I say stop and try again in a month. I didn’t give AJ solid food until he was 8 months old. He caught on just fine and at 2 years old eats a wide variety of foods including salsa, chana masala, and very fancy cheese.

    • He’s such a big baby (not even 6 months, and already over 17 pounds), that I just figured he should be “eating” something. He has been much happier without any cereal at this point, though.

      Now, that teething thing…

  2. DUDE. I know. We had it pretty easy with Maggie as a baby, so the curveballs Audrey has thrown our way (mainly reflux-related)? HOLY MOLY. I felt like I was doing it all for the first time for like 6 months. Just recently have I finally felt like Hey! I’m doing this! (coincidentally, it’s also when she started sleeping better. hm. maybe NOT so coincidentally…!! LOL)

    • It definitely is, for us, the issue of waiting four years to have our “last” baby. I conveniently forgot quite a bit! And sleep does help. Hence, no more cereal for a while. It’s bad enough we deal with binkies, ear infections, and teething around here!

  3. HOLY CRAP about the orajel. I used it briefly with each child, but I thought it never really worked, so I quit it. I used vanilla extract instead. Just a little dab on my finger, to the gum. Worked like a charm. (But check into it, of course.)

    I recommend yogurt. That’s what we did with our kids and they liked it. However, when they spit it back up, it smells horrid. Just a warning.

    And don’t feel like you don’t know anything, because you do! It’s just, sometimes things don’t happen like you planned them to be. And trust me, after having 3 myself, they’re all different. So even if you had them back to back, it’s still hard. You’re doing a great job.

    • I read that Snopes article literally the day after I had dosed Michael with Orajel about four times because it was clear his teeth were bothering him. My heart practically stopped.

      Michael’s spit up is pretty stinky already because he’s a formula baby. Pee-yew. But given cereal hasn’t sat well with him, plus the repeated round of abx because of ear infections, and I think some yogurt will do the trick. I’m still going to wait until his six month check up, though. the sleeplessness hasn’t been worth the practice with solids!

      And: thanks. I need the encouragement!

  4. My third kid is my mystery kid, too. It’s like he must do things differently from the other two just because he can. We’ve lucked out on ear infections, though, and just had a handful between all three kiddos. So sorry for all of you! Those are so very not fun. Throw in general fussiness and teething and rashes and amorphous aches, and I’d be calling for a prescription for something, anything … for me! =>

    Hang in there. Here’s hoping the yogurt and antibiotics do their thing and the rest of those teeth pop through soon.

    • I will hence forth attribute all Michael’s differences to the fact he’s a boy! Just kidding. He’s been different from the get-g0, so I shouldn’t be surprised.

      And, oh, yes. I write letters to his teeth; I talk to them: Just come in little teeth. Mama and dada need rest!

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