Tuesday, March 15, 2011


For some reason, Little Tot has a propensity for ear infections. She never got one when she was breastfeeding. It wasn't until she weaned that they started. She had one in early summer and then another one at the end of summer. That one took 6 weeks to clear and resulted in an amox rash and a trip to the ER. That was also the one where the doctor seemed to really doubt our 'story' that our daughter had just mentioned that her ear 'hurt' a day or two before. After we had affirmed over and over that yes, she was sleeping fine...no, she wasn't pulling on her ear or fussy...no, she hadn't run a fever, etc. he seemed to offer the only logical solution. "She must have a high tolerance for pain." You think? The girl's eardrum was bulging and about to burst and all she had said was 'my ear hurts' once or twice.

You would think, after that experience, that I would be more vigilant to check for ear infections. And I am. I am always on the lookout for signs of pain or variations of normal. Nothing. Until yesterday at nap time. I went to lay her down and I heard the standard attempts at stalling naptime followed by 'my ear hurts' - accompanied by a whimper. "Wow, she's getting good at this" was my thought. I told her that a nap would help and to go to sleep. She was quiet for a few minutes and then started crying more. I went back up (with such a good attitude, I assure you) and asked what the problem was. She said she wanted to ride in the carrier. I told her after nap and to go to sleep. Again, she mentioned her ear hurting and was crying at this point (I couldn't tell if it was for the ear or the no carrier response). I tucked her back in (getting more frustrated at this point) and went downstairs to call my mom. I needed some perspective. Did I mention that I was in the middle of trying to quickly pull together a meal for a new mom at our church? Mom asked me a few questions and suggested that I give her some meds. Okay by me. Back upstairs.

I go to give the Motrin and Little Tot decides now is the time to decide she doesn't like the medicine and spit it out. Grrr. I get as much in as possible while trying to keep Little guy asleep on me in the carrier. Again, we try for a nap. Please, just a quick nap!

This time I didn't even get to the bottom of the stairs when she started screaming. I took a deep breath and went back upstairs and opened her door and gently comforted my daughter. Um, I wish. Actually, I went back upstairs, pushed the door open and, more harshly than I want to admit, said "WHAT?" "What is the matter?" My question was met with a startle and then a sobbing "My ear hurts!" I felt about the size of an ant. What kind of mother doesn't believe her own daughter telling her that her ear hurts??? In rolled the mommy-guilt. You know, that sick feeling that you have screwed up your daughter in a way that can never be repaired and one day she'll be sitting with a therapist who will discover that all of your daughter's problems date back to that one incident. But I digress.

The doctor's office couldn't see her until 5:45 in the evening and I still had a meal to deliver. I loaded up my two youngest, delivered the meal, got lost getting to the doctor, and detested every hill between me and the doctor's office all while my little daughter was crying, sobbing about her ear hurting. Guess what they told me? She has an ear infection. Thanks. There is fifteen dollars well spent. I think I already knew that! God bless my mom for being willing to go out that evening to pick up the prescription that the pharmacist took an hour and a half to fill resulting in DH not being able pick it up on his way to his meeting.

It is days like this that make me acutely aware that I can't do this mothering thing on my own. As much as I like to think I can, days like this prove I can't. I don't have the patience, wisdom, and godliness needed to parent my little blessings. Fortunately, God is a god of second chances and He gives grace when we fall short. I pray often for God to fill in where I fail. And I trust that He does. His Word tells us that His grace is sufficient. Not our own abilities - HIS GRACE. Days like this, I need that grace. And forgiveness. From Him and from my little ones. Fortunately, both are quick and gracious to forgive.

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