My folks came to visit this past weekend and boy was it...eventful.
Alex has had a nasty cough since before Easter that kept him up several nights in a row, which kept me up several nights in a row, and when that coughing turned to wheezing again, I decided to take him back to the doc last week to make sure that he didn't have another case of strep and/or RAD. He didn't. What he did have was double ear infections. Again. No fevers, no ear-pulling, no decrease in appetite, NO decrease in energy level - no indication whatsoever that he had ear infections other than a nasty cough.
His doc was unavailable the day I took him in so this info came from the Nurse Practitioner. She said that, considering his history with ear infections, we may want to see an ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat) specialist next time he gets one, especially if it happens during the summer, after "ear infection season" has passed. Inner ear issues tend to run in my family - as an ear-infection-prone toddler, my diet consisted of Amoxicillin and popsicles until I turned two and had my tonsils removed. My little brother had to have major surgery on his ear when he was four and is now mostly deaf in that ear. Of course, he went on to become an incredible musician, which just goes to show that ears are overrated.
By the time Alex saw the doc, I was starting to come down with something myself. It began as a swollen, scratchy throat that, by Thursday afternoon, had rendered me voiceless. I called my doctor's office and whispered to the receptionist that I needed a throat culture to see if I had strep. I went in on Friday and discovered that I did not have strep, which essentially meant that my illness was a mystery. I went home with a prescription for nasal spray and a decongestant, neither of which seem to have helped since I still have an itchy throat, an annoying cough, and whenever I open my mouth to speak, I sound like Bobcat Goldthwait.
The point of all of this is that my mom and dad were coming to stay in our plague-ridden household for the weekend, and while they were excited about being able to baby us, I was kind of bummed that we weren't at our healthiest. The plus side of their ill-timed visit was that Alex wasn't contagious, and since the doc suggested that I stay at arm's length away from him in case my mystery illness was contagious, they were able to pick up my slack in the mothering department. Plus, they cooked and cleaned and gave me some much-needed rest, which, I suppose, couldn't have come at a better time.
We took it kind of easy, ate a lot, had food fights, played outside, did some shopping, and played beauty salon - I flat-ironed my mom's big, curly hair, after which my dad didn't even recognize her. After A went to bed, we played games and watched movies. It was a really good time with my folks, despite the fact that I was feeling not so good.
Of course, Alex was in hog heaven. He had a great time blowing bubbles, planting "trees", reading books, and throwing horseshoes with B. He had a ball rough-housing with Grampa, being goofy, playing keep-away with his sippy cup, and trying on Grampa's glasses. B taught him that hiding under the table in the kitchen is a lot of fun, and now that B is gone, Mommy is the one that has to play along when Alex points under the table and says "sit!". He even went pee-pee on the potty for B and was promptly rewarded with one tasty jelly bean. Grampa taught him why Grampas should not be allowed to do their grandsons' hair, gave him some pointers about how to properly marinate a dry-aged ribeye, and gave him a quick lesson in auto-mechanics.
Speaking of which, did I mention that my parents' car overheated during the last five miles of their trip here? And that after my dad changed the broken clamps on some pipe-thinga-majiggy and started the car, it made wretched sputtering sounds that no fine-tuned piece of machinery should ever make? And that, after he had it towed to the dealership, they told him it would cost $750 to run a diagnostic, that he appeared to have blown both head gaskets, and if that was indeed the case, to fix the problem would cost more than the car was worth? Oh, and that they ended up having to rent a U-Haul truck and a trailer to drag Dad's poor, sick baby all the way home to Peoria? I hope I didn't mention any of that because it was a very traumatic experience for my dad, who loves his vehicle, and he would just be more miserable to have to relive it here on my blog.
Needless to say, their ride home wasn't nearly as comfortable or exciting as their trip here. I tried to convince them that it was a sign that they needed to stay. Alex was more distraught about them leaving than I was, and when my mom said goodbye to him, he cried, "Beeeeee! Beeeeee! Nooooooo! Beeeeee!!" as big, fat tears rolled down his face. Good try, Alex. A for effort. In the end, they drove off into the sunset with their poor, sick baby trailing behind them. Hopefully their next visit will be a little less dramatic. I think they'll probably fly...