The Munchkin developed a cough Sunday. The kind where I said out loud to the Spouse "Hm. I don't think it warrants a trip to the Urgent Care. But maybe I should take her in tomorrow."
Three days (and sleepless nights) later, I finally decided to take her in. I dropped Thing 2 off at our co-op preschool (apologizing in my head for his constantly runny nose) and headed to the pediatrician's office. Parked. Grabbed the Munchkin out of the car and headed in.
The moment Herr Doctor breezed into the room, Munchkin started wailing--squirting gigantic tears *off* her face. (How DO kids do that??) I was delighted by this. Because, you see, a good temper tantrum usually leads to a coughing fit. So we'd be able to get an accurate diagnosis. I am nothing if not a logical parent. Doc sighed and asked me to hold her on my lap, which did nothing to comfort her. She was now simply screaming in BOTH our ears, which seemed unfair to me. He was being paid to have his ears screamed in.
Herr Doctor whistled and said "Sounds like a case of RSV. Bronchitis. Maybe both. How long has she sounded like this again??"
My good parent meter wobbled slightly in it's dial.
"But RSV kids are usually pretty happy even if they sound terrible..." he continued as he peered in her ear "...but with a raging ear infection like THIS one has..." changing ears "or a DOUBLE ear infection like this one has, it's no surprise she's miserable."
Good parent meter tilted ominously toward the yellow.
Herr Doctor now looked in her mouth, whistled again, "And her throat is really red. And she's cutting all 4 molars. Poor kid."
He twirled his stool around and leaned over her chart and started making notes, giving instructions: antibiotic, humidifier, rest, fluids. "Oh. And make sure you keep her bundled up. It's cold outside, and that can wreak havoc on these little bodies."
I looked down at my hiccoughing daughter in my lap--shoeless, sockless, hatless, coatless.
The good parent meter tanked. Red alarm bells going off.
But then I reminded myself--I had put socks on her. She took them off herself. And at least I'd gotten her coat into the car. So that wasn't as bad as leaving it home.
"Give her her medicine with food--you know, breakfast would be perfect."
Crap. Breakfast. The Munchkin looked up at me accusingly and sniffed.
I humbly took the prescription and vowed to do better. Or at least to remember to refill the humidifier with water before turning it on "high" for the night.
(On a side note, coming out of the doctor's office I saw the coolest thing! There were 50+ robins in the trees, on the ground--everywhere! They were so fat and twittering and happy. I have never seen that many at once. It was incredible.)