This morning started at 5:30am when Gabriel appeared in our room, crying hard about his "cheek" hurting. Yesterday morning, he'd complained about his ear, then again in the early afternoon, and again in the evening, crying hard for about half an hour. I think I've seen Gabriel cry that long, other than in anger, maybe three times in his life.
So Dave called the pediatrician during Gabriel's gymnastics class this morning, and by then, Gabriel wasn't complaining about it. We thought maybe the pain was due to a permanent molar is coming in (according to the dentist 2 weeks ago). The advice nurse said to watch it, give him Motrin (we had been), and bring him in Monday if need be.
Meanwhile, I went for a swim, came home and took a nap. I heard everyone getting back home, heard a little crying, then it was quiet again. A few minutes after I got up, Dave returned with the boys and a bag from Rite-Aid. Turned out, while I was napping, Gabriel complained again about his ear, Dave called the pediatrician again and zoomed him there for the last appointment of the morning, at noon. Diagnosis: ear infection. Prescription: antibiotics.
(Recently Dave read that the newest approach to ear infections is to see if they clear on their own in 24-48 hours, rather than instantly prescribing antibiotics. But when your very non-complainer kid cries miserably for half an hour one night, then shows up at your bedside at 5:30am crying in pain, it's pretty hard to follow that.)
When Dave got home with the boys, he took care of giving Gabriel his medicine, extracting a tiny pebble from Julian's palm, assorted butt-wiping, doling out milk...all allowing me to come out of a groggy state and sit and have some lunch in peace. Finally, at 2pm, sufficiently rested and fed, I took over, giving the boys a late lunch and getting Julian down for a nap without incident (Gabriel had already curled up on the couch under a blanket voluntarily).
I was so, so grateful to Dave for whisking Gabriel off to the pediatrician and then to the pharmacy, and without consulting me. Not that I'd have minded being consulted of course, but there really was no need, and I really, really needed the rest -- he saw what needed to be done and did it. That's exactly what I need in my compromised state! I was so happy to wake up and find that Gabriel had really been taken care of. Modern times notwithstanding, as the Mom, I'm always the one directing domestic traffic, and perhaps all moms think in the back of their heads that no one can do a better job than they can. But days like today greatly increase our confidence in dads, even though on the surface it might not seem like that big a deal. It really was. Especially now, it's so wonderful to have a day that really shows that I count on Dave.
In the afternoon, everyone napped (I rested again, with reluctance, but my lower back demanded it), then we got ready to go to a housewarming party at Kevin and Angela's. This was a lot of fun: there were so many kids there that the boys were endlessly entertained. Gabriel spent a lot of time staring at an oven that had both an electronic and mechanical digital clock, making sure they were synchronized. Julian at one point had no fewer than six little girls surrounding him playing soccer with him (the youngest girl being about 6). Julian was quite the charmer this evening, being very social and very cute, and at one point planting himself in a small family room where grownups had set up music equipment and were playing and singing. He really, really likes music.
I had a great time catching up with our longtime moto-friends at this party; it may be my last social event pregnant. I hope!
The Braxton-Hicks contractions are getting more frequent and more intense, often pushing down on me in such a way that gives me a crampy, and actually borderline painful, feeling. But crampy feelings that are accompanied by the irritating pressure of a B-H contraction are meaningless. It's the other occasional crampy sensations that get my hopes up. But, so far, nothing. At least we know one thing: the baby will be born in October 2006, since as I type, September has only two hours left.