So can you believe that even through our epic Squeaker meltdowns and incessant crying, we still refused to believe it could be colic? I had read somewhere that colicky babies cried more than three hours a day. Imagine that a quarter of your awake hours are spent listening to the ear-piercing shriek of an infant that cannot be soothed. I didn’t think we had it that bad, because eventually she gets tired and falls asleep. Lessons in parenting right there, my friends, right there.
That was until Saturday when we took her to the birthday party of a my husband’s coworker’s daughter. Squeaker was by far the youngest party-goer and slept through most of it–even the blaring reggaeton. I wish I could sleep through most social engagements, but that’s just because I’m weird. Anyway…
The party must have been enough to throw off her schedule and she screamed on the way home. We got her in and more screaming. That was when I noticed she was rubbing one ear, but just one.
What if, I thought, what if all this time she’s had an EAR INFECTION and not reflux or poor weight gain or whatever the doctors want to call it? We had her screaming and purple-faced in her car seat and on the way to the ER faster than you could say ‘only child’.
The doctor was dressed in head to toe Hello Kitty. Hello Kitty has always made me sort of nauseous. Blame it on the pink that reminds of a Pepto Bismol bottle, but I was grateful that it held Squeaker’s attention long enough to examine her.
“First and only child?” she asked us knowingly.
I would have replied, “No, the other seven are home with the nanny” if she hadn’t been so nice about it.
We explained to her how Squeaker has been on a self-imposed hunger strike, which was making her (thus us) miserable. That’s when she asked me to do something so simple that I wondered why it had never occurred to the other doctors, “Okay, show me how you feed her.”
I sat down in one of the neon orange mod chairs and tried my best to show her. For the first five minutes, Squeaker was very good (like when you take your car to the mechanic but can’t get it to make “that noise”). Then came the tears. This time she got herself so worked up that it took her close to ten minutes of breathless crying to calm down.
“This is typical colic behavior,” the doctor explained. “Her tummy hurts.”
She then wrote us a prescription for probiotics and told us to give then to her once a day for three weeks.
And she’s turned in to a new baby. My husband keeps saying, “We fixed her!” Whereas I prefer to think of taking her in for a tune-up. Her voracious appetite has returned and instead of crying three plus hours a day, it’s really a much more manageable amount, like two. For real, I just wrote that.
We’re ready to put these uncomfortable weeks behind us.