And The Diagnosis Is…


I worried Robbie had another ear infection. I was terrified it would be another night of screaming and kicking. Mostly because the screaming and kicking started as soon as we got home. Robbie refused to eat dinner and was only consolable with a bottle of milk. At a loss, and with nowhere to take a 19-month-old for walk-in care at 6:30 at night, I called and left a message for our on-call pediatrician.

By the time she called back, Robbie had calmed down considerably. He’d granted us the opportunity to bathe him and get him dressed in his pajamas. Since there was no screaming, I could actually hear what Dr. Sheldon had to say. I explained that I thought it might be an ear infection, but things didn’t add up. Robbie didn’t have a gross runny nose; everything was still running clear. He was rubbing around his ear, which probably should be a red flag. But, Robbie never rubs at his ears when he has an infection.

While trying to figure out what the problem was, Dr. Sheldon asked me if I’d checked for teething. I told her his mouth was pretty full with teeth, and then it hit me. His two-year molars. He’s closer to two than he is to one, so it made sense. So did the rubbing near his ears. He was rubbing at his jaw!

After I got off the phone, I asked Robbie if I could check out his mouth and feel his teeth. I showed him how I was going to do it with Justin, which Robbie thought was hysterical. He took a turn sticking his fingers back into Justin’s mouth, which I’m sure my dutiful husband appreciated. Robbie opened wide and let me feel the back of all sides of his mouth. And there it was. A lump on his lower right jaw.

We gave him a generous dose of Tylenol and a little extra cudding. Robbie fell to sleep after an hour (or two) of talking in his crib (yes, we got him back in!). I’ll be honest… When I went into his room to turn off the lights on my own way to bed (he’s tall enough to reach the light switch now), I could smell him. He had pooped. Majorly. But I wasn’t going to touch him. I figured the diaper change could wait until 3:00 in the morning, which is precisely when he woke up screaming for a change. Fortunately, this morning, he went back to sleep ten minutes later.


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