When I picked Robbie up from pre-school today, he was in time-out. Then there was a note in his cubby from the morning teacher. A long note. Detailing every single transgression from the day. Kicking and hitting friends. Trip to the office. Throwing bean bags and rugs. Climbing cabinets and wiping all the contents on top onto the floor. Trip to the office. Accident in the office. Leaping from cot to cot while swinging his blanket in the air during nap time. Throwing shoes and socks at friends during nap time. Trip to the office.
My first inclination was to drag my child out of school and have a stern talking to the entire way home. And then he coughed. And he felt a little warm. And so I bit tongue and headed to the Little Clinic. Only one thing could be happening: Robbie had another ear infection. It was the only reasonable explanation. Confused? So was the nurse practitioner. Our meeting went a little something like this:
“So, what brings Robert in this evening?”
“Well, I think he has an ear infection. Again.”
“OK. Has he complained about his ears hurting?”
“No, but I got a letter detailing all the terrible things he did at school today and he only acts that way when he has an ear infection.”
“But his ears don’t hurt?”
“Not that he’s told me.”
“Is he pulling at them?”
“No. He can’t feel ear infections. We can only tell from his behavior. And his behavior is crazy.”
I could tell we weren’t getting anywhere and she obviously thought I was crazy for bringing my child in simply because I got a letter from his teacher telling me about his horrible day. It was becoming apparent that she was worried about sending Robbie home with his crazy mother. And then she examined him.
His lungs sounded bronchitis-y. And, yes, his ears were red. The beginnings of an ear infection.
It’s funny how things change. Three months ago, I waited and waited to take Robbie to the doctor for a possible ear infection because he never complained about ear pain. And now, well, I’m the crazy lady taking her child in based on erratic behavior. This is exactly why learning about Robbie’s sensory issues was so key. It’s allowed me to look for other clues when he acts like a crazy person. And it’s taught me to think before I react to something he has done – unless, as determined earlier this week, it occurs in the middle of the night and involves heating up milk.