Thursday, June 09, 2005

'Tisn't the Season for This, Is It?

If I ever needed confirmation that my children 1) seem to be attached to each other and yet 2) feel that each alone warrants my sole attention, I received it today.

My sister called me around 1:00 this afternoon to say that Sean had been crying since lunch, gasping out "I want to go home!" and "My ear hurts!" between sobs. I quickly deduced that he might, in fact, have an ear infection. (Pause for applause at my keen sleuthing prowess.)

He was inconsolable during the car ride home. Once at home, he hurled himself into his bed and pleaded with me to lie down next to him. As soon as I was settled in Sean's bed, Allison, quite fed up with all the attention Sean was receiving, pitched herself onto the floor and launched her own bout of hysteria. Any attempt on my part to console her was met with heightened sobbing from Sean. At last, he fell asleep, and I was able to nurse Allison's bruised ego until it was time to go the doctor's.

The doctor quickly confirmed the ear infection (thank goodness for the "quickly" part, since Sean continued the pyrotechnic display in the doctor's office), and prescribed some anesthetic drops plus an antibiotic for use if the infection doesn't clear up soon.

On all these trips to and from the car, I carried Sean in my arms. Allison, who normally prefers to provide her own locomotion, took great offense at this. At one point she wrested her hand from mine and staged a sit-in in the middle of the parking lot. I never realized how heavy Sean was until I had to hold him with one arm while trying to pull a determined Allison to the safety of the sidewalk.

Sean fell asleep, sweaty and completely spent, as soon as we got home at 4:00. And is still asleep as of this writing (a record, I believe). I do hope he feels better soon -- it was just heartbreaking to witness him in so much pain.

After her brother went to bed, Allison was clearly at a loss without him -- she wandered about, flitting from toy to toy and book to book with even less attention span than usual. She asked, over and over again, "Where Sean?" When I told her that Sean was asleep, she was indignant: "No! Sean awake!" And then she'd march toward the stairs so that she could make it so.

With Allison in bed by 8:15 and Sean already asleep, it's like we have the night off. I am deeply suspicious, though, about the length of Sean's slumber tonight. We're fully anticipating that Sean will rouse himself at 2 a.m., expecting breakfast and an episode of Caillou to start his day.

Edited to add -- 10:00: Well, he's awake now, as chipper and happy and WIDE AWAKE as can be. Should be an interesting night!