Monday, May 18, 2009

Date Night!

S and I went out alone last night, for the first time since LL was born. (Or, as one of our friends put it, we went out last night without our ubiquitous third wheel.) If we had family in the area, we probably would have done it sooner, but with no built-in babysitters within reach, we waited until LL was "easy" enough in the evenings that we were comfortable imposing on friends.

I am happy to say that I didn't call home even once, which I hear is what new moms are supposed to do, multiple times, the first time that they leave their little one with a non-parent. I did ask my friend E, who was babysitting, to send me a text message when LL was asleep in his crib (right on time -- 7:38pm) but other than that, we let sleeping babies lie. S and I just went out for dinner, so we weren't out very late (and our relatively early dinner reservations made us the only patrons in the restaurant for a good half hour after we sat down) but it was nice to be out and about with S for a while.

Back at home, LL played with E, did his normal bedtime routine without a hitch, and went to sleep with no problems. He was asleep when we got home at 9:30pm. Then, at 11:00pm, all hell broke loose. Three nights in a row, LL had slept through the night, 7ish to 7ish, without crying for us even once. Last night, we were not so lucky. When I went in to to check on him, he was in a full panic, like he had just realized that it hadn't been his mommy who had put him to bed several hours earlier. He desperately reached up to me to be picked up, sobbing and coughing. (He hadn't cried at all when we left, and he hadn't cried at all the whole time E was with him.) He kept crying and crying, along with a shriek that normally means he's in pain. So... teething maybe? We got out the motrin, and washed it down as usual with a little water, and he kept lunging at the dropper of water. Hm... hungry maybe? We got him a bottle, and he proceeded to gulp down 8 ounces. (He hasn't eaten that much milk in one sitting for weeks; he rarely eats at night anymore, and when he does, it's usually 2-3 ounces.) When he was done eating, he immediately started to cry again. And then he started coughing and obsessively pulling on his ear. Crap.

As I've mentioned, there are significant issues with diagnosing problems in babies. In particular, the available sensor readings are noisy, the baby's actions are somewhat stochastic, and I have no ability to hold any variables constant as controls. Last night, I first thought that LL was upset because he didn't know where Mom and Dad had gone, and he was panicked that someone other than me or S had put him to bed. But, that might have just been me projecting emotions onto him. (You don't want your kid to get really really upset when you leave, because you'll never be able to leave without guilt. On the other hand, you want him to be just a little upset, purely for selfish reasons, because otherwise it hits you that you are totally replaceable in his eyes. Come on, babe, you love me more than that, right?) My hypotheses then rotated slowly through teething, hunger, and teething again, and finally came to rest on the dreaded ear infection. Hence: crap! LL occasionally pulls on his ear from teething pain, but he's never had a cough like that, and he's never tugged so mercilessly on the ear, while crying.

Eventually, the motrin kicked in and he was able to fall asleep. There was less ear-pulling this morning, and he seemed relatively happy. But he also didn't want to eat much breakfast, and the cough seems to be getting worse. We left him with Rosie, and told her to keep a close eye on his cough and his ear, and we'll evaluate tonight whether it seems like it's really a problem. It might really just be teething. Or it might really just be panic that we had left him. Either way, I'm hoping that tonight is better. And that we don't need to go to the pediatrician. I really can't handle him getting sick again right now. Two colds this season has been plenty.


  1. Sounds like a fun night out! I can sympathize with your lack of built-in babysitters... I can only IMAGINE how much DH and I would be out on dates if my parents live close. (Read: EVERY WEEK. My parents would even insist on it.)

    My vote is see the pedi for a check-up anyway. Often times with an ear infection, they don't even pull on their ears because they can't localize the pain that efficiently. If it seems to be more than teething pain, it's worth the co-pay.

  2. Oh I hope he is OK. Totally understand the 'don't want him to be crazy upset, but don't want him to be totally normal either feeling. Glad that you had a great time.

  3. I am so glad you had a gret night out. Good for you.

    I never can tell the difference between teething/ear infections when it first happens either. Sometimes Ear infections usually come with a fever over 100 is the only clue I have


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