Ear we go again…

Midi Minx had her follow-up appointment with the Ear, Nose, Throat professor on Friday just past. Sheesh, give me strength…

Background (skip if you remember all this): She’s been seeing the consultant for over a year, since I started kicking up a fuss at the GPs (8 ear infections in 8 months; some GPs wanted to treat with antibiotics, some refused, no-one really put it all together and figure that this little 2 year old might be in some pain with so many infections and perforated eardrums…). They established that the hearing in her left ear was borderline normal and ‘significantly worse’ in her right ear. After a lot of watching and waiting, we all agreed that she needed grommets to cure her permanent glue ear. So she went for the op at the end of November. The surgeon, though, didn’t perform the op as apparently Midi *didn’t* have glue ear, but did have a big ball of wax. So she had her adenoids removed and a middle ear suction.

I’d cancelled the original follow-up appointment a month ago when the kids came down with chicken pox. So a month later, and 2 months after the op, you’d think the medical notes would have been delivered… Nope. So the professor wasn’t impressed when I relayed to him what the surgeon had said. “Well, she definitely has glue ear right now”, he asserted. Hmmm, so apparently Midi’s had glue ear since she was 2 or younger, still has it, has had it every single time a doctor has looked in her ears, but *didn’t* have it suddenly on 27 November? Midi’s hearing is just the same as it was all the previous hearing tests. The professor rationalised that with chicken pox perhaps still having an effect on her, and it taking a while for the adenoidectomy to make a difference.

Upshot? She’s to go back in May/June. This time I think I’ll be Very Grumpy Mummy. We’ve waited plenty. All I want to know is what can be done to improve Midi’s hearing. And bloody do it! The only reason why I wasn’t stamping around on Friday was because Midi’s not had an ear infection in months, and is in no pain or discomfort. And her hearing isn’t affecting her at nursery too badly. But school? That could be another matter…

Actually, I’m saying she’s not had an ear infection. But she has had a bit of a cough. Last week she had me and The Boss in giggles as she dramatically flung her hands in the air, declaring, “Nuffin’ makes my cough better: not going to sleep, not waking up, not breakfast, not lunch, not eatin’ my dinner, not medicine, not nuffin'”.

child's ears

A cross-section of Midi Minx's little head

Back to Friday, though. Looking on the bright side, we had a fun day out in Inverness, just me, Midi and Mini. I had a long shopping list of bits and bobs to pick up that I couldn’t source locally, so had packed the Big Green Double Buggy-mobile. The day started great: we had an easy drive, all sang along to the radio, it was sunny, I swung straight into a brilliant parent & baby space. We had a wobble when I opened the boot to discover one of the tyres on the buggy was burst and Mini (unusually for her) steadfastly refused to go in the sling. It went back on an ‘up’, though, when both girls happily held hands and trotted along with me. I cut my shopping list down from 3 pages to 3 lines long (ie essentials only) and hit the shops.

Well, of course the kids acted like they’d been set free into the wild, scuttling off in opposite directions, chuckling their heads off. I was on a tight timescale, so wasn’t going to waste time asking old ladies and fat people blocking the aisles to ‘excuse me please’. Oh no! If 2 minxes are escaping, I know I’ve around 3 seconds grace before they’re tearing a stand apart. So that rude, harassed-looking, blue-haired haridan yelling, ‘Mind!’ and ‘Coming through!’ was me. Sorry.

School uniform, plimsolls and woolly dresses acquired, we headed to the hospital for morning snack before the appointment. I did notice the roomful of oldies shrinking away from us as we sat down – I guess when you’re 100 years older than God you know just how messy a 1 and 3 year old can be. I divvied up a sticky apple turnover and a banana 3 ways, poured milk and coffee, and we all tucked in, like a pack of lions devouring an iced gazelle filled with jam. I guess the oldies noticed that the kids liked their food too much to drop even a crumb, so relaxed a bit. Two even chuckled indulgently at Mini throwing a tantrum when it was time to stuff little thrashing arms back into her coat while she ‘mysteriously’ lost the ability to stand or even sit up…

On the way out, I marvelled again at how Midi can spot our car in a whole car park. I asked her how she knew it was ours.

“Easy!” she said, “I look at the numbers here”, pointing to the numberplate.

“But what bit?” I asked, knowing full well that she can’t read yet, although she does know her numbers.

“This!” she said, pointing to the second letter, X, “See? X marks the spot”.

That Gigglebiz Pirate has a lot to answer for…

Standard Week, Really

(wrote this last week)

Mini Minx can only say 8 or 9 words, but is trying out some new ones. I gave her a slice of homemade tea-loaf that all 3 minxes made. She rubbed her little belly, licked her lips and sighed, “Mmmmmmmmmm. Yuck!” Keep trying, darling…

Mini also burst into hurt tears when I refused to share my emergency Stress-Relief Chocolate with her. They were so heartbreaking that I pathetically relented and fed my 18-month-old some Evil Cheap Dairy Milk. I am sure to go to Dentist Hell when I die.

Maxi Minx, meanwhile, has been busy worrying about me going away for the weekend to visit my poorly Dad. I didn’t think to alert her teachers that she might be unsettled about it, but they noticed. It might have been the graphic, word-for-word description of the operation he was about to have…

Staying with Maxi, I read on someone’s blog about how hurtful some girls were to her 9 year old daughter: crumpling up and binning a drawing she’d made lovingly for one of them. That really struck a chord with me, so I’d chatted with Maxi about it in a 5-year-old-friendly kind of way. We talked about what she would do if someone threw away one of her drawings, and what she should do if someone gave her a drawing that she didn’t like. I had marked it as ‘Tick – fully completed’ in my head. So I wasn’t impressed to hear her teacher remind her that although she’d not really liked Neave’s drawing, Neave had spent an extra-specially long time and great care making it just perfect for Maxi. Oh hell… So I switched from chatting about it to full brainwash mode. From henceforth, if any child gave Maxi a drawing, regardless of what it was, Maxi was to say, “Thank you very much! I love it!”, put it in her bag and talk to me about it. The next morning I found Neave, introduced myself, and sxclaimed what a beautiful drawing she’d done for Maxi, that she was very kind and talented. After getting over her shock at The Mental Mad Perma-Distracted-Looking Lady talking to her, she looked fit to burst with pride – the wee soul!

Midi, meanwhile, got her 4th review with the ENT professor at the hospital. She’s already her got her Autumn-and-Winter-Perpetual-Cold, so her hearing sure wasn’t any better than last time. I’d observed that her speech had caught up with where it should be whilst she was relatively infection-free over the summer, but that already it was going backwards. So I agreed that getting grommets would, indeed, make sense. So I guess it’ll be by the end of next month! Poor wee mite. She’s to get her adenoids whipped out, too, if they’re as inflamed as the prof suspected. I know it’s for the best, and I know it’s not a major op, but she’s my wee baby and I wish I could just make everything trouble-free and perfect for her. She asked if it would hurt. “Yes”, I said, “You’ll have an ouch, but not as much of an ouch as when you had your injections”. She seemed satisfied with that, and busied herself chosing a sweetie for being so fantastically well-behaved and obedient all morning.

Midi (and hence Mini) missed swimming this week because of the thick snot rope sported by Midi. Maxi might as well have missed it, because this week she swam even fewer strokes. Typically, though, she managed to jump in the pool by herself just as I raced Midi to the toilet. Missed it. Damn!

I don’t know what goes through Midi’s mind sometimes. Now that she and Maxi are in different ballet classes, she likes to peep in on her big sister. I don’t know what she’s expecting from a class of 5 year olds, though – “Oh. They’re sitting down” she said, all disappointed at them pointing and flexing their toes. Perhaps she believed they danced round sacrifices, or something?!

Probably the biggest thing last week was my Dad having a stroke and needing a sudden operation – I’ll write about that separately, though.