We took Captain Adventure to the doctor today for a follow up visit. The kid has been suffering (and I do mean suffering) from ear infection after ear infection this winter, plus a deep chest cough that is driving us crazy. The cough doesn't seem to bother him much, but his daddy and I are about to climb the walls because it sounds awful.
The doctor was looking in his ears and announced that he had a lot of wax. Now, I don't even attempt to clean out my kids' ears. My mother used to clean out mine on occasion – and on occasion, she would jab me in the eardrum with that Q-tip. I remember that pain…vividly.
I'm not woman enough to handle the Q-tip in the kid's ear thing. I can barely handle the risk-factor involved in trimming their fingernails, there is just no way in hell I can stick a Q-tip into those delicate little seashell ears.
So, after supporting my defensive response that "I don't like to try to clean out his ears – I might hurt him!" with a "oh no, you wouldn't want to do that – you'll just pack the stuff in tighter. I'll write down the name of some good drops you can use…" she gets this plastic thing that looks vaguely like a crochet hook and says, "OK, let me see if I can get some of this out of there…"
Captain Adventure began fussing almost before she even got it into his ear. And as soon as she started fishing, he started yelling and screaming and kicking and trying his darndest to get away from us.
And she gets a little bit of wax out, and goes back in. Dips up another fairly impressive bit of wax, tries to peek in the ear, shakes her head, seizes up the ear hook again and goes back in for a third go.
There is piercing screaming. There is desperate writhing. There is an expression of grim determination on the doctor's kindly face.
And suddenly, she produced from out of my tiny little boy's ear, a blob of earwax weighing approximately 65 pounds and covering the entire landmass of Asia.
OK, so I may be exaggerating just a little bit.
But it was a lot of earwax. I have never in my life seen that big a hunk of earwax. It was nasty.
Then she looked back in his ear, tsk'd, and said that it looked "really inflamed" and prescribed some antibiotics and some drops to put in all Denizen ears to break down the wax.
All the way to daycare, he was sitting in his chair talking to himself. "Ba? Ba! Ba? Ba! Ha ha ha ha! BaaaaaaAA? BA!"
It was as though the sound of his own voice was a new thing, something exciting and different. And I have to wonder: did the removal of the earwax restore his hampered hearing? Is this what my little darling has needed, to get him talking?
Will this be the night that he comes home and say, "I say, mother, could you spot a fellow a cup of juice?"