After nearly two weeks of incessant griping, backtalking, wailing and refusing, capped off with a giant helping of Blatant Disregard For The Law, I hauled Jack to the doctor's office today. "What's wrong with him?" the receptionist asked when I called to make the appointment. "His mother is considering auctioning him off," I told her.
Nearly two weeks ago Jack woke up with a crazy high temperature. We gave him some medicine and the fever was gone within the hour, but the bad attitude decided to stick around. If he's not tormenting his sister he's tormenting me. He has selective hearing. He has deep and awe-inspiring reserves of stubbornness. He doesn't care how long ago he stopped playing with that toy - it's HIS. Also, he laughs at your attempts to put him in Time Out or take away his crayons and your under-your-breath threats at the playground are hilarious. He is TWO! Almost THREE! He can stump, annoy, frustrate and, best of all, outlast YOU, Silly Grown Up!
I spent my entire week wondering where in the world I'd gone wrong. What in the world I could DO. While Jack sat at the dinner table, pushing his lunch away and whining, "I don' WAAAAAAAANit! I don' WAAAAAAANit!" over and over and over, I sat on the couch, willing the cushions to swallow me whole. My mother suspected Something Was Up. "I'd think you kids were just being brats," she said, "and then I'd take you to the doctor and you'd have EAR INFECTIONS."
Oh great, I thought. Now I'm not just a rotten mother for my ineffectiveness at stopping the use of the couch for Olympic trampoline practice, now I'm a rotten mother because my kid has EAR INFECTIONS. I decided I'd take him to see the doctor. At the very least I could rule something out, right?
So OF COURSE today he wakes up with a snotty nose and a sad little sickie face and I couldn't get an appointment to see the doctor until late in the afternoon, which meant HOURS of imagining what the doctor would say. "Well OBVIOUSLY he has a cold." "OBVIOUSLY it's strep throat." "OBVIOUSLY you should have brought him in DAYS ago."
Except, when I brought him in, NOTHING WAS WRONG.
"His ears look fine!" the doctor said. "Throat? Fine! Tummy? Fine! Fever? What fever! He's FINE!" And then flounced out of the exam room to complain to the nurses about the mother in Room Eleven who wants to blame her kid's detestable temperament on EAR INFECTIONS. Jack sat on the exam table, smiling sweetly and batting his eyelashes.
I marched Jack out of there, strapped him into his car seat and caved to his demand for a doughnut on the way home, because, well, did I mention the sickie face? I wiped his nose all night and gave him another dose of medicine before he went to bed. So he's got a little cold, but nothing serious, and I'll go back to what I do every night: fervently hoping tomorrow is a better day.