They Shoot Bloggers, Don't They?
It Is All Downhill From Here. And We're Probably About Halfway Down the Hill Already.

Dante's Eardrum

At exactly 8 pm last night, I left my comfortable suburban existence and entered the 12th circle of hell. It started with SOMEONE I WON'T SAY WHO I BET YOU CAN GUESS taking a spectacularly large dump on the bathroom floor. Also, my foot. And then again in the bathtub, which SOMEONE ELSE WHO WAS ALSO IN THE BATHTUB found to be hilarrrrrious. I did not, and responded to their collective gleeful cackles with the very-useful, very-in-charge-of-the-situation admonishment of "STOP BEING SO GROSS!"

After all of that, and a stupid decision to stay up way too late because I suddenly and inexplicably care (AND CARE DEEPLY) about Conan O'Brien, Noah started screaming exactly 15 minutes after we fell asleep. First he said it was his mouth, so we assumed he bit his tongue and shuffled him back to bed without much sympathy. Fifteen minutes after that, we decided maybe he meant his throat, and since he'd had a cold over the weekend, we dosed him with some medicine that we're probably not supposed to dose him with, but those people who say those medicines don't work and a tablespoon of honey works just as well blah blah blah vaporizer plug-ins are welcome to suck on this here pile of snotty tissues.

Fifteen minutes after THAT (translation: once we could not give him additional, more-suitable medicine) he told us it was actually his ear. Oh, his ear. Oh, the pain. THE SCREAMING. He's only had a small handful of ear infections -- about once a year, really -- but he's never been so goddamned enraged by one before. (I had them ALL THE TIME as a kid before getting tubes in kindergarten, and if I reacted that strongly every time I am amazed my parents did not sell me to the gypsies sometime in preschool.)

I hate these kinds of nights, for all the obvious reasons, but mostly because I feel like such a MEAN PERSON: my child is clearly in incredible pain that I can do little about (except think back to all those times I contemplated those earache relief/numbing drops at the drugstore and did. not. buy. them.), and mostly I'm just wishing he would GO BACK TO SLEEP ALREADY, I'M SO TIRED. At one point, I guess in a preschool-logic attempt to get rid of the source of the pain, he opened his bedroom door and hurled his current weird-attachment-object-du-jour (an Elmo puppet book) out into the hallway. "YOU ARE NOT MY FRIEND ANYMORE, ELMO!" he sobbed before climbing back into bed to writhe some more.

Later he decided he wanted to sleep on the couch, a request I blearily obliged, especially since I figured I might be able to sleep through some of his more low-level whining and moaning. (See: Person, Mean, Bad.) I got a brief catnap before the screaming amped up again; when I went downstairs to retrieve him he was sitting in the middle of the coffee table and wailing.

Jason and I took turns attempting to comfort him, offering whatever folksy remedies we could think of, counting the hours before we could safely dope him up with hardcore pain medication again (only to find that about 75% of the stuff we had on hand expired two years ago, niiiiiiice). I finally gave up on ever returning to bed and just stayed with him. He would drift off to sleep for about 10 or 15 minutes before the pressure in his ear amped up again and he'd wake up crying, but as long as I was there he wouldn't escalate to full-on screaming. He kept head-butting me all night, in search of the hardest, firmest part of my body to rest his ear against (sadly, he found few acceptable options), and at one point pressed his ear directly against mine, and I could HEAR the horrible fluid thumping around in there. I did not sleep again until...oh...7:15. Which was about 15 minutes before Ezra woke up (covered in snot, might I add), and it was time to start calling schools and bus depots and pediatricians and put a bra on before the babysitter arrived for her second day on the job. Here are my children! And their multiple strains of disease! I'm so happy you're here so I can get work and writing done and be a professional something somethingzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzomg.

We're headed to the doctor momentarily. He is now, of course, totally fine, and absolutely delighted to stay home from school and play with his new favorite person ever. He's even patched things up with poor Elmo. I would like someone to shoot me in the face. With coffee. Or bullets. Either one.



Did you know they make OTC earache pain drops? 2-3 drops in the ear and it numbs the ear like Orajel to a tooth. Divine.


Try olive oil in a dropper in the ear that is infused with garlic. Your kid will stink, but it works WONDERS and soon unicorns and lollipops will dance from his ear drums!


No advice. Just sympathy- what a sucky night.


Michael's 1st ear infection that he could talk he was up all night screaming my cheek, my cheek, and I could not figure out what he meant. And at about 6 am I was like, oh right, your check, because the ear drum goes in the cheek and makes it hurt.

Benadryl, because it relives the pressure and makes them sleep. And wine, for you.


Also, was up all last night too. My 4yo son has the pukes (THANKS!!! Indoor playground!). I wish there was an OTC to fix that. Or a surefire way to ensure no one else will catch it. I'm fairly sure my insurance company frowns on burning the house down...


Hope everyone is right-as-rain once again after a couple of naps. We're currently doing ear infection battle here too, only with a (slightly older) child who categorically refuses pain medication (on the basis that it doesn't taste good). I insist on the antibiotics--especially since one ear drum has already torn--but have stated clearly that if he won't take the ibuprofen, I don't want to hear about the pain. I'm thinking he should just join the faith-healing cult now and save us much trouble down the road.


I feel your pain. I mean, literally. Or at least I FELT it, just a couple of days ago, since my own kid's cold turned into an ear infection AND bronchitis over the weekend and we had to rush to the doctor on Monday morning.

And then I had to wait TWO HOURS at my local Walgreens pharmacy because of a darkly comedic series of unfortunate events involving computer mix-ups and people getting H1N1 shots and cranky elderly women butting in line ahead of me to purchase an entire week's worth of groceries at the pharmacy counter while I stood there despondent with a child who was clearly about to cough his lungs out of his chest.

Last night was the first night in five days I've gotten a decent night's sleep.



It's so disappointing, isn't it, finding out that our stores of loving maternal sympathy are only sufficient to last through 30 minutes of whining/screaming (your mileage may vary) before we revert to selfish irritation?


I know how you feel. Apparently this kind of night was going around. My 4 year old has an ear infection, only the 2nd of his life and my 2 year old has freaking pneumonia and was up all night coughing. I totally had that feeling like a bad mom thing cause I just wanted her to SLEEP which didn't happen unless she was laying on top of me. Oh and I'm 8 months pregnant so you can imagine how comfortable that was. AUGH!


OMG, feel your pain. We are on the verge of tubes and I am almost happy about it. At least it will put an end to the sleepless nights and poor, sad, weeping 2 year old every month.


My 3 year old is on a crying jag. I don't think shes got an earache, but really who can tell with all the howling going on. She just cries, because she's alone, or her light is out, or her blanket is wet, or she needs a drink of water, or, or, or... At least your kid has something valid to complain about. Mine is just being a whiny bitch. I am officially the worse parent, cause I just called my kid a whiny bitch. This is when we break out in choruses of "I love you, but you're annoying"

Reluctant Housewife

Oof. Poor him. Poor you.

I hate ear infections.

Sometimes a nice warm (as close to hot as is safe) washcloth over the ear helps... but not often.

My 7 year old had tubes when he was 18 months old after a hellish series a ear infections followed by pneumonia. He's been fine ever since, hardly a sniffle (knock on wood, knock on wood). So, yes. I like the tubes. Hope he feels better or stays feeling better and sleeps tonight (and you too).


That is awful. On nights like this, I wish there was a 24/7 clinic for kids, with a pharmacist inside. In fact, I wish all doctor's offices had a pharmacy. I hate it when the kids are sick, but hate it even more when I have to go out and get a prescription. Even using a drive thru, when they don't feel good, then what do you do? Waste gas driving around while waiting. I vote for a one stop child wellness center.

Hope he's better soon.


Ugh. That sucks. I dread the day my 3-1/2-month-old starts getting ear infections. I never got them, but my husband did, so I fear it's coming.


That sucks. A hot toddy may work for all of you.

And Jason really needs to stop pooping in the tub. I mean, really.


Or coffee-flavored bullets.


The birth control, it is strong in this one!

I know I got ear infections a lot as a child, but since I was 22 I have had minor ear drum ruptures THRICE - once from bilateral myringitis, where your tympanic membrane blisters, and once from strep throat that moved up my eustachians hurray! Each time it made me borderline insane, and also incredibly sympathetic to all the little carpet monkeys who get ear infections like it's their job.


Oh dear, that sounds awful. I also had a years-long ear infection when I was younger, and subsequent tubes put in my ears. I vaguely remember the long nights of screaming about the pain. Sorry, mom and dad.


Nights like that, all I want is sleep too. I have the same bad person thoughts.

Parsing Nonsense

Oh my, that sounds like such a rough night. My mom always said the best way to get kids to feel better was to make them an appointment with a doctor. I hope Noah and Ezra feel better soon!

Sprite's Keeper

Why do kids always pick the nights when we are way too tired to think clearly?
Hope he's on the mend!

C @ Kid Things

Poor thing. Both of you. Would you hate me if I said my kids have never had an ear infection? If it's any consolation, I probably just jinxed us.


Monday was my night to stay up all night or more like, catch 35 minutes of sleep with my body contorted into the shape of a pretzel with the 18 month old firmly tucked into my ribcage. I actually took him to the Dr and NOPE no ear infection. Just the old mystery fever with a side of moaning. Hope bedtime comes early tonight. (Psst you can watch Conan on Hulu while you are "working" when the babysitter shows up..)


Well, look at it this way, at least you didn't have to pay someone to do nothing to not fix your furnace, then end up at the hospital with your 2 year old getting a chest x ray... So you've got that going for you! :-)


I'm sorry for Noah. Sensory issues + earache = hell on earth. The couple/few times that Game Teen went through that were horrible.

We did warm compresses all night long and he'd try to find the coldest floor in the house to sleep.


I once whisper-yelled at my sick 16-month-old, "Now it is time to SLEEP!" when laying her back down in bed with me after the one-millionth time she sat up. Yes, that worked well and I didn't feel like an asshole at all.


Eurgh, poor you and Noah. I hope he's better soon and you get your sleep.

Katie Kat

Oy vey... the MEMORIES! B had ear infections every other week when she was a baby. That, on top of collic from hell, had me near the breaking point! You've definitely got my sympathy. Now go take a nap!


Hum, it is selfish to want/need sleep? Well, then call me selfish. The monitor has been turned OFF for the last week because my 20 month old is teething and has a cough from the snot. He will cough in his sleep and wake me up. I figure he will scream if he needs me.

Moleskine Mama

You know what's almost as sad as wasting perfectly good breastmilk? Throwing away an entirely full, UNOPENED bottle of NyQuil because it expired the month before. I got a little misty eyed, thinking of all the NyQuil-induced, drugged nights I was missing out on as I poured it down the drain. But you know, sh-- happens when you're busy, I don't know, taking care of another helpless human being. Sigh.


oh geez. no words of wisdom or advice as I am child-less. just sympathy. that sounds miserable.

* raising my wine glass to you and hoping your little ones stop pooping/screaming/etc...

Amber Mc

I would like to woe is me as well.
My 16 month old is getting over a pneumonia right now (if coughing unitl he hurls is how you do that). I got his cold... and 2 pink eyes.. and MY EAR! AHH!! It started like 2 hours ago. makeitstopmakeitstop

Moleskine Mama

p.s. This has nothing to do with your current post, but I was reading Parents magazine last night and was HORRIFIED that you weren't featured in the "Mommy Blog" article. Foe REALS? I mean, you actually have multiple sites, helping moms out there in so many different stages/realms of life. And now ends my Fan Girl "It's not fair!" rant.


Gah.. I'm so sorry. I hope everyone is on the mend and you can get some sleep.


oh man, sorry about your suck ass night. seems like these things always happen in the middle of the night or a friday afternoon.

Mrs. D

Oh man, what a rough night. :-( Hope that your pediatrician works some ear magic so you can sleep tonight.

And I too am suddenly deeply concerned for Conan O'Brien's well-being! Watched it approximately zero times until last week. Now, I watch it much too often and NEVER SLEEP. Thanks a lot, stupid over-hyped late night wars!


Why is it that these things always seem to happen at night, usually just after your bones are nicely settled in bed? I'm going to try to start a campaign with my kids to get them to have some nice, 10 am earaches. The 1 am stuff is for the birds!

Hope you all get some sleep tonight!

Aunt Becky

Ear infections are full of The Suck. Maybe the MD can give you some Vicodin. For you.


My 2 year old son is currently trying to recover from a week of these nights from pneumonia and RSV.
After an awesome day in the hospital my husband sweetly asked if there was anything he could do for me.
I told him he could shoot me to put me out of my misery.
He said no.


So sorry. I've had ear infections a lot as an adult (doc says narrow ear canals) and found that sleeping with that ear down on the pillow helps a lot. I think it's the warmth, mostly, but also gravity will encourage fluid to drain out. When I didn't have the luxury of staying in bed with my ear against the pillow, ear muffs. Yes, I looked ridiculous, but keeping my ears warm definitely helped.

Jessica (@ It's my life...)

Oh I feel your pain. And Noah's too. I had horrendous ear infections as a kid and I still remember how painful they can be.

Hope a nice bout of antibiotics leads to a happier night for all tonight.

Jen L.

Is there some unwritten rule that no one told us about in the baby books that declares "All children may ONLY get sick between the hours of midnight and 4am?" Because I don't think an illness has ever hit my son during normal waking hours. It's always barf in the crib at 2am or waking up with piercing ear pain at midnight.

Hope your boys feel better soon and hope you get some rest!


Mmmmm… Coffee bullets. Right to the face.


Poor guy!! Hope he gets some drugs that will help both of you sleep tonight.

On a different topic, I read an article last night about a lady who tastes sounds, which made me think of Noah hearing music in colour. That lead me to Google it this morning and came across this article:

By the way, I love your blog and this is one of the few blogs where I actually read the comments!

Plano Mom

Now I'll bet you wish they really DID shoot bloggers.


Warning, potential assvice-I am a benefits administrator for a company with pretty crappy insurance. The one thing it does have however, is urgent care coverage at a reasonable rate. So my only suggestion would be (lots of naps, duh) and maybe look into your insurance and local urgent care facilities. Seems like 2 hours in the middle of the night there would be better than 8 hours of an up-every-15-minutes child. Like I said, assvice. Good luck getting everyone back on track, esp with the pooping. Why?! do they insist on doing that?


aww..been there...if you see white (glue like substance) on his pillow, (or you!) it could be a sign of an ear drum that has happened to my son, I felt horrible, but it happens to kids quite frequently according to my ped. It heals, my child is 10 with no problems, as far as ears go!


No advice on the ear pain (was lucky that my daughter didn't suffer from those often), but can completely empathize on being awake all night with a child whose pain you can do nothing about. Hopefully the doc has some magic meds and you can all take a blissful nap this afternoon.


How do you infuse an ear with garlic?


You always aptly describe exactly what is feels like to be a mom, honest and no bullshit. Yes I too, dream of sleep as I am comforting my 3, soon to be 4, kids and thinking EVERY TIME, why did I do this? And then of course they snuggle you or something equally small and you think oh yeah, THAT is why I haven't put you out in a box on the street.... :-)


like all the other crunchy moms... yes on the garlic oil drops. Mullen oil works too. Stinks to high heaven but it does soothe on contact. Might take 24 hours for antibiotics to kick in, so you might want the garlic oil for tonight too. (BTW - I used it on me all the time when my ears hurt due to colds/sinus issues. It really is like unicorns and lollipops on contact. Crazy!)

The Moira

After your bloggers post, you need this.


I had spectacular earaches as a child. My mom would heat salt in a saucepan and pour it into a dishtowel, fold it up and let me hold it against my ear for some relief.


Oy, those are bad nights. I once got an ear infection as an adult, that shit hurts! As a matter of fact, I was a pregnant adult who happened to be visiting my parents at the time. And do you know what I did in the middle of the night? I went crying to my mommy. I was 30, and she made it all better. Hope everyone is soon on the road to recovery. I suggest that you bathe in clorox ASAP.



Ah, ear infections! My first kid had them CONSTANTLY from the age of three weeks until she was about five and got tubes. I used to warm a few drops of sweet oil and put it in their ears. I have, on occasion when out of sweet oil, used cooking oil. It helps.

Tracy H

I just want to laugh along with the boy, poop in the bathtub is funny!


Well, you SHOULD care about Conan. Stupid Leno!

Those nights suck, for sure! Thankfully, they are NOT every night, right? Just another reminder of WHY we don't mind that they grow up just a little bit more.
Hope everyone feels better soon!
And KUDOS on remembering the bra! I forgot mine as I drove my kids to school today. OY!


Poor kid. Poor you. Poor Jason. Those nights are NOT fun. No advise from me, but I will be stock piling on some of those OTC ear drops for myself. I completely understand why he couldn't localize his pain - I had one a few months ago and simply cried to the doctor that the whole right side of my head hurt. A proud moment, for sure. I hope that he continues to feel good!


My 3 year old had her first ear infection this weekend. Monday morning she was MISERABLE until I got my head on straight and gave her Tylenol. Once that kicked in she was a totally different kid. 4 hours later, the monster returned. So I did everything I needed to do to arrange for her to not go to preschool the next day and for me to take the day off and take her to the doctor. Tuesday morning she woke up completely fine. Not a complaint in the world. So I quickly UNdo all those plans and off to school she goes.

Right now my husband is at the doctor because HIS ear infection is too much for him to bear. Glad it's not me.


In my day, we gave 'em that purple Nighttime Triaminic that I think might have been 25% alcohol. Knocked 'em out cold, and a peaceful night would be had by all. I think that stuff is illegal now, but still, I remember it fondly.


This has probably already been mentioned, but ear numbing drops are always nice to keep around. I hope you can get a prescription from your doc this time, and just keep 'em for the next time.


Oh, right. YOU mentioned them. The prescription brand is probably more effective, but yea.

Kate @ And Then I Was a Mom

You know what the worst part of it is? Today's gypsies know better.

Hope everyone is feeling much, much better. Maybe a hot-water bottle to the side of Noah's head? Helps me, when I have my annual inner-ear infection...


I thought I was the only one who thought selling
my preschooler to the gypsies was a viable option!


Is it wrong that I read "It started with SOMEONE I WON'T SAY WHO I BET YOU CAN GUESS" and immediately thought it was going to be your husband?

Cause that's what my wife would say about me.


Thought you might like this shirt!

And hope Noah feels better soon!

Suzy Q

Oh, poor EVERYONE. Hope y'all are doing better today.

BTW, most meds don't expire really; they just lose a bit of their efficacy over time. But, the drug manufacturers want you to buy more. They somehow KNOW that panicked parents will be gazing at arbitrary dates on bottles in the middle of the night and then go to CVS for new stuff.


Funny, I had almost the exact same night last night with the exception of the fact that my writher/moaner was a 37 year old adult man to whom I happen to be married rather than a little boy who doesn't know that all that moaning isn't going to help matters a damnsight. Maybe I could introduce him to Elmo?


Oh, God! It must be ear infection season. My 1 yo just came down with one after a screaming sleepless night. I just felt like such a helpless ASS because I didn't know what was wrong or what to do, all the while trying to remain calm and not bitter about being so effing tired.
I remember having the worst ear ache in my 20s. Screaming at the nurse on the phone "why can't you get me an appointment today? Can't you tell I'm is SO. MUCH. PAIN??!!!" She asked me if I tried taking a decongestant. Hmmpff. Well, the answer to that is NO because the pain in my ear clearly was keeping me from any any logical thought.
Anyway, tell Jason to quit pooping in the tub. That's just gross.


Thank you for being real... without a doubt, we LOVE our kids but sometimes, being a parent sucks.

Hope you all have an easier night.


I believe I live in the same county you do (I think) and I recommend Nighttime Care(used to be Nighttime Pediatrics) on the R-ville Pke. Open at night and weekend afternoons. You call them, they tell you when to come in to reduce your wait, and they can fill a prescription on the spot almost always. (Not cheap, but sometimes you don't want to look for the all-night drugstore). They take most insurance and send a report to the child's doctor also. We have used them for grandchildren several times, and if you are going to be awake anyway, you might as well be going to the doctor. They now treat adults also, and did well by me when I had an infected wasp sting on a Sunday. I would use them when you have a pretty good idea what's wrong, but for mystery illness, I would wait for my own doctor. However, it's very nice when the child is crying. Nice also for the working parent who needs a throat culture and doesn't want to miss work or wants to wait until the other parent comes home. You might have to wait a couple of hours to come in if they are very busy, and sometimes, they have walk-in emergencies and you have to wait there, but you still see a doctor before morning. I am a fan. They have a Web site--


When I'm sleep-deprived and repeatedly woken up in the night I turn into a bellowing cavewoman. I think we're more primitive versions of ourselves in the the middle of the night.

Beth Terrible night and morning.


I totally get being the MEAN PERSON when my kid is up all night sick. Especially when she winds up in our bed and none of us get any rest whatsoever, and did I mention that I am a total beast when I don't get enough sleep? Clearly I am not cut out for this parenting thing.

Erin (Snarke)

Does it make me a masochist that even stories like this make me look forward to momhood?

Though I do feel some sympathy for poor Elmo. It's not his fault that he seems to take glee in every freaking thing--including peoples' pain. I'm glad they patched things up!


We faced a similar situation on Christmas eve and finally took our little 5 year old to the emergency room. Moments after they got her on the exam table, her eardrum perforated and blood started oozing out. Holy hell, poor baby!!! Thankfully, those meds work pretty fast.

Hope your sweet boy is already feeling better.

And also, why can't ears do this shit during the DAY?!?!?!


Garlic drops are wonderful. I haven't dealt with ear infections in a while, but remember that stuff was like a miracle.

I'm hoping the whole Amalah household is getting some much needed rest tonight. I on the other hand will not sleep as I'm at work til 6:30 am. Woe is me.


For the next ear infection with no medication in the house, just chop up an onion put it in a clean piece of cloth, place it on the infected ear, fix it with a bandage, a shawl, the like. Yes, it stinks, true. Yes, it helps, true, too.

Heather Ben

ear infections are the worst. mine had tubes at 7 months after a 3 month ear infection that just wouldn't go away...


Ugh, sorry you had such a rough night. I feel your pain. We drove through an ice storm yesterday to take our crying, whimpering, exhausted but not sleeping 19month to the doctor yesterday. Culprit? Ear infection. Sucky.


OMG yes yes yes, my life, you are living it. I too feel mean over this stuff. My 2YO hit his head on the bedrail the other night and when he started to cry, I said, "well if you wouldn't thrash around so before going to sleep that wouldn't happen." Of course he had a big bruise. Nice sympathy there, huh?


These words amuse me greatly.

"I would like someone to shoot me in the face. With coffee. Or bullets. Either one."

And I hope you can feel my inarticulate waves of sympathy for all of you...


I live in fear of ear infections. I'm glad he's feeling better! they are the worst!


oh, i'm sorry. that sounds just plain awful! is it you can turn a horrible night into a funny & entertaining blog post?

hope your next night will be very very boring. good luck!


Lawd a'mighty, just went through this.

Jackson, who is three, screamed alllllll night long. I tried so hard to be patient. No fever! No pulling of ears! EEEEEEE!

At 4AM, I stomped into his room and growled through clenched teeth, "GO TO SLEEP RIGHT NOW."

Next morning. "Mama. Ear hurts."


And? Strep throat. Just for me! Woo!


I remember those 10 PM nights. My son had his first ear infection when he was one month old...then an ear infection every month until his first set of tubes in June. He had, until second grade, 5 sets of tubes. And today if he woke up at 10PM screaming, I would be calling Dr. Frank saying "it's time to put tubes back in" My son is now 31 years old. There was never a medicine that would ease the pain of an ear ache other than Tylenol and it really didn't cut it. I feel his pain and your eagerness to make the pain go away. Once on the antibotic it's gone in a few hours. Night times were always the worst.


One of my mom's favorite stories was when my 3 year old sister started complaining about a backache. My parents were puzzled, a backache in a toddler? Then my sister promptly threw up everywhere and they realized "back" really meant "stomach".

The comments to this entry are closed.