Ears again and Santa

Tomorrow morning we will be calling Alice’s ENT, because she has yet another ear infection. The left tube came out sometime before her 1-year checkup, and she did fine until about 6 weeks ago, when she had an infection. That cleared up with antibiotics, but she now has another one. Her left ear smells like dirty feet and is oozing yellow stuff. Nasty. And she’s grabbing at the right ear, too.

And she’s crabby. Well, crabby for Alice, anyway. This is not like the “crabby” you’ve seen on other babies. This is just not-quite-Miss-Mary-Sunshine. Just… off. Alice is bizarrely happy, almost all of the time (unless she’s hungry or thirsty). An ear infection just makes her… like other babies. I don’t like other babies. I prefer my Alice.

We’ll be going straight to the ENT rather than via the pediatrician for the simple reason that it’s December. We’ve already paid the deductible on Alice’s medical insurance this year, so if he decides to reinsert the tube(s), it’ll be cheaper to do it sometime in the next three weeks.

So. Jerry will take her to the appointment if he can get in before 10, and I’ll take her if the appointment has to be after 10.

The girls have an appointment to meet Santa Claus tomorrow at 3:30. I hope Alice is feeling up to it. We’ve been talking it up the past few days so that Helen will actually be willing to go. I’m hopeful.

Helen needs time to transition from one activity to the next (as well as PLENTY of warning), so the twenty-seconds-in-Santa’s-lap-at-the-mall thing just doesn’t really work for her. She freaks out because it’s so sudden: in last year’s photos she was crying and Alice was asleep. Some friends of mine (one of whom really looks like Santa) are doing half-hour photo sessions so that the kids get a little more time to interact with Mr. Claus, and hopefully some cute pictures will come from it. Because of Jo’s reminder last week and my friend Kristen’s recommendation, I called and got the latest available appointment for tomorrow.

I told Helen we were going to see Santa on Monday after rest time.
“I don’t want to sit in his lap.”
“You don’t have to sit in his lap. You can just talk to him.”
“I don’t want to talk to him.”
“You don’t have to talk to him either, if you don’t want to. But Alice wants to see him, so we’re going. Don’t you think we should make a list of what you want for Christmas? That way you don’t HAVE to talk to him — you can just hand him the list.”
“And you and Alice can wear your stripey long socks and the red skirts and the shirts with roses on them.”
“And our pretty shoes. But I don’t want to sit in his lap.”
“Not a problem, Helen. You don’t have to sit in his lap. I’m not going to make you sit in his lap, I promise.”
“I don’t want to talk to him.”
“That’s okay. You can hand him your list, and then just play with the toys and stuff while Alice visits with him. Will that be okay?”
“Okay. Is it Monday yet?”