Adenoids, We Hardly Knew Ye
Last month, after we had endured 3 full months of Bug's constantly running nose and watering eyes, and were sick to death of wiping up endless amounts of snot and dragging him to the doctor every other week for recurring ear infections, it seemed like a good idea to follow the ENT's suggestion to have his adenoids removed.
Yesterday, while he cheerfully bounded around the hospital waiting room at the ungodly hour of 6:00 am, charming all the nurses and playing with his new Boobah doll (a Chanukah present from the night before), it seemed like a terrible idea. It was almost unbearable to watch him, so happy and healthy and feeling great, and to know that in an hour he would be sore, groggy and unable to eat without pain. What's the point of that? He's fine! I changed my mind! Let's go home!
Knowing how hard this would be on me, I mentally walked myself through the whole process a hundred times beforehand. I knew the toughest part would be right before the procedure, watching the doctor wheel him away on the stretcher while I waited helplessly behind. In a way, what actually happened was even harder - Bug was so excited to be in this new place with all the shiny instruments and bright lights that he couldn't be still long enough to sit down on the gurney. Armed with his blanket and a Spongebob toy that he swiped from the waiting area, he eagerly grabbed the doctor's hand and practically skipped off to surgery, having no idea what was ahead of him. He's so trusting! Of course it would never occur to him that this nice man who gave him Spiderman stickers and let him play with the stethoscope was planning to knock him out with nitrous oxide, stick a breathing tube in his nose, and cauterize part of his throat.
The surgery seemed to last forever, but in reality it must have been over rather quickly since I barely had time to finish the outdated issue of Parents magazine I was reading. (As a side note, reading the refreshingly mainstream Parents was such a relief after a whole year of suffering through my subscription to hippy-dippy Mothering, which always made me feel paranoid and guilty because I don't homeschool or send my kids to experimental Waldorf centers or grow all their food myself in an organic vegetable garden. I must not be as groovy as I thought, because I related much more to Parents, which I'd always assumed was way too "Pottery Barn Mom" for my taste. I think I will sign up for a free trial subscription).
When I brought Bug home, he was tired, cranky, and starving. The first few bites of mashed pears must have stung horribly, for he immediately winced sharply and burst into tears. The tears quickly turned to rage, and he stormed about the house howling and crying and angrily knocking the pillows off the couches, the books off the bookcase, and his toys off the shelf. He marched to his bedroom and flung all his stuffed animals across the room, then tried to hurl his soccer ball at the window.
I felt awful. I couldn't calm him down or comfort him - he wouldn't let me hold him or even get near him. He'll probably never trust me again, I worried, knowing that I was the orchestrator of all this misery. He picked up his Leapstart Learning table, lifted it as high as he could, and sent it crashing to the floor. While I grabbed Bee and whisked her away to safety, he picked up his Elmo cell phone, considered it for a moment . . . and then put it to his ear.
"Hey-yo?" he asked calmly.
"Hi Bug!" I said, holding up my pretend telephone. "Can you come over and play?"
"No! Bye!" he shouted, slamming down the phone and rolling on the floor with laughter.
Thank God for short attention spans.
In a few hours he had gone through all the ice cream, popsicles and pudding I had accumulated for his convalescence, and was happily snacking on chicken strips and nachos with cheese. The Tylenol with codeine the doctor prescribed sits unused in the medicine cabinet.
It's probably just as well. Another day like that, and I'll be needing it myself.