Last week Namine had another (yes, another) ENT clinic appointment. Since Jessica was busy being The Amazing Human Taxi for her mom, it fell to me to take the munchkin to the hospital. Of course, I’d gladly do so anyway.

We’re a one-car family, so one of Jessica’s sisters was kind enough to drive Namine and me to the hospital. Knowing what awaited us, however, she opted to stay in the waiting room while Namine and I went back with the nurse. The appointment was for 2:00, but we were in the room waiting for a nurse until nearly 3:00. Namine knew what she was there for – you can bet that by now she recognizes the clinic, even if we didn’t tell her – but she was doing very well. She didn’t throw up, like she has in the past, but I knew that she was nervous. The room we were in had some puzzles and books, and Namine was content to play and be read to, but she kept glancing at the door.

When the doctor finally did come in, Namine kept it together. She let the doctor look in both ears, and she only whimpered a little. But I knew she was on a hair trigger; saying the wrong thing would set her off. To my relief, the doctor was pleased with what she saw. The antibiotic Namine had been on was doing a good job of clearing the infection, and the right ear was only a bit red on the inside – no drainage at all. That was definitely improvement from last time.

Then the doctor said to Namine, “We don’t have to suck out your ear today!” Of course, Namine, being high-strung from stress and worry, only heard (probably in a demonic voice) “SUCK OUT YOUR EAR TODAY!” But I knew it was coming, so I was ready for her to throw up. And throw up she did; she panicked hard. But I was prepared, so she barely got any on her. (Just a little. It could have been a lot worse.) I wanted to kick the doctor for being careless, but she was only doing what she thought was a good thing. After I started putting her coat on her, though, Namine realized that she was going home. She cheered up and was quite relieved to be leaving sans torture.

Of course we’re not quite out of the woods yet. We still need to be careful not to get water in her ears, and we still need to keep an eye out for drainage. But so far so good, and just in time, too. The winter is unforgiving to little ears.

(You should be proud of me; I didn’t use a single ear pun throughout this entire post. You have no idea how hard that was.)