The ear obession

Or, Why My Husband Will Have Me Committed Someday.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but there have been mornings when I have woken up and discovered that I have slept part of the night with my ear folded up on my pillow. And it hurts like crazy for a good part of the day. Is this just me?

Anyway, one of those wonderful things about babies is that the cartilage in their ears has not yet hardened up. As a result, their ears are like rubber, and can be bent every which way, especially when they sleep. And because of my own dislike of having my ears crunched in my sleep, I find that I am constantly checking the kids’ ears to make sure that they are flattened out properly against the pillow or crib mattress.

I became aware of this slight OCD problem when the Munchkin was born. I was always looking at her little ears, lifting her head and making sure that her perfectly shaped ear was not folded. And while a normal person would check once and be satisfied, I had to check again and again and again to convince myself that her ear was fine. Now that she’s a toddler, sleeping in a bed with a pillow and her ears are no longer floppy and malleable, it’s not such a big deal. I still find myself occasionally checking, but she rolls around enough in her sleep to even make ME aware that checking her is an exercise in futility. Baby Boy, on the other hand…

Both the kids woke up yesterday at 8 am on the button, singing with the birds and happy as clams. Baby Boy took a good two-hour nap between 11 and 1 pm, and the Munchkin attempted a nap during that same time, though she didn’t fall asleep. She didn’t nap until 3, and Baby Boy refused to nap again during the day. Consequently, he was one cranky camper when bedtime rolled around (he had actually crashed in his Daddy’s arms just before I said, “Oh, let’s get his jammies on him and get him to bed,” and getting undressed and changed woke him up and made him even crankier). I nursed him, but after a few minutes, he was just antsy and crabby, which is so totally unlike him. I knew he was overtired, and after struggling with him for a little while, I plopped him into the crib and kissed him good night, leaving him to yell. I think it lasted all of five minutes. When I went in to check on him, I discovered that he was fast asleep and sitting, bent over, and using his Pooh Bear stuffed animal as a pillow, the poor baby. The Webmaster and I carefully straightened him out and covered him with a blanket, but then I had to check his ear, which was firmly planted against the mattress of the crib (ever since he could roll over, he’s been a tummy sleeper). The whispered conversation went something like this:

Webmaster: You just laid his head down on the mattress! Didn’t you check his ear then?
Me: I’m just making sure…
Webmaster: Stop making sure! He’s fine!
Me: Will you just leave me alone!
Webmaster: You’re gonna wake him up!
Me: Now I’m just checking it to annoy you.

But the truth is… I wasn’t. Obviously, I need help. I am out of control. Because someday I might not stop with the ears. I might tuck them in with hospital corners so they can’t move. I might break into their rooms at night while they sleep and rearrange their closets. I might vacuum their rooms in the dead of night.

Oh, yeah, right. I can’t even remember to vacuum in the middle of the day. Now, if you’ll all excuse me, I need to go check the baby’s ears – kidding, only kidding! You can all stage an intervention later.

PS – A very happy birthday to my friend Girl With Flat Hat, who at the moment is making a cross-country trip with her husband, their Jeep, and the stars to guide them. Well, not really (I’m sure they have at least one or two maps), but I’m hoping that we can see them when they finally reach Seattle! She’s blogging from the road when they can get free internet access – check it out!

2 Responses to “The ear obession”

  1. Dozeymagz
    June 6th, 2006 08:23

    I think we Mummies are hardwired to fret over the most strangest things! I’m pretty sure I read it somewhere in our job description!
    I still obssess about Mophead & Dustbunny at night – I’m always sneaking in and listening to make sure they’re still breathing ok.
    BTW – Thanks for the offer of slow-cooker/crockpot recipes – I would be really grateful if you could send me some as I’m a Slow Cooker Newbie! Thanks!

  2. Juliet
    June 8th, 2006 18:29

    Thank you! By the grace of God and wireless internet, we will be blogging from Seattle soon!