I’ve heard about a woman’s intuition for quite a long time. Everyone from Oprah from our own mother has discussed this “sensor” in a woman, which has been either removed or not installed in men.
Sunday’s intuition started sounding the alarm during Jonah’s tenth month, and I didn’t know what was happening.
Here’s what was going on.
I came home one day and Sunday said, “Jonah has been terrible. I couldn’t get him to sleep and he’s just been grouchy and I think he’s got an ear infection.”
My brain translated her message thusly: “Jonah’s grumpy.”
In my defense, Jonah did not help his mother’s version of the story. Just as she’s describing his terrible behavior, he’s looking at me, smiling pleasantly.
My response, although honest, was not particularly uplifting: “He looks ok to me. Can I go run?”
There, in our living room, Sunday contemplated leaving me for a cell phone. At least the cell phone listens when she speaks.
She got that look that says, “You will listen to me or the universe will crack in two.”
So, I listened, more closely this time.
“He’s been grouchy and he won’t sleep and I think he has an ear infection.”
“How do you know he has an ear infection?”
“He pulls his ears.”
“I haven’t seen any ear pulling.”
“Well, he pulls his ears.”
“So we should go to the doctor because of one sleepless afternoon and some light, part-time ear pulling?”
Since I was the one who said that last thing, I took Jonah to the doctor. The result: Severe ear infection.
As you can tell, I am not entirely to blame for my lack of diagnosis skill. It’s inherited. My father was a terrible diagnoser of illnesses, extreme and minor. I know some of you are thinking, “Couldn’t he have inherited his mother’s diagnosis skill?” My answer is a resounding, “Of course not.”
This brings us to a number of conclusions:
1. Jonah’s going to be very difficult to diagnose. We’d heard ear infections were the second coming of the black plague. Tales of midnight screaming fits and inconsolable children were the “coin of the realm” of ear infection stories. Those things didn’t happen. One afternoon of restlessness and some ear pulling, and Sunday had cracked the case.
2. We, as adults, are getting gypped. Jonah’s medicine smells like bubble gum. Why can’t we get bubble gum medicine? I try to take Nyquil and I have a gag reflex. Why can’t adult medicine taste like Hubba Bubba instead of a skunk batch of Grannie’s Corn Squeazins? There are times when I’ve been tempted to swig off his amoxicillin, but I have refrained.
3. Don’t ignore women’s intuition. My mother had it and my father simply accepted that he didn’t have it. It’s like Luke Skywalker and the force. Sunday’s got the force and I am C-3PO, trying to keep up.