Dr. Rob's 10 Reasons to NOT Like Pediatrics reminded me of a time when my older children were very small. It was item #10 if you're wondering.
My middle (then youngest) son was 15 months old at the time. He'd been up at about 2am looking for someone to play with. He didn't whine. He didn't cry. He was very cheerful. HOWEVER, this was a child who made a practice of sleeping through the night while cutting 4 teeth at a time. He NEVER complained about anything.
That and he'd been sleeping through the night since he was 2 days old. Really. Usually 12-14 hours.
So I did what any self-respecting mom would do.
I called the pediatrician and made an appointment to have him examined.
"Dr. Spock's office, how may I help you?"
"My 15 month old was awake last night. I think something is wrong with him."
"Was he crying?"
"Was he tugging on his ear?"
"No. In fact he was quite cheerful. But this isn't normal for him. Something is wrong."
"You want the doctor to examine your 15 month old because he was up once during the night last night?"
"That's right. Oh, and his brother (of the many ear infections) says his ears hurt, so I'd like to bring them both in."
(audible sigh) "Can you come at 11:30?"
"Sure. We'll be there."
For the record: his brother had bilateral otitis media - and so did he. According to the pediatrician, his ears looked much worse. He was the reason I bought an otoscope (ear-looker thingy) and why the pediatrician educated me in the proper use of it.
Prior to the otoscope, the first ear infection was the only one I caught before the poor kid had pus dripping from his ear canal. He NEVER complained. I got in the habit of checking his ears any time he had a sniffle. A year or so after I bought the "ear-looker thingy" he did ask me to "play check ears" - sure enough, the eardrum was ready to burst again. That was the closest the kid ever came to actually complaining about an ear infection.
That first incident was also the last time the office staff questioned my reasoning for wanting to bring a child in to be seen.