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When I sat at my kitchen island yesterday to ponder my third annual Thanksgiving post, I had a laundry list of things in my mind for which I find myself especially thankful in 2008. I am thankful for First Steps and Simon’s finally walking and running; I am thankful for Keneseth Israel Preschool and all the funny, creative things they do with the kids every day; and I am thankful for the everyday miracle of language acquisition, about which I posted last night.

Today, however, I find myself thankful above all for Cefdinir, the generic of Omnicef, an antibiotic commonly used to treat middle ear infections. And also, for 24-hour pediatric clinics. And also, for 24-hour pharmacies.

See, yesterday was a totally uneventful day. Simon spent much of the day with his Bubbie, which made it a perfect day in his eyes, and watched new Curious George episodes with us after dinner. Then he started to get wriggly on the couch. A quick touch to his head confirmed my worst fear: he was feverish.

I gulped hard, gave him Tylenol, and put him down for the night. Maybe, just maybe, I thought to myself, this was a fluke and he’ll awake good as ever tomorrow morning. Nope. Simon awoke this morning right on schedule, but in an unusually fussy mood. One quick touch to his head confirmed that reality had intruded into my fantasy; he was hot again. Not the omigod 107 degrees hot that so terrified me in October, but a solid call-the-pediatrician 102 degrees hot.

Déjà vu all over again. Back to the immediate care center. Seriously, do kids ever get sick at 10:00 a.m. on non-holiday weekdays? Ever? Back in the same examining room with the same supply of Toddler magazines and the creepy, slightly off Snow White theme we spent over an hour in the last time. And back with the same diagnosis: a budding ear infection.

This time, though, a few key things were different. For starters, I didn’t wait until the fever got really high to call the doctor. I called this morning, about 12 hours after Simon’s fever first began. Second, we got a different doc this time, so we were not prescribed the azythromycin that did nothing for Simon the last time. We got a cousin of the antibiotic that worked so well last month. And thirdly, if Simon still has a fever by Friday night or otherwise seems off, we will back in our regular pediatrician’s office Saturday morning. No how, no way, will I sit up with Simon three nights straight while he suffers this time. I know better.

I may be a rookie at this parenting stuff, but I am also (I hope!) a quick study. So this year and this Thanksgiving, I am thankful most of all for being teachable. Assuming the medication takes effect soon, Simon will second that.

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