On Monday morning Zoë seemed to not be feeling her best. She was unusually lethargic and coughing and I got the feeling she was acting, but I knew she was also exhausted from the very busy weekend we'd had so I decided to keep her home. She was on and off cranky and spent a good part of the day watching TV and by midday she seemed to be perked up and feeling better. I kept asking her how she felt and I couldn't get a real answer.
Tuesday morning I brought Zoë to school and 2 hours after I dropped her off I got a call from her teacher telling me that Zoe wasn't feeling well, but it was unclear exactly what was wrong. She was cranky -- very cranky. Her throat hurt, her stomach hurt, it kept changing. Lucky for both Zoë and me my mother was able to pick her up and take her home for the day. Again she seemed to be feeling better by the afternoon. And again I kept asking her how she felt or what was bothering her and I got no answer.
This morning (Wednesday morning) on the way to school Zoë told me her ear hurt. Finally! It all fell into place. Since she was a baby, Zoë has behaved pretty much this exact same way when she has an ear infection. It is a cranky, whiny thing combined with bursts of energy to throw you off the scent of the problem. Since she has had about 2 dozen ear infections I can't believe I didn't figure it out by Tuesday morning. I was distracted by about a hundred other things otherwise I am sure I would have recognized it immediately.
This afternoon a quick trip to the pediatrician confirmed my diagnosis. Of course when the doctor asked what was wrong, she told him immediately. At least the antibiotics work faster than Zoë answers a question.