This Christmas, Colton decided it was time to give his parents a very special gift, a parenthood right of passage — our very first trip to the ER on his account.

For a week, he’d been running a low-grade fever off and on, and I had been assured after a visit on Monday that it was the result of teething, vaccines and maybe a small virus. Nothing to worry about, continue with our Christmas plans. His fever got higher and lasted longer as the week went on. Christmas eve day, I called our pediatrician’s nurse line, and she suggested I try to wait until we came back into town. Colton’s fever went back down, he perked back up, and all seemed well.

Christmas Day seemed like he had finally turned a corner. We went to my aunt and uncle’s for Christmas lunch with the entire family, where Colton ate more than he had been. Hubby took him back to my grandparents for a nap, and about two hours later, my cousin answered the phone, handed it to me and said, “it’s a screaming baby.”

From the moment I touched him, I could tell he was burning up. Taking his temperature revealed a fever of 103.8, and it wasn’t quite time yet for him to take more Motrin. I relayed this info to my mom, who proclaimed, “okay, we’re going.” So, we packed up and headed to the next town over (my grandparents small town has an emergency clinic, but no hospital with emergency room. Since the clinic had closed, the ER was our only option.) and their ER.

I was very impressed with the ER. Before I even had time to sit down, we were called back for an initial exam by a very nice nurse. After taking his temperature (103.6), she gave him some more motrin, and continued the exam. She asked me to rate Colton’s pain on a scale of 1 to 10, which surprised me. I said 6, and shortly after we were sent back to a little room with a bed, where we were greeted by the nicest ER doctor EVER.

Colton also perked up around this point, eating the entire bag of Gerber Melts Santa had brought him. The doctor talked to Colton, played with him, tickled him, and proclaimed him to have a nasty ear infection. We were then released to find an open pharmacy to fill our prescriptions (amoxicillian and ear drops). We’ve been continuing with the motrin for pain and fever, and Colton seems to be mostly back to his happy self.

All-in-all, my first ER experience as a parent was not as horrible as I was prepared for it to be. And, I’ll always have a good story of Colton’s second Christmas!