It's wax. (Good guess, Leah!) I took him to the pediatrician this afternoon. No infection anywhere, just a big ol' gob of nasty wax plugging up his left ear. Big enough that it was pressing against his inner ear and causing pain. So we had our first experience with Debrox drops tonight. If my childhood is anything to go by, it won't be our last. (I was a waxy kid.) He didn't like them, to put it mildly. We're supposed to put them in twice a day for the next 4-5 days. Gonna be a long 4-5 days.
Usually, when we're getting ready for bathtime, we take off his CI first (he can't really get undressed with it on) but leave the hearing aid in until just before he hits the water. In a quiet home environment he can hear us pretty well with just the aid, and this greatly facilitates the rest of bath preparation. Tonight, of course, he didn't have the aid in, and silly me I forgot this. And proceeded to get quite angry with him for "not listening" as we finished getting undressed. Granted he was overtired (after being up late last night for fireworks, and -- as usual -- no nap this afternoon) and acting out a bit, but you can imagine the Mom Guilt that set in when I realized my error.
A feedback from a deperate parent
2 weeks ago