I am so hopelessly lame around the pediatrician. I stammer, I tell rambling self-deprecating stories about myself that make me sound like a bad mother, I ask stupid questions I know the answers to.
Our pediatrician is the kind who listens intently to every word I say, as if he is humbled in the presence of my knowledge. When I am done speaking (assuming I manage to stop), he is silent, digesting my proclamations and considering how best to incorporate them.
This listening, this silence, is what turns me into a blithering idiot. At home I feel like I have to jump up and down, waving wildly, to get anyone's attention at all. I have even had to say, "Are you LISTENING to me?" So you can see how the undivided attention of this man, this doctor, is not something I have practice with.
I'm worried about Elizabeth, who is 15 months old and has only said a couple of words: "dah" for clap, and "baba" for baby--but she only said "baba" for one session of looking at a book with a baby in it, and then ever after refused to participate. Edward is the same, but he is a boy; I'm always reading and hearing that girls are ahead of boys in communication (well, DUH). I tell the pediatrician, and he listens silently, eyebrows low and focused, eye contact intense. And so after I have finished saying what I need to say, I go on to tell him that my mother said I started talking at 12 months and never stopped. (Me, to self: "Shut UP!!") Then I say that I had thought Elizabeth would be the same, even though I didn't think that: why would I think my child would be a clone of me? (Me, to self, "HOLY CRAP WILL YOU SHUT UPPPPP!?!") There's a pause, and I add, inanely, that I guess she's her own person. ("OH MY GOD YOU STUPID CRAZY WOMAN.")
The pediatrician, to his credit, tried to generate a reply to my idiotic speech. "Yes," he said. "They certainly are their own little people, aren't they?" Me: "Yes." (*biting tongue clean off in attempt to keep from starting the blither again*)
I had been hoping he would tell me I was being silly to expect Elizabeth to be talking more at this point. I was hoping for his "Babies move at their own pace; as long as they're moving forward, they're fine" speech, which I love like a soothing lip balm. But no: he said that he would expect a 15-month-old girl to have at least 6 clear words by now, and that 18-month-old girls are often speaking in 3-word sentences. He says that if she doesn't make "significant advances" and "leaps and bounds" before her 18-month check, he'll refer her to Early Intervention for "testing" and "services." He also says that both twins are "floppier" (looser, more flexible, less resistent to manipulation) than he'd expect.
Considering what a constant worrier I am, this should throw me into a blind panic--but I feel fine. Evidently I only worry about things that are CRAZY and WON'T HAPPEN, like that Cujo will trap me and the babies in our minivan right after I've loaded in the groceries, and that we'll have to live on whatever I've just bought. "The milk and meat would go bad quickly, of course, but the flour and crackers would be GREAT. And the pop would be good, too: we'd need fluids. Shoot, I should put a can opener in the car."
Gift ideas for an 8-year-old, part 2 of 2 - Last week I talked about the gifts we were getting/considering for Edward, who is turning 8 next month. This week it’s Elizabeth’s turn: not “girl gifts,” ...