Lucky Mom

Nov. 26, 2006

Baby Milestones — Fact or Fiction?

This time around, I’m not falling for the milestone gig. When I had Alec I had the audacity to just enjoy him (oh, and overprotect the hell out of him) and forgot to evaluate his every move, blink, fart, sniff and sneeze.

I didn’t know the interrogation that would ensue.

I also didn’t know that at every pediatrician appointment, your child had better be like the children on the month to month wall chart (you parents know exactly the one I'm referring to) and if during interrogation, your response was "well, I don’t know, I’ve never ‘tested’ him" that meant ‘NO’ and you were sure to get the referral to some type of therapy prior to leaving the office.

I realize there are children who may be a bit behind the curve and therapy is needed but my personal belief (just mine I’m telling you, so try and minimize the hate mail) is that there is way too much pressure to ensure all children fit nicely into the same box.

I had no idea until I started the Gymboree and The Little Gym classes with Alec, that almost every Mom had their child in speech, large motor, small motor, social interaction deficit, excessive crying, lack of driving skills, lack of food intake, drinks too much wine, or some other type of therapy because their child was ‘behind’.

Or, they were diagnosed with ADD or ADHD at the tender age of 2 weeks due to their ‘excessive crying’ or something as ludicrous).

Alec didn’t walk ‘alone’ until he was 18 months old. I’m sure the large motor skill therapists were fighting to get this new client but I resisted as I as a mom, knew Alec could walk just fine for about 6 months prior to his ‘letting go’.

I’d watch him walk down the hall with one finger on something he was pushing. The second he realized I saw him, he sat down.

He had the large motor skills to do it, he didn’t always have the confidence and frankly, I think he enjoyed us carrying him.

So, this time around with Julia, I’ve decided that unless there is a true concern which I would obviously not ignore, I’m going to give the same response to every bloody question I get asked.

Scenario:

Julia’s pediatrician at 2 month appt. (holding numerous therapy brochures):

“So, does Julia pull herself up?" YES
"Does she know the meaning of the word ‘NO’?" YES
"Does she sit unassisted?" YES
"Does she crawl?" YES
"Does she walk?" YES
"Does she talk in full sentences in 15 different languages?" Of course, I mean YES.

Lucky Mom:

Now, can we go as Survivor is on tonight and I need to set up the recorder, just in case.

Pediatrician (laying down brochures):

Uh…sure.

8 Comments Posted (Add Yours)

1

I must admit, I am amazed that the "specialists" are so quick to label the kids, as I know they are (even us childless fools read the papers!). What cracks me up about it is how overprotective these same lunatics are later in the kids' lives. They suggest things like that teachers never fail kids, as it would hurt their self esteem, etc. Hey! How about telling my kid he's a loser since he doesn't run marathons by 9 months like little Johnny in the 99.999999999 percentile does! How does THAT affect his self esteem?!

2

Oh WOW, I had to stop & think how to respond. It's only been 21 years since I had to worry about where Katey was on any chart. As a matter of fact, our Ped. didn't have any charts in his office. And when asked where Katey was percentile-wise, he really didn't answer with charts, he simply said she was a healthy child. Of course all my friends were going on about how their child was in the 90% or higher & I was like, what does that mean?? So here is Katey, 21 years old, beautiful red hair, radiant smile (she did have braces) & a personality that would knock you over but only 5'2" tall. I wonder what % she is in for her age now????

3

No worries Kristine... there's only one chart that needs to be marked. ;)

4

Anna, the percentage charts aren't the half of it anymore.

Now, every move gets evaluated, analyzed and put through a statistically relevant mathmatical equation or something as ridiculous.

Your kid 'fails', it's on to the therapist.

5

I really enjoyed your view on milestones. During the first three months of my older son's life I would read every developmental health watch article I could lay my hands on, then he was actually seriously ill and in hospital for 15 days (nothing preventable or foreseeable btw) and I no longer had time to do this - couple of months later I realizaed I didn't have to and boy did I feel better! His kidney dr. had a fit about his height - scared the #$%#% out of me, when I called his pediatrician he said, "did she ask about your height? baby's dad's height? (I'm under 5' and my husbando is not much taller) I said, "No" and he said well, your are NOT average height so chances are neither will your children be - so take it easy.... and we did.

Now with my baby girl I'm a lot more relaxed and less worried about percentiles.

Cheers !

6

Erik - you freak. : )

7

I loved this because that is exactly how it was for me. My dad and his girlfriend thought that Ryan was a little "slow" and they weren't shy about telling me that. They suggested that he go get "analyzed." Well, he just completed his screening for K-garten and he scored at a 6-7 yr old level. Not too shabby for a 4 yr old.

8

Ryansmom - wow, that's great! It just goes to show that every child is different and learn at their own pace.