Before I post Easter photos, I wanted to talk a little bit about Donny’s 12 month Developmental Check up. Because the boy was so small when he was born (4 lbs 12 oz) and because he had a couple early stays in the hospital, it was suggested that we take him to see the Developmental Specialists at West Penn. His first appointment was when he was 3 months old and, if I’m remembering correctly, it consisted of a nice lady with a big box of toys fussing over him and putting different toys in front of him to see how he’d respond. She and the doctor gave me lots of advice about interacting with Donny which, as a gal who had never even played with dolls, was very much appreciated. The sixth month appointment was very similar but with even more fussing—I fully expected the doctor to pull out a checkbook and ask how much I wanted for the kid. Both he and the toy lady seemed to think Donny was fine but, since insurance was paying for it would I like to come back? I said yes and floated out holding what, in their medical opinion, seemed to be the best and smartest baby in the world.
Yesterday when we went in for his 12 month appointment, everyone seemed rushed. The nice doctor wasn’t there and the doctor who was there I had a vague memory of having met and not much liking. The toy lady did her thing, and I answered the doctor’s questions as best I could. I realized as I spoke with the doctor that I have become very antagonistic around doctors. That’s not a bad skill to have but it needs to be applied consciously and selectively and here I was just slathering it on willy-nilly. While I’ll admit my bad behavior, she did say some pretty dumb things. She seemed very surprised that we weren’t feeding Donny any meat yet. “What do you do for protein?” I explained he gets eggs and beans and lots of leafy green vegetables. When I mentioned lentils her response was, “Lentils!?! That’s weird. Do you cook them?”
“Do you cook them?” And this woman is licensed to poke people with needles.
At the end of the appointment they said I didn’t need to bring Donny back and did I have any questions. I did have a question as I had looked thru the file that was handed to me when I filled out his paperwork and on a couple of the forms a box was checked that said “Missing Developmental Milestones.” No one had said anything like that at the last two lovefests—I asked them what that meant and what did I need to know. Both ladies looked a little taken aback but, hey—if you don’t want to get busted, tell the nurse you have passing out paperwork not to give the parents their child’s medical file to write on. The doctor lady said that, because he’d had a couple of setbacks so early on, he would probably walk and talk a little later than most kids. The toy lady assured me that what they look for isn’t so much milestones as progress and that he had made a lot of progress. “If we needed to see him again, we’d tell you.” I decided to believe her.
Of course, that evening when we got home, I was telling Mike all the things the doctor asked me that got me flustered, one of which was, “Does Donovan mimic you?” She used the example of Patty Cake and, bad parent that I am, I don’t do patty cake with Donny because its dumb and I get embarrassed. About 5 minutes later we were playing with the boy and I did one of my usual jokes with him, which is to throw my arms up in the air and say, “HOOOORAY for Babies!” Damn if he didn’t throw his arms up in the air! I did it a few more times, just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke, and he mimicked me almost every time. And it was damn cute, I have to say.
“Missing Developmental Milestones” my ass. You know what you can do with your Patty Cake, chica…