Saturday, January 31, 2009

Twelve months

I took Avtalyon for his twelve-month checkup yesterday. Friday afternoon in the winter is not really the ideal time to schedule a well baby visit, but it's the only time I can do it without paying for a babysitter, so that's when we went. It went fine. Great, actually. I was kind of looking forward to it, truth be told. Because usually, these well baby visits around here go kind of like this:

"So, is he walking yet?"


"Holding his own cup?"


"How about blocks? Is he stacking blocks?"

"Ummm... no."



"Clapping his hands, how about that?"

"Uh, no, but I haven't been trying to teach him that one."

"Well, how about words? How many words is he using regularly?"

"Words, as in, English words that anybody could recognize, or... um.. I... not really any, actually, now that you ask."

And so I was greatly looking forward to walking in to a 12-month checkup with a baby who'd been walking for two months already, who uses something like 10 words, who plays games, does give-and-take, points, plays peekaboo, holds his own cup and! yes! knows his own name! Alas, what happens when you walk in with a child who is clearly developmentally normal is THEY DON'T ASK YOU ANY OF THOSE THINGS. Unfair as all heck, isn't it?

He was holding my credit card; the pediatrician took it, he took it back, and then offered it back to her. "Oh, he does give and take!" Then, "What are you feeding him?" I blathered on for a while about his outstanding pincer grip, his ability to hold his own cup, his shocking facility at sleeping through the night with only one nursing break--all those things that, you know, weren't quite happening at this point with Barak or Iyyar. "Mmm-hmmm," she said politely, after listening to his lungs and peeking in his ears. "You can turn his carseat around now if you want, you know." I launched into a diatribe about how it was really safer to keep them rear-facing for as long as possible, but installing convertible carseats rear-facing is a lot trickier, so, sometimes when we take a cab...

Through all of this, Avtalyon was being a rock star. He was toddling around the exam room, stopping every so often to shoot me a blinding grin and then demonstrate his royal wave. I mentioned his Abba; he crowed "Abba! Abba! Ah ba ba ba!! Ha ha ha!! Abba!" I said his name and he stopped what he was doing and looked at me. "Yes? You called?" He tried to open the garbage can, he made a good attempt at reaching the keyboard, he came over to visit me and drool companionably on my knee. He's 25th percentile for weight, 40th for height. He got his Prevnar and his last Hib shot yesterday, resulting in a fever this morning that disappeared quickly with some Tylenol. "He's doing great."

I felt a little guilty about the whole thing (shocking, isn't it? Me? Feeling guilty?)--as though I were somehow saying, "I know the first two were totally substandard babies but look, I got it right this time!" Which of course isn't how I feel at all. It's just that the first two had what one might call a total disregard for the foolishness contained in What to Expect the First Year, a volume of uselessness dumped in the trash by Iyyar's 6-month checkup as nothing but food for my neuroses. I think they're both fine developmentally, and cheerfully ignored the letter home that Barak got about his inability to draw X's and circles on demand. He draws houses full of dragons sleeping and eating chocolate cows. That's enough for me.

I also, while at the doctor's, got Iyyar's records and growth charts to take to the GI doctor's visit next Tuesday. Iyyar has been much better generally since we stopped with the dairy, but things have been going less well this week; there's been a lot of "my tushy hurts me," and "I can't poop!" He isn't really constipated though; regular dirty diapers lately. So I don't know. I did notice when looking at his records that he seems to have gone down a pound a month since I first brought him in about this in November; 33.5, then 32.5, then 31.5 at our last visit. I know that the first visit he was horrifically constipated so I can easily imagine that extra pound being all poop; he's also had a major source of fat and calories (dairy) removed from his diet. Still, I didn't like seeing that.

Anyway, we've got the records now, and his films from the hospital, and we had the visit with the allergist, so I've got everything I need for the GI doctor next week. Let's hope she's got some answers for us.


LC said...

. . . letter home that Barak got about his inability to draw X's and circles on demand.

Well, you know, smart kids often can't be bothered to follow *boring* directions. (good thing I didn't flunk 1st grade math!)

Dragons and chocolate are much more interesting than plain X's and O's. They should have taught him tic-tac-toe. That might have been worth his while.

kata said...

Yes: smart kids often can't be bothered with standardized directions aimed at defining the average as the norm.

I also hate What To Expect the First Year. It's so far off about a number of things I don't even know where to begin! And it's another symptom of the standardization craze: why is it that we have to conceive of our children as ideal only when average? (Although What to Expect is not even about the average, their developmental guidelines are unrealistic even by the American Academy of Pediatrics' standards.) I find that so strange in this country of all countries.

crunchygranolamom said...

Ooh! Another person here to hates the entire "What to Expect" series. They really should be called "What to Expect When You're a Hypochondriac"....

I'm SO glad you're going back to the GI. That weight loss is not good (let me tell you something you don't know!).