Sunday, November 11, 2007

Checked out at the Checkup

While Crabmommy knows she has a shockingly remarkable child, I'm afraid Crabtot had a most unremarkable annual checkup.

Far from leaving with pamphlets called How To Reason with a Gifted Child or Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful: Integrating your Stunning Child in a Sea of Aesthetic Mediocrity, I left the doc's simply knowing Crabtot was normal.

Now Lord knows I cannot stand the spawn-promoting mommy, the "we are so blessed" mommy, the "my child is so advanced" mommy. I've done serious mass-dissing of the edu-mommy, the "she speaks Spanish and Sign Language too!" twitmommy. Indeed bragmomming (and bragdadding) appalls me. But while I look down on such smugmom impulses, something happens to me in the doctor's office and hot damn if I don't want C-tot to dazzle the doc as she does me! It's ugly, but that's motherhood for you. Or at least, Crabmotherhood.

Crabtot didn't enjoy the checkup. She's been apprehensive ever since she saw that Elmo Goes to the Doctor DVD when in one scene a weird little girl, who looks and sounds like Janis Joplin, hisses the words "check up check up" over and over again (Anyone know who I'm talking about?). So at the pediatrician, the usually loud Crabtot clammed up. Or to put it in a less pc-manner, she appeared dense. Or as we say in my native South Africa, dof. When the pediatrician held up three fingers Crabtot appeared terribly confused by the number "three." Then she was asked the color of her shirt and her eyes glazed over. By now the uglymommy within was clawing at my throat. I almost said it, people, and I 'aint proud of that, and I'm triple-cringing as I write this, but at least I shut my mouth BEFORE blurting out, "She even knows it in Spanish! say a-maree-yo, Crabtot, for the LOVE OF GOD, SPEAK!"

Though Tot perked up at the end and we managed to leave without referrals for remediation, I have to admit, I was a bit bummed she hadn't blown the doc away. And I was also hugely bummed at myself for my shallowness. Yet again. The truth of it is, we want the doctors to tell us that our children are special. But really their job is to tell us our kids are healthy. The rest we already know.

Of course it may not be mere shyness/fear that inhibits tots in doc offices. It may be that by playing dumb they're outsmarting us. We want them to perform, and because they see through us, they refuse. Crabgrandma reminded me of my cousin who, as a kid, refused to play the game at a pediatrician's office. After many long minutes of questions answered monosyllabically he finally lobbed a kicker before the interview ended.

Pediatrician: "So, James, do you have any pets at your house?"
James: "No."
"No cats or birds or...dogs?"
"Oh, I thought you had a dog!"
"You're sure you don't have a dog?"
And then, finally, James changed his mind on pets: "Actually, we have an aardvark. Named Edmund."

Tomorrow at the bloglet: Utah Baby Names. And you thought Pilot Inspektor was bad.


Daisy said...

Ah, she'll dazzle them all some day.

Anonymous said...

how timely. taking my son to his 2-yr check up tomorrow morning. have meant to write and bring the list/number of words he says and all that he "understands" because last few times the ped has told me to make my lil' fella "use his words." dreading the "normal," and "50th percentile" comments. as you well appreciate, having an expert label your child "common" is deflating..even when you know otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Crabmommy, I'm hurt! Yes, you did send me some delicious balm ... but I didn't even get a kudos for bringing the Utah Baby Namer to light! Geez ... first the broken, lovely flower pot, now this!!


Crabmommy said...

Crabmommy must apologize. You know, I am so utterly self-centered that I tend to forget that my bright ideas aren't all mine. Situation remediated over at Cookiemag. Credit duly noted. And thanks again for that link. TOO MUCH HILARIOSITY!

NH Yocal said...

Aww...they are all brillant in parent's minds. I used to think my son was a genius until I heard the other 4 year old say his ABCs : )

Renée said...

Reminds me of the doctor visit I had when I was about 10. The doctor asked me "So, how are you doing in school?" I replied tartly, "None of your business." I thought my mother was going to kill me, right there on the spot.


Anonymous said...

Too funny, Renee.

deborah said...

Ha! Isn't this the way it always goes? We left my dd's 3 year checkup with booking another one - she clammed up and now he's concerned she needs to see a speech therapist!! (and i think she speaks fine!) Argh!

skape7 said...

I kind of wish Miss T would sit still and say nothing at the doctors - one memorable time we were booked in to see a fellow who was not our usual doctor. Within the first two minutes he watched Miss T try to grab everything off his desk then clamber off my lap, open, inspect the contents of and close all his filing drawers, lift the curtain to look out the window, try to pull herself up to the basin then retrieve the step stool so she COULD get up there, then try to turn on both the taps, then move the stool so she could instead get to the paper towel. He turned to me and said "She's a bit like a boy isn't she?" I really wasn't sure where to start with my answer for that one.

CRUSTY MOM-E said...

wait, you're supposed to put a LIST together of words???? I'm on child three and I'm just finding out about this list...

and secretly we all want to hear others say our children are special because that's what we do all day, and it's difficult to get feedback as a parent..

I've always enjoyed having my children be in the less than 10% for weight and height even if that means that the nurse wants me to administer a rich diet of cow fat and milkshakes
..screw them! they don't know.:) hahahah

Great post as usual!