Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dear Six Month Ages & Stages Questionnaire.

Dear Six Month Ages & Stages Questionnaire,

I don't think I had the pleasure of filling you out when my first son was this small. If so, I credit my old pediatrician in my old city for seeing you more lucidly than my current. I may have, and for blacking the experience out credit goes to me for purging my brain of all necessary input knowledge as soon as I turned you in to the nurse.

I know that I either never saw you or experienced a post-standardized test blackout.

By the way, this is common - can anyone recite the standard equation for a hyperbola? No? You haven't been able to since you put your pencil down after your Regents Geometry final.

If this were not the case, I would have taken issue with the majority of your Fine Motor section.

In it, you ask two questions about Cheerios:

1. Does your baby reach for a crumb or Cheerio and touch it with his finger or hand?
2. Does your baby try to pick up a crumb or Cheerio by using his thumb and all of this fingers in a raking motion, even if he isn't able to pick it up?

I can't even get into this raking motion we are supposed to evaluate. They're babies! They have hands as useful as clubs. My baby bats, swats, and occasionally squeezes but I don't expect him to rake anything until he's at least six.

What I do want to get into is your slip-up that reveals your identity. Oh sure, you were written by pediatricians just trying to evaluate every child on the same scale. Oh sure, parents should try every activity on the questionnaire before trudging into the office to make sure your evaluation is accurate. Oh sure, you're not just trying to sell more Cheerios, CHEERIOS BRAND MANAGERS!

I know it's you. Stop trying to fool us into thinking the ASQ is a development tool when it's a retail tactic for your 2014 plan!

Pediatricians, or anyone who has spent any time around mostly toothless, suicide seeking six-month olds would never suggest a parent put a Cheerio within arm's reach to measure thumb agility.

Cuz out here in the field, we know what happens. Said Cheerio goes into babies mouth and Mom goes from ASQ evaluator to baby life-saver removing the tiny oat from her tiny tot's mouth.

So, Brand Manager, I appreciate your creativity but you're too young to know these things about babies. Stop with the ASQ. We'll buy your damn Cheerios when our sweet little babies are storming down the aisle at Target as terrorist two-year-olds and your perfectly-placed Chocolate Cheerios catch their eye. The vehement tantrum that ensues when we threaten to keep moving without your chocolaty oats will keep you in business for the ages.

Just tack this one onto the Three Year ASQ and your sales objective will be achieved:
1. When you walk by Cheerios at the store, how many boxes must you purchase to keep your child from screaming/screeching/howling?


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Potty Training Failure.


I like training. I liked training for races. I liked "training" for the SATs. I still like "training" for big presentations. If I could remember my own potty-training, I'm sure I would say that I liked it. Given my son's proclivity to act quite a bit like me, I thought potty training would be a breeze!

Over a year ago, I bought a little green potty. About six months ago I bought a McQueen potty topper thing, convinced that the joy of having his little bottom so close to Lightning would be the incentive needed to train up. Learning this was not the case, I added M&Ms and a potty chart to the mix, which incited excitement but zero action.

And so, with a month-old sleep-stealer stealing my sanity I listened to my two-year-old when he told me that "when [he] is just a little bit bigger [he] will use the potty."

Anyone who can tell you they will be ready when they are "just a little bit bigger" is ready. I've been Jedi-mind tricked and am now six months late to the potty-training game.

This week, one of the teachers told my husband that he's more than ready and we need to do it. Guns blazing, I told my two (almost three) year-old that as of Friday there would be no more diapers. That went over about as well a hamburger in India.

There were screaming fits, an attempt to put the potty outside, and a declaration that he would not go to music class which is his most favorite thing in the world.

The diaper went back on.

Yesterday, I invented Pretend Potty during which he runs around naked, pretends to use the potty and then gets pretend candy and a pretend sticker for his empty chart. I believed that if he did this enough and I sang and danced like a jackass about the potty, he would forget we are pretending and, voila, be potty trained.

This approach also backfired as he did not want to stop playing Pretend Potty. We told him it was bedtime. He sat down on the floor and took his diaper off with the adeptness of a damn NICU nurse. This was not a skill I knew he had, but I'm fairly confident it's on the same difficulty wrung as BEING ABLE TO USE THE POTTY.

After undertaking a project with the number one objective of eliminating diapers, my  husband and I found ourselves forcefully cajoling him to, "put the diaper back on!" while he ironically screamed, "Nooooo!! I don't want to!!"

It's a battle of the wills and despite being outnumbered, he is winning.

He assures me it is all right because he has observed that "girls wear undies and a lot of boys wear diapers" (true) and that when he is "just a little bit bigger" he will use the potty.

I am not sure if he is targeting college and beyond and at this point, I don't know if I care. I suppose this is how adult diapers came to be.