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?


  1. Oh annie...you slay me. What are those questionnaires anyway? I swear I was knowing at my nails answering the questions. Was my baby meeting the milestones? Why don't I know if my child can do these things? Raking? So stressful.