Yesterday Mason had his pneumonia followup (his lungs sound great!!) and his 9 month check-up since that made more sense than coming back in 10 days. I left the appointment in tears and doubting everything I know about babies.
Like I mentioned yesterday, Mason isn’t crawling yet. Hasn’t really shown any interest at all. His daycare teachers even commented last week that he’s showing signs that he’ll probably skip crawling and move right to walking. Which, from everything I’ve ever heard, is perfectly normal. Some babies crawl at 6 months, some babies crawl at 10 months, some babies just don’t crawl. And you know what? I’m fine with having him not already crawling – it means we get to truly enjoy a fully decorated Christmas tree one last year and the critters are still safe for a while longer!
So back to the ped appointment. We do his height (28″) and his weight (18 lbs) and she listens to his lungs and his heart and looks at his eyes and his ears and decides that not only did his ear infection from a few weeks ago not clear up, now both of his ears are infected and the previously infected one looks worse. Explains why the poor little guy has been in such a bad mood lately!
Then the questions begin. The first thing she asked is if he was crawling and her face instantly turned grim when I said he was not. She then went into rapid fire question mode, her face growing grimmer and grimmer the more she asked.
Is he pulling up on furniture? (no, but we don’t really have much furniture for him to pull up on. He will pull up when we give him our hands)
Does he stand and play while leaning on furniture (no, see above)
If we’re holding his hands, does he take steps on his own free will? (no)
Does he imitate what we do when we make noises (repeat back) or sounds (cow, raspberries)? (no, he makes his own back)
Does he exhibit stranger danger? (no, but he is handled by 15+ people a week at the daycare and I’m also not handing him to homeless men)
Does he have multiple repetative consanants that he uses frequently? (baba dada mama gaga) (No, but he does dada frequently and lots of other sounds/noises, just nothing repetitive.)
With those questions, she declared that we weren’t playing enough games with him, speaking to him enough, and that she’d really need to see him back in two weeks to judge his progress and possibly put him in therapy. WHAT?!?!? She gave us a handout of 16 different activities to do with him (which ranged from letting him crawl in and out of a box, playing Patty Cake and Sooo Big, to reading to him and making him wave bye bye every time he left a room).
Then she gave us a six page worksheet to have filled out by our next visit. (Based on the ASQ3 program if anyone is interested). Basically, it asks several questions for every area of growth and you rate your baby via Frequently, Sometimes, and Never. The handout says all over it to not do before your baby is 9 Months and 1 Day old and that it should be completed between 9 months 1 day and 9 months 30 days. Looking through it last night, it’s clear that his fine motor skills are great, but his gross motor skills and langage skills are non-existant according to them. One of the questions was does he follow 3 word commands such as “Put that back” “Come Over Here” and “Give It Here” Another was “Does he know three words that he can label to objects such as Mama, Dada, and BaBa? (for Bottle)” Color me clueless, but I had no clue that those were the standard for a 9 month old! Things like “While holding onto the couch, can he bend down and pick up a toy?” “Does he walk around clinging to furniture?” are not even on his radar. BUT, up until yesterday, I was pretty sure that’s pretty normal for AN EIGHT MONTH OLD!
I understand watching his milestones and keeping an eye on things, but I also understand that this assesment is incredibly crazy when you look at the fact that babies grow and change SO fast. What he’s not doing today he could very easily be doing in 2 weeks. And the fact that this assesment is good until he’s 9 months and 30 days old? Means he’s got almost 6 weeks to learn all of these “tricks.” So the fact that our pediatrician is acting like he’s totally a baby failure? Doesn’t sit well with me at all. The fact that she made me look twice at my perfect little boy and wonder if something is “wrong” with him? Doesn’t sit well with me. It’s amazing how easy it is to take this stuff to heart, even though half of you says to just let it roll of your back.
I feel bad that both P and I now feel like we’re being “pressured” to teach him to walk and pull up on furniture and it kind of take the magic out of him doing these things on his own when he’s ready, just like he’s done everything else perfectly normally well so far. A big part of me just wants to throw the handouts away and find a different pediatrician, but our only other option (I hate living in the sticks sometimes!!) is this ped’s partner and is from a different country who’s accent that no matter how hard I try, I cannot understand.
What are your thoughts, lovely blog world? Is it baby boot camp time for Mason? Give our ped the boot time? Something in between?