Tuesday, November 18, 2008

In which I discover that I myself am the shallowest person of my acquaintance

I have been in negotiations lately with a county agency to get Gus and Sam (well, actually, mostly Sam) evaluated for developmental delays. Sam has worried me a little for some time now. His gross motor skills are excellent, but he really doesn't use the pincer grasp unless forced to it, and he falls over his own feet like he's wearing clown shoes. Also, he can ignore you like nobody's business. His actual hearing seems to be fine, but if he is busy with something while you are calling him by name, well, good luck getting his attention because hey, dude, he's busy. Of course, his dad also does the ignoring thing. If D is reading something interesting, or engrossed in some problem, you'll have to walk right up to him and touch him on the shoulder to get his attention. He's busy, dude.

But the Easter Seals guy made it here at last this morning, and he and Sam had a little assessing playdate. Well, actually, he and Sam and Gus had the playdate, except that I finally had to cart Gus off into the next room so that the Easter Seals guy could actually assess Sam. To tell the truth, I think that's one of the reasons the boys seem a little behind. Tell me, could you work out your block-stacking skills very well if every time you got a couple of them together, some annoying person came along and knocked them winding? Or else started doing something fascinating on the other side of the room, just begging for investigation? Hm? How much actual work would you get done?

In any case, the nice Easter Seals guy (ESG) will be returning next week to assess Gus, and he only gave me a rough outline of his assessment today. The boys are 20 months and 2 days at the moment. ESG said that Sam's gross motor skills are excellent and he tested at 21 months. (Yay Sam!) But it was downhill from there. He said Sam's pincer grasp was actually pretty decent and his fine motor skills were okay-ish. But he doesn't pay attention when you call his name (he said Sam actually looked at him only one out of five times when he called his name), and his speech is definitely lacking. ESG said the boys would be eligible for free speech therapy when they turn 24 months (implying strongly that boy, howdy, do they need it!). He finished up by saying that both Sam and Gus seem like a "young" 20 months to him.

This is all what I had expected, more or less. And yet somehow, his calling them "young" for 20 months really rankled. But what that mostly pointed out to me is how damned shallow I am. Why on earth does it bother me that they are a little immature for their age? ESG said that he sees kids all the time with REAL problems, and our boys are in no way in that category. He basically said that our kids' problems, such as they are, should more or less straighten out on their own. I should just be grateful for that.

And yet I confessed to D the other day that I have been seized with "baby envy" -- not to have a baby, mind you (since we have the two best boys I could ever even think of!) but to have toddlers that are slightly more intellectually accomplished. My mother had a bazillion stories about how brilliant I was at an early age, and I guess I expected the same of Sam and Gus. Well, A, I am/was a girl, and B, I was a singleton. Boys tend to lag behind speech-wise, and so do twins. (And C, my mother might have been guilty of a slight case of mis-remembering!) So I need to remember that, instead of stewing over my Internet friend V's brilliant kid H, who not only can say at least a version of all three of his names, but can also more-or-less count to ten. Gus and Sam are very interested in counting, but what we get from them is (with appropriate pointing), "Doh, doh, doh, doh, doh, dojo!" Clear enough to this doting mom, though possibly not to anyone else.

And I'm kind of dreading Thanksgiving. Well, not Thanksgiving itself, but the Saturday after, when we are scheduled to meet D's sis, her husband and their toddler Leo ( one week older than our boys, as longtime readers of this blog may recall), who apparently is ready to ship off the MIT for the spring semester. I just know that our day together is going to be filled with little anecdotes about baby Leo's brilliance and perspicacity. And, darn it, probably some on-the-spot demonstrations of same.


Well, my kid can sing the first five notes of the pentatonic scale! In tune! Put that in your pipe and smoke it.


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