really not worthy of a celebration

August 19, 2010

so, i never told you this, but at jude's nine month checkup his pediatrician made us fill out this milestone sheet.  and when we got to does he clap, jon and i looked at each other and checked, no.  because he didn't.  the doctor caught us on the way out the door and seemed very concerned, very concerned in capital letters that he wasn't clapping but said we'd reevaluate at his one year appointment.

then i went home and googled not clapping.  which immediately brings up search results for BAD THINGS.  sage words of advice for you: never go home and do this.   i freaked myself right the fuck out.  but it also brought up milestone sheets that said that kids regularly clap before 13 months.  so i'm not really sure why our pediatrician got all weird about it in the first place.  plus we weren't exactly sitting around clapping at home; it wasn't a skill that was high on my priority list.

i wrote an email to a friend and poured out my heart.  it was right during that time when i was writing often about how he wouldn't sign and wouldn't communicate.  and she wrote back to me the most reassuring letter– that he is unique and doing things at his own rate, that boys sometimes communicate slower, and that i was melting down over nothing.

so we clapped with him every day.  and i read and re-read her note.  some weeks i would worry, then some weeks i was chill.  and life went on.  and he picked up some words and my heart soared.

yesterday he clapped.  and signed more (he apparently signs more at the babysitters all the time but never at home, tiny jerk).

FINALLY, kid, you've had me all worried over nothing!  except it wasn't him that had me worried.  he was just doing his thing.  it's funny the mental authority i gave someone just because they're a doctor.  if my own doctor had told me something was wrong with me i would have told them to fuck off.  but because it was my baby i listened and worried.

note to doctors:  this is not a nice thing to do.  your little offhand comments have a big impact.  our pediatrician probably didn't even realize what he was saying.  he sees 50 kids a day, maybe more.  talks to 50 mothers.  i only see one doctor and only for a few minutes.  so those few minutes leave an impact.  if the guy had never mentioned it i would have lived in happy oblivion until this week, when he clapped, and then i would have said yay! you can clap! and moved on because who the hell cares.  it's the last time i'll let anyone question my mama gut over something so trivial.  i'm on to your game now.
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