Keeping on the Cloudy Side of Life

Posted on | May 26, 2010 | 22 Comments

Can someone please explain to me why it is that the bad stuff is always so easy to believe?

I thought it was bad for me when I was a kid. I’ve mentioned before (I think) that I have exceptionally low self-esteem. So the bad stuff was always really really easy for me to believe as the Gospel truth. But nothing prepared me for motherhood. If you think ignoring bad stuff about yourself is tough, I can’t even begin to prepare you for hearing bad stuff about your kid.

I should have known it would be difficult for me. One time in college this guy I had a semi-crush on came up with what can only be described as the worst drinking game EVER. Really, the worst game ever. It consisted of a group of us sitting around a table and, I kid you not, saying mean things to each other. The winner was the person who could sit at the table the longest. Guess who left first? This girl. And what was the comment that got me to leave? The guy looked at me and said “Your dog is really ugly.”

Um. No. I love my dog. And he is NOT ugly. He is, in fact, one of the most adorable creatures on the planet. So I said something really witty and intelligent like “SCREW YOU YOU ARE SO WRONG JACKHOLE” and left. Don’t mess with my dog.

Please note that to date, no one has told me that my child is ugly. And swear to God they better not. Because I will buy steel-toed boots for the SOLE purpose of shoving them in your uncomfortable places. (No, not in the back of a Volkswagen.) So what am I talking about then?

I’m talking about milestones. Stupid effing milestones.

You’d think by now that I would have learned to tune out people’s input on when my kid would reach certain goals. You’d think I would have the ability to say “Well, no not yet” and then put it away and not worry about it.

But I can’t.

And even though the rational portion of my person says “Shake it off, he’s perfectly normal and fine” the irrationally insecure girl in me is still prone to hear the bad before the good and to harp on the bad until it becomes some giant whale of a problem that only wine and whine can remedy.

What brought this on? My doctor’s visit for J at Emory. First, let me say that the doctors up there are fantastic. I love everyone I’ve met up there and they are genuinely kind and sweet and helpful. And I’m sure that if the doctor we met with today read this she would feel so bad that all I took away from our meeting was one particle of conversation that I turned into something negative.

We were discussing what milestones J has reached and I was happily saying “yes, yes, yes” to everything. And then she said this….

“What words is he saying?”

Uh. Doctor say what? WORDS? Does “Dadadadadadadadada” count? How about “agoygoy?” I just looked at her.

“No. No words.”

She looked at J, then at me and said “Well, I think that’s okay. Words will come.”

Nothing in that is negative, right? So why did I want to slap her? My child is only nine months old. There’s no reason for him to be reciting Shakespeare. And the doctor didn’t say that anything was wrong with J at all. Yet all I’ve thought about since I got home is why my kid isn’t talking.

Say it with me, would you? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME!?!?!?!

I have a healthy, adorable, loving, sweet and kind little boy. He crawls. He stands up. He babbles. And he’s only nine months old. He doesn’t need to be talking. And rationally I know this. I know that he is perfectly fine. So why did I spend a good thirty minutes pointing at things and naming them trying to get him to repeat me?!

Can I please focus on the positive for a change? I want to focus on the fact that although my kid doesn’t have a perfectly clean bill of health, they have ruled out the worst case scenario. I want to focus on the fact that he is growing right on track with no neurological problems. I want to focus on the fact that he hasn’t had an “episode” in over two months. I want to forget the part of the conversation where she indicated that some 9 month old kids are talking. I don’t even want to think about it again.

But I will. I’d be kidding myself if I said otherwise. Because it’s who I am, like it or not. I just hope I can figure out a way to keep from passing this along to J. Motherhood really needs to come with thicker skin and a universal mute button for everyone else on the planet.


22 Responses to “Keeping on the Cloudy Side of Life”

  1. amy
    May 26th, 2010 @ 11:11 am

    are you freaking kidding me? My boy said NO. WORDS. until about one week before he turned two. TWO. No thought of words at NINE months. That lady must not have kids.
    They are all different and wonderful and do things at their own pace.
    Forget about it 🙂

  2. HarmSkills
    May 26th, 2010 @ 11:25 am

    its bad enough we get this $hit from every other mom, and every nosy granny on the street… but from a doc? C is 14 months old and he can say "hi" thats it. Im not worried… PLEASE!

  3. Suzanne
    May 26th, 2010 @ 11:35 am

    Point #1 – "What, like the back of a volkswagon?" is my favorite underused movie quote ever of all time. You win 1,000 awesome points.

    Point #2 – My kid is 14 months and still doesn't say anything consistantly besides "nonononono".

    Point #3 – The absolute most verbally advanced baby I know, a girl who speaks and understands sentances at 16 months, didn't talk at 9 months. A baby who has word(s) at 9 months is almost unheard of. I agree with the person above who said the doctor must not have kids. No parent would freak out another mom like that.

  4. Jessica
    May 26th, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

    My niece is going to be 2 in a month and she just started saying one or two word phrases. That doctor has got to be kidding me!!

  5. Kim
    May 26th, 2010 @ 12:30 pm

    Lawmomma, I totally get it!! Only like the opposite. Case in point: I had John at all sorts of specialists at same age for developmental issues (and I have my degree in special ed, so I knew we could be in a pickle) we're at one appoinment, going over what he's not doing. Standing? No. Eating solids? No. Sleeping thru the night? No. etc. And I'm all FINE b/c somewhere in my heart I totally believe he'll grow out of this and catch up (which he did) but then the developmental ped goes, "make a note, some formation of a third nipple" and woman, the sh*t, hit the fan. I came UNGLUED. I guess because it was tangible. It's like a small dimple when he bends the right way, but let me tell you, you don't mess with our babes!

  6. Rachel B.
    May 26th, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

    (No, not in the back of a Volkswagen.)

    I died. Dead. Gone.

    But seriously, I know what you mean. My boy didn't start crawling until he was around 10 months old, and I was all IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH MAH BAYBEH! But there wasn't. He's just a bigger boy, and they move slower. The only words he said at nine months were dadadada and babababa. He's 11 months now and has picked up several words in the last month. To expect words at 9 months seems a bit farfetched. J is perfect.

  7. Katie
    May 26th, 2010 @ 1:12 pm

    We are going through this now with W's daycare. It's time for him to move up but they are giving us a hard time because he isn't walking on his own and he hasn't made the switch to 100% table food. Excuse me Ms. Day Care Worker, but not every baby walks immediately at 12 months and I'm sorry my son doesn't like the texture of green beans and doesn't know how to eat a mini-pizza. Anyway, the current vibe we are getting from his day care has led us to decide to move him starting June 1st…

    As far as words go…W just learned how to say "night, night" and "bye, bye" and some that sounds like "dog" on a good day. All of that in the last two-three weeks. So don't worry about J, he is perfectly wonderful and precious!!!

  8. Ali
    May 26th, 2010 @ 1:39 pm

    I stress the same way, I know I shouldn't but I look at what my 2nd does as with what my 1st did. We saw a lot of specialists with my 1st and some of them just didn't know the "in's and out's" with milestones for infants, they just were asking questions that they didn't know what was right or not… Scary huh!

  9. Little Bishops
    May 26th, 2010 @ 1:43 pm

    I stumbled across your blog after the d-list party was over – I hadn't been able to make it to them all so I went to just the regular d-list and found you. I love what I have read so far!

  10. Little Bishops
    May 26th, 2010 @ 1:43 pm

    Oh I forgot to mention that I am like you, with the low self-esteem and paranoia or over-thinking things that some people wouldn't even think about-i.e. the doctors words and now you analyzing everything your kid says and wondering if you should be concerned. And for the record, you shouldn't!! 🙂

  11. Tiffany
    May 26th, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

    Thanks is crazy. Laugh that off – your beautiful baby should not be saying actual words. Do not less this crazysauce upset you. Seriously.

  12. Rebekah @ Mom-In-A-Million
    May 26th, 2010 @ 2:50 pm

    Wha-wha-what??? Words at 9 months? Whatever. I thin C was 11 months before he even started thinking about words. And by words I mean saying "Uh-oh!" And let's not forget J's history of ear infections and goop in his ears. That can be a factor in language development too. You have NOTHING to be afraid of. Milestones should be considered guidelines. You know what C never really did as an infant? Rolled over. You know what he does now? Shoots hoops. It usually all evens out with enough time.

  13. Steph
    May 26th, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

    Babies bring out insecurities in all mothers, you're not alone. ALL babies/kids develop on their own time line. You can not force them. My nephew was a very shy, quiet child. He didn't speak very clearly at all for a long time and when he did he was still at a loss for a lot of words. He's 8 now and just fine. My other nephew speaks very clearly but didn't speak as early as my daughter did. She is 3 and still does the occasional "babble" when she is at a loss for words. Something my son NEVER did and something my younger nephew doesn't do. Even on kid #2 I have moments of "oh no" but then she has a long conversation with me about how a monster took her heart out of her foot (not kidding) and I am like "she's fine". My point is, it's totally normal for kids to develop at their own pace and for us mommies to totally freak out when they don't develop the way we've been taught they should. ((((HUGS))))

  14. KLZ
    May 26th, 2010 @ 5:57 pm

    I think it's a good sign. The good sign is that you aren't one of those parents mistaking "dadadadadadada" for daddy. You're not pushing him beyond who he is. You're doing great.

  15. KLZ
    May 26th, 2010 @ 5:58 pm

    Also a friend told me that at her child's 18 months appt they only asked that the child be ATTEMPTING 10 words. At twice your child's age. So you're in a great spot.

  16. Nikki
    May 26th, 2010 @ 6:21 pm

    Ugh, I hurt for you lady, I do, because I know the feeling of your skin crawling when someone starts talking milestones. I had this once said to me, "Oh, he's not sitting up yet? His close to six months right? Well, don't worry about it, my grandson was a lump like that too." A lump!

  17. parentinginprogress
    May 26th, 2010 @ 6:42 pm

    All I'm gonna say is that when you're internet BFF is Mandy and her kid is two months older than yours and has been saying "Icycle Bicycle" for months and months and your kid isn't even saying Mama yet, I can totally relate to getting a freaking complex.

    PS, P said Uh Oh around 10 months, using it appropriately. It was at least 6-8 weeks before we got another word. She is not delayed.

  18. Dr. Mommy
    May 26th, 2010 @ 6:45 pm

    i'm a pediatrician so i'll weigh in: usually by this point, they may say the "dada" and "mama" sounds but they are not used discriminately at this age, meaning they don't call mama "mama" and dada "dada." So are they really using true words at this age or just making recognizable sounds? i believe that latter. Your son has PLENTY of time to build language. My daughter is a pretty smart cookie and did not say "mama" until 11 months of age.

  19. Cybil
    May 26th, 2010 @ 6:53 pm

    When people used to say things like that to me about my kids, I would just look at them and say, "yea – well my kids really aren't that bright!" That really shuts people up quickly!

  20. Cara Mamma
    May 26th, 2010 @ 7:01 pm

    Apart from the fact that every single child is different and that words by 9 months is not an indication of anything other than chattiness, I am with you on the worrying about all the little things and not being able to get them out of my mind. I tend to be pretty positive–or I was, until I became a mom. Add that to my being a teacher, and anything that my daughter's teacher says finds a way to make me question what she "really" meant.

  21. Emily
    May 26th, 2010 @ 9:14 pm

    Yeah you have NOTHING to worry about. Hudson still communicates with mostly "agoygoy" and while he can say maybe 4 or 5 words- he is 16 months & those 4 or 5 "words" are used loosely.

    PS: Like the back of a Volkswagon?!? HILARIOUS. Note to self- watch Mallrats IMMEDIATELY.

  22. Janelle
    May 27th, 2010 @ 12:09 am

    One of my best friends had a baby the SAME DAY as me, and her darn son crawled super early, was walking by 6 months (before my little dude even crawled – instead he scooted backwards across the floor on the back of his head and wore himself a bald spot – super embarrassing by the way), and I had to wait for that milestone tell my little guy was well past a year. It is so tough not to take it personally when your guy is not the overachieving baby! Mommy guilt is the worst – but your guy is fine. Tomorrow you'll wish he would stop talking already…

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