Spring is in the air, normally I would be focusing on my physical insecurities like how I need to work out before I put on a bathing suit or that I need to go tanning before I even think about shorts. Since I’ve had Ali those insecurities have no longer keep me up at night. It’s my other insecurity, Ali’s development, that’s been racking my brain. Her Third Birthday was just the other day I’ve been especially insecure about her milestones. Pair that with the more frequent trips to the park and you’ve got a basket case on your hands.
The weather turned nice last week and it was time for Ali and I to hit the parks again. Which also means its time for me to compare Ali’s behavior with all of the other children. I know it’s bad and I’m not supposed to do it but I can’t help myself. Ali is just learning to tell people her name and I see little girls whizzing by telling each other about their days. The other day at the park I saw two girls who looked like Ali’s age. They meet for the first time and switched shoes. What? I didn’t realize shoe fetishes started at such a young age. The girls were running and playing together and Ali didn’t want much to do with them. When one ran by I casually asked her age and she said “3.” I panicked and tried to run after her asking “when did you turn three, when did you turn 3!” Of course she was long gone and I didn’t want to seem too psycho so I quietly let it go.
Then it was time for Ali’s three-year well visit. I was feeling good about it because we’ve had this evaluation before so I knew what to expect. Ali’s doctor is a giant stoic Russian man. He couldn’t be harder to read if he didn’t have a face. Seriously, if this doctor business doesn’t work out he’d be just fine in a Vegas Texas Hold ‘Em tournament.
So we were in the room and he asked Ali to name colors. I forgot to mention that this room has a giant flat screen TV in it. It’s normally extremely helpful when waiting for a doctor, but 42” of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse does nothing for my daughter’s attention span. She keeps naming random colors because she’s not interested in us. Finally she’s able to tell us that the shirt is “yellow” (Or “Yedow” as she says it). He wrote something down and said that’s fine.
Next he grabbed a few small blank cards. He put them in a pile and told me to ask her to count it. I thought “yeah baby we’re going to ace this one” Then I go to lay them out and he says “No keep them in a pile and have her count them out one by one” What? We’ve never counted them out like that before. Ali was still watching Mickey Mouse when I started an inner panic. She looked at them grabbed one and said “one” then stopped all together, looked around and just said “2,3,4,5,6” … There were only 4 cards in the pile and she wasn’t even looking at them. He wrote something down in his pad and said “ Ok she only needs to count one” In my head I shouted, “Then why were there four cards in the pile? To drive me insane?!”
Then made her name some animals on a picture on the wall. I relaxed a bit again since she was naming everything under the sun before the doctor came in. Of course now that it was test time she didn’t want anything to do with the animals. She just stared at the doctor with her back against the wall. I assured him she knows the animals. Thank god he believed me.
The check up was finished and he told me she was fine. This time he gave me a cheat sheet on what’s to come at her four-year visit. I was relieved to have the information but kind of of put off that he thinks we need a year of studying … this isn’t the MCATS. Needless to say Ali and I got started on drawing shapes as soon as we got home.