Tuesday, August 18, 2009
FASTER THAN A SPEEDING DIPTHONG!
The little guy had his speech evaluation yesterday. The verdict? Probably good. Unfortunately, Early Intervention's definition of "good" means that he qualifies for services. Nothing's certain yet - numbers must be crunched - but the evaluator's (off the record) info pointed towards slow. She was really nice and gave a lot of tips, most of which I've been making a conscious effort to avoid up to this point. Truncated sentences? ("Go up? Eat food? Yum!") Disregarding proper words? ("Baba" versus "bottle") Ending words in "y" sounds? (Doggy instead of dog) Check and check.
It's not that I'm anti-kid speak (I want to penis-kick hipsters who introduce themselves formally to newborns) but I've naturally gravitated towards talking to Owen like a regular person. 'Scuze me while I break out the golf clap but I'm really proud that he scores so high cognitively and I think part of that has to do with the fact that I've always spoken to him in full sentences. (Of course he also doesn't talk which probably cancels out the cognitive.) Point being, it feels like a step backwards to give directions like "Block in?" instead of my usual, "Hey, come help me put the blocks in the green box." I think repeating words often is really helpful and I'm happy to sing and read and make animal sounds but the rest of it? Feeling suuuper resistant. I know I should be grateful for the aid but my gut really just wants us to leave him alone. I find myself Googling things "genius+late talker" to reassure myself that being behind the curve is fine. I'm under no delusion that Owen's an Einstein. But I wouldn't mind if he were the next Bill Irwin. (Both super late talkers!)
At 19 months Owen has turned into Harold and the Purple Crayon. Thank god Crayola makes washable ones, that's all I have to say. I think we're finally past the eating-of-the-crayons phase (which lasted waaaay too long. Have you seen what it does to poop?) but we're stymied at Only-On-Paper. "Only on paper" is a tough thing to make clear to a little guy. He's having a hell of a time differentiating between being allowed to color on paper but not books (which are, ahem, paper), or on paper but not the (flat, smooth, white) dining table. It's not all confusion - there's also some definite boundary pushing. He'll start on the paper then slooooooowly inch the crayons towards the off-limits area, watching to see if I'm paying attention. Needless to say, this drives me to drink. I know that this would all be solved if I was actively engaged every moment of every day but here's where I bust out the tiny font: sometimes I make him chase the cat so I can spend a few more minutes on Facebook. Yes, (sometimes! occasionally!) I would rather be on the internet than play with my son. 'Fess up: what supposedly fun activities do you absolutely loathe?
Speaking of ignoring our offspring, my friend Colleen made a really interesting point the other day:
"I wonder if our parents read all this unsolicited parenting advice, and I wonder if it bothered them as much as it bothers us? My mom thinks it's kind of stupid to worry about all that stuff, said it was much easier when we were kids b/c kids were kids and parents were parents, and they all had our own jobs to do, and nobody fussed at her if she spent time cleaning house instead of trying to find quality time with all four of us every day."
Dude, yes! What happened to kids being kids and parents being parents? Something has totally shifted, right? I don't recall my mom ever sitting down to play with me, and I say that with absolutely no resentment. She was my mom. She had grown up stuff to do. Why the sudden change?
Final note: Trying to find an affordable, family-friendly vacation spot close to New York? Can't be done. I know we can't afford it and it's ridiculous to spend money we don't have on something as frivolous as mental health and blah and blah but seriously, we haven't had a vacation since our honeymoon. And that was 5 years ago. I have spent the last 3 days scouring the intenet for something resembling a vacay. No dice. Everything's either super wonderful but anti-kid or super kid but anti-parent. Oh, and that "recession" thing everyone's been talking about? Nobody's mentioned it to the resort community! At Mohonk Mountain House, prices started at $730 PER NIGHT. And all 265 rooms were almost booked! Buttermilk Falls refused to budge at $460 per night, and that didn't even include meals. (Plus no children allowed in the main house. Or in the pool. Or at dinner. For reals.) If anybody has any suggestions (we've already looked into Great Wolf Lodge. Can't get there from here) we're all ears.