Broken Doors and Grey Zones

Well, here’s the news, friends:

  1. Pediatrician Visit

We had to wait until Sept 1 for our new insurance benefits to kick in, and first on the priority list once they did was to get A in to see the doctor, since he’s due for vaccines and an 18 month check up.

I couldn’t go, so L took him alone to the pediatric clinic in our neighborhood that had been highly recommended. She liked the doctor and it was super close, and the clinic was founded by pediatricians who specifically wanted to practice in the community they live in – which is super cool. South Seattle is a bit of a desert for a lot of resources – medical included – so I find this especially endearing.

The great news is that he is perfect and healthy and adorable, which we knew of course. He weighs in at 25 1/4 lbs and 32 3/4 inches tall – a solid 50 %ile in both categories.He passed his autism screen (some day I want to write about the strange spectre that I think autism has become, and how complex my feelings are about it – namely, my terror about a diagnosis simultaneously alongside my politics about how autism is talked about and treated. But its for another day . . .) and other than a slight admonishment about our constipation solution (doctors HATE juice, no matter how infrequent or watered down) and a suggestion about vitamin D supplementation, since Ansel continues to dislike cow milk, all is well.

Except that he is ‘in the grey zone’ for verbal development. He’s not in the “concern” zone, but he’s not in the ‘free and clear’ zone either.

I’ve been a little worried about this for a while, feeling like he wasn’t quite picking up words as quickly as I’ve seen other toddlers pick them up. Worrying that he says things once or twice and then not again. But I wasn’t worried worried, just a tiny little slice of unease.

But this news is hitting me kind of hard. I know that kids develop at different paces. I know that developmental charts are averages. I know that I shouldn’t be going down the rabbit hole(s) that I am – the one where I’m sure this is because I listened to talk radio in the car with him instead of music, or we let him have too much screen time; or the one where this becomes a widening gap instead of a narrowing one; the one where I compare my beautiful, smart, funny, tough, brave baby to other babies.

I also believe deeply that it is more important to raise kind children than ones who are ‘smart’ or achieve academically. AND, my deepest and most important identity is based around my brain. And not even just my brain, but my love of language and entanglement with words. And Ansel is not me – a lesson I know I will need to learn again and again – but I want him to love language like I do and what if he doesn’t?

He understands lot of words. He is responsive. This is not something that I need to be feeling as much as I am.

But I am.

2. The House

On Friday evening, L got home from her arts equity workshop to an open, busted door. In her shock, I think, she called me and said “I think maybe someone tried to break in?” even though it was really, really clear that is EXACTLY what happened. Someone kicked the door of our house many times before successfully busting it in and . . .then leaving? Nothing was taken and there was no evidence that they even came in at all.

We called the police and waited . . .and waited . . .and waited . . .Despite being told we were their ‘top priority’ and ‘next’ many times, we waited almost 3 hours. Not a big deal generally, since it didn’t seem like anyone had even been in the house, but a little more frustrating since they told us to wait outside in the ever dropping temps with our toddler, advice we eventually ignored. They finally came, agreed the door had been kicked in, and gave us a report number.

The landlords didn’t return our calls until Sunday, when they told me I should ‘be grateful’ they were calling me back and then sent the ineffectual and totally mansplainy maintenance guy over to do a sub-par job of fixing the door.

Break ins happen, especially in big cities. They are unsettling and a little scary, but they are a part of life, unfortunately. Shitty landlords feel totally different to me. Yesterday, I was ready to forfeit our deposit and buy the first affordable semi-decent house we stumbled across. L talked me off that particular ledge, but I am still so frustrated. I hate feeling like I can’t control my own life, I hate rich people taking advantage of working people, I hate being at someone else’s mercy. It’s going to be a long few months until we buy. And I am going to have to do a lot of deep breathing in the meantime.


9 thoughts on “Broken Doors and Grey Zones

  1. Sorry things are stressful. Not sure if you saw Cades post about Evies speech. She had an evaluation a few weeks ago and sounds super similar to A. They said as long as her play skills and receptive language were good (they were) they are completely unconcerned.

  2. I think we’re also heading into the language grey zone. Charlie is a little younger, but she’s still mostly just saying “dada.” She used to say kitty some but hasn’t lately. She will repeat the phrase “I did it!” sometimes, but i feel like she should be saying more. I also worry it’s my fault for listening to podcasts in the car and watching too much TV around her. I feel you here a lot.

    I’m so, so sorry about the break in. That’s one of my biggest fears, especially with Charlie and I home during the day and at home by ourselves at night because Jason’s at work. And having a sucky landlord certainly doesn’t help. I’m at least glad they didn’t take anything but man, way to shake a girl up, you know?

  3. The landlord’s attitude would push me over the edge. How rude to the people putting money in your pocket! I’m sure it’ll be a very positive transition when you don’t live there anymore. Glad nothing seems to have been taken during the break in.

  4. Wow. I’m so sorry about that break in. It’s the worst feeling knowing someone has been in your house. Our house was broken into on Christmas one year, and it took us a long, long time to feel safe after that. Your landlord’s response is totally unacceptable. That’s just crazy to me. You would NEVER get away with that in LA. Have you looked up tenant’s rights for your area? (I’m sure you have.)
    Try not to worry too much about the speech thing. Chances are so good that one day language will just click for him and it’ll be non-stop from there out.

  5. Your feelings about his verbal development and how that ties into your own identity really resonates with me. I already imagine Avery being a grammar nerd with me :S for some reason I don’t have any expectations for her to like numbers, because I don’t. But this is reason for letting go of wanting them to be just like you. They will find their own strengths and will surely have their own weaknesses, and they will succeed in life despite these!

    Very scary about your break-in… I would be very unsettled. Be safe!

  6. On the speech thing… my mom had a daycare kid that Would. Not. Talk. He’d say a word here and there, and definitely understood you, but would not talk frequently, in sentences, repeatedly, sometimes at all. This went from toddlerhood to age 4, plus many therapists and speech specialists.

    Then one day, around 4.5, his mom walked into his play room and he didn’t notice her at first- and he was standing at the window, just chaaaatttting away to himself perfectly clearly! She was so shocked she just said his name outloud and he jumped and from that point on it was like he knew the ruse was up, and he started talking just fine!!!

    That kid is now 22, and is interning with some engineering firm. He doesn’t remember any of this but we talk about it all the time lol

    Sometimes kids are tricky and weird little creatures. You got this girl, don’t worry!

  7. I’m with you on the verbal thing. Chick is in the average bucket right now, but on the lower side. I try SO HARD not to freak out about it, with varying degrees of success. Don’t know what it’s like in WA, but you could also have him evaluated by the state’s early intervention services. Where I’m at parents can issue the request for evaluation, but I know it isn’t the same everywhere. Might be nice to get a “second opinion?”

  8. You have no idea how relieved I am to read this (minus the stress my stuff – I mean, what the hell!?). I’m sorry to read about the break in.

    T’s language is hit and miss and I’m wondering what’s going on. He knows a few words by doesn’t say them often enough. You’d think he’d want to talk as he gets so frustrated when we don’t know what he’s asking us.

    I’ve learnt not to compare to girls as here very different, but even his boyfriends can talk a lot more than him.

    He knows stuff, don’t get me wrong, he just doesn’t try to say it. I’ll be interested to follow where you go with this.

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