Well, here’s the news, friends:
- 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.