Nathalie's Notes

Raising the Hardy Boys

I mentioned the other day that there was a minor irritation in an otherwise awesome 2-year pediatrician's appointment for Sam. So I go in with a list. Every time. The Fabulous Dr. K expects it and teases me only a little bit. He also says he appreciates it. I don't know about that, but I don't really care since I can't count exclusively on Google for the medical well-being of my child.

I start adding to the list from the moment we walk out of the previous appointment, so you can imagine it's a longish list. For those that care about details like this, I keep it all in one place (My Moleskine planner) so the list is ongoing from the time he was born and makes sort of a funny thing to look back on. For instance, it makes me smile every time I see how freaked out I was about that nasty little umbilical cord waiting to fall off.

Matt has made it a priority to be at every single one of Sam's milestone appointments which earns him significant credit in both the Good Dad and Good Spouse categories. He does however loose a few points on the Spouse front for always, but always managing a timely bathroom trip right before the nurse comes in to administer Sam's shots.

But I digress. On my list of questions this time were things like: is he getting enough nutritionally or should we be doing a multivitamin? (yes and no). Get fluoride prescription? (yes). How much should he be sleeping? (around 12 hours including naps). Will the fever blister on his lip ever go away? (maybe, maybe not). What do we do about the hitting? (smack him back. Just kidding. It's normal, be consistent and make sure he's not seeing it at home).

And finally: could he be partially color blind? I asked because Sam can name all of the colors except he consistently says "Blue!" when something is yellow. He also says "Blue!" when something is blue. I really don't care if my two-year-old calls a yellow duck blue, I just wanted to make sure everything is okay. didn't care as much as I just wondered if everything was okay. Seemed like a fair question.

The part that might've been excessive was that I brought in some props to make my point. Three blocks: red, blue and yellow. Sam was very busy what with all the tractor stuff and four adults in the room so he didn't happen to care what color any of the toys were. "Sam, what color is this?" I held the red one up. "Come,Mama, more tractor."

So I just explained to the Fabulous Dr. K what we'd been observing. He looked doubtful and went on to ask if I was sure it wasn't a matter of him being coached. He said it was unlikely and unusual for someone as young as Sam to know his colors that consistently and it was more likely that Sam had memorized some colors and was responding to my tones. Really? He's memorized all the balls, cars and images in all the books we read together? Because to me that is even more impressive than simply knowing his colors. Mensa here we come.

I recognize how stupid this might seem but it really, really bugged me. Partly, I think, because it made me feel like I was perceived as one of those over-achiever, force my kid into stressful learning situations type of mom. You know, like no breakfast before we do our French flash cards kind of thing. Matt gave me the look that implied it be best to let this one go and not try to convince Dr. K that Sam really does know his colors. Fine. We moved on. But I stayed irritated. Matt, on the other hand didn't seem to care at all. Except he did.

The other night Matt called me into the bathroom while bathing Sam.

"Sam so knows his colors!" Matt exclaimed days after that appointment. "Listen." Sam started putting his bath toys away, by color, thank you very much. "Yellow duck. Green turtle. Green zaba (frog). Blue dolphin."

"Wait did he say 'yellow duck?' Don't you mean blue?"

"Honey are you trying to f*** him up?"

"No, but if he'd started with the damn yellow duck last week we never would've had that conversation with the doctor."

"True." Pause. "But then we wouldn't know what a little genius he is."

"Our genius is trying to pee out the tub."


2 thoughts on “Damn yellow duck

  1. rose says:

    Beautiful post. I love all of it. Thanks.


  2. mel says:

    Love it!! I could so see you there- I bring my list too and could feel the akwardness of wanting to bring up the issues at hand but getting “the look” . I’m glad you keep everything in the planner. It will be such a treasure to you!! Sam is one clever dude- knowing just when to impress!! I was wanting to ask you about the color thing but I kept forgetting!


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