So I mentioned last post that Belle has become quite talkative lately. I admit that I find my children much more interesting once they can talk. I mean the baby books tell you that "Soon after your baby is born you will begin be able to interpret their different cries."
Well, that's a bald faced lie. Yes, the cry of pain is more high pitched and desperate than the others, but when you are putting the baby in its car seat and it starts screaming, "AAAAHHHHHHH", it's not crazy that you roll your eyes and try to convince it that you only have TWO MINUTES in the car to get to Walmart and the car seat isn't really that bad before you realize that in fact it is a cry of pain and it is because you pinched them in the seat belt. Oops. But isn't it better when they can scream, "OWWWW! MY LEG!!!!!!!!!!!"? (Yes, I just qualified which time I pinched my child's leg in the seat belt as the better time.)
So, this brings us to Belle's 2-year-old checkup. Now the average child reaches 20 lbs around their first birthday, give or take a couple months. Mine, not so much. We were really hoping that Belle would finally reach 20 lbs by two years. If you've never had tiny children, you may not be able to relate to the low level of worry that persists as you see your child outgrown by everyone around them. As you see the little dot added well below the 5th percentile on the growth charts at every doctors visit. As, if taken by themselves, their height and weight development plop them in the 'failure to thrive' category. (Especially, I would add, if your husband is a medical resident who occasionally has to assess children who are similarly sized and diagnose terrible illnesses.)
So it is a kindness from God that our kids tend to develop sooner than the average in other ways. For D it was lots of other ways. But Belle it's just been verbally. She's one of those kids that goes from 5 words to 500 in a couple months. And she's a complete chatterbox. She can talk for so long that your ears hurt. Things like, "I tell D it is time for lunch." and "When D watched the movie a tweet-tweet bonked the window!"
And that chattiness is comforting to us as validation that some part of her tiny person is developing. So even though the nurse at her appointment is going to crinkle her brow a bit when she charts that little growth dot, she will also be bombarded by such a verbal barrage that she won't wonder if I'm some sort of negligent mother who starves and never educates her daughter.
In the waiting room Belle is doing her normal, "I'd like to talk to every stranger in the room" thing entertaining all the sneezing and hacking elderly people waiting with us. We get called back for our appointment, and the nurse looks at Belle and says, "Wow you are getting so big!" (clearly just a generic line she uses with all children...)
And Belle looks at her with the most vacant expression ever seen on a human with an IQ above 26 and says, "Ga ga!"
Me: Can you tell the nurse how old you are?
Belle: Ga ga!
Seriously? In the one place where the SOLE PURPOSE of our visit is to gauge your development? And "ga ga"? Even real babies never actually say "ga ga."
Nurse: Did you just have a birthday?
Belle (still looking blissfully vapid): Ga ga!
And in that moment I saw the nurse get an overly sweet smile as she clearly filed my daughter under the category of "cute, but slow."
And that was it. For the next 20 minutes my daughter refused to say anything to either nurse or doctor other than "ga ga." When the nurse left to get the doctor, Belle glanced at the "Go Dog, Go!" book that we had with us and said, "The doggies are going up the BIG ladder!!! Up, up, up! The ladder is H'MONGOUS!!!!"
But when the doc shows up, she pasted that idiotic expression back onto her face and cheerfully said, "Ga ga!"
So I lamely kept muttering things about how usually she's quite talkative and she's not really as completely underdeveloped as she is appearing.
And we left the appointment with her NEVER breaking character.
In the hallway outside the doctors office she looks at me, pulls the lollipop out of her mouth and says happily, "Look mommy! I got a purple lollipop!"
Me (through clenched teeth): Oh REALLY?!?!?!??!
Belle (cheerfully): Yup! It's yummy! I LOVE it!!!!
And at the same moment that an elderly woman in the hallway turned to smile sweetly at this happy child I snapped off a, "YOU ARE SUCH A TURD!!!"
And yes, the woman's expression changed to one of disgust as she filed Belle under "Cute, happy child with a mean old hag of a mother."