Today was Stormy’s 9 month appointment so last night he got a bath, his nails were checked for whether or not they needed a trim and I changed his diaper right before I left the house. It’s not that I want to pretend perfection for the doctor, it’s that I feel amazing amounts of guilt if anything is wrong with my child. Stormy was a big baby at birth but he hasn’t remained high in his weight percentile. When the doctor expressed concern about his weight I knew it meant that I was doing something wrong. I immediately started to supplement with formula to help him reach his weigh goal because obviously I wasn’t producing enough to sustain my baby. My defect must have been why he cried and didn’t sleep through the night at a month old.
I know this is a personality issue I have, the guilt I feel if the doctor finds anything but perfection in my baby. So today, of course, was no different. I had to fill out a questionnaire when I arrived, basically checking up on how Stormy is developing. The first section was communication and as I had to check “no” for most of them I grew nervous…he’s behind! Everything else seemed on track, I was able to answer “yes” or “sometimes” for almost everything.
The doctor and I talked about communication, what it means, what I can do to help. He said that typically babies develop more in one area and then move on to the next, like fine motor skills vs communication, as it seems Stormy is doing. However, he scored really low in communication so the doctor wants to get his hearing checked and there is a free program that comes to your house just to check on how your baby is developing in all areas. Like I want someone else in my home…but I’ll do it for Stormy.
But in my head – it’s not his hearing, it’s the fact that I don’t talk much. I don’t like repetition so we don’t read the same stories over and over, I don’t constantly repeat what an object is, I don’t encourage him enough. That’s what I heard the doctor saying. There are some games the doctor suggested I play with Stormy, and also he suggested reading the same books over and over…picture books (sorry Judy Bloom and J.K. Rowling, you’ll have to wait your turn) and point at the objects. This in a way is a relief because I was going to buy more books because I’m bored with the same ones. But my boredom isn’t the issue here. It’s okay to read Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and Llama Llama Red Pajama every night (I’m actually excited because those are my two favorites).
I emailed Chewy when I got home to update him on the stats. Stormy is tall (77%) with an absolutely average head circumference (50%) but low on the weight (29%) (which I’m beginning to think it’s going to be a thing). I’m not concerned about those things as much as I was, I keep telling myself that he’s just a lean baby. I know he’s eating well, he’s just going to be tall and lanky like his cousins. Anyway, I told Chewy that I basically feel like I’ve failed our baby.
This is what he wrote back:
First of all, you’re definitely not failing. You’re doing a really good job. He’s happy and he’s developing fine. I’ll work on being more interactive with him instead of just kissing and squeezing.
Second, I have a hard time believing that half the population of nine-month-olds have heads bigger than his. Those poor kids must have heads the size of Sputnik.
Third, there aren’t any stats that really matter such as adorableness, perfect smile, belly laughing, photogenics, jazz hands, and aggressiveness…he would be 100% in all of those categories.
I love him. I love them both.
So I need to stop comparing myself to other moms, my baby to other babies, and I just need to keep doing the best I know how and take comfort in the fact that my baby at least looks good…just kidding, I’ll take comfort in the fact that we love our baby and hopefully he’ll always know that.