I am a terrible liar. This poses a problem when it comes to things like speeding tickets and doctor visits. I dread taking my children in for check-ups because I know which one of us is really going to be under the microscope, and it isn’t usually the kid.
Last week I took the baby in for her six-month well baby visit. She’s actually 7 months old, but who’s counting? It’s not that I’ve procrastinated her appointment, it’s that I’m in motherhood denial. Isn’t she still kind of a newborn?
There is a drastic difference between baby number one and baby number four.
With our first child, Harrison, we cheered him and pushed him into every single milestone (plus a few we made up just for fun). You think Jimmer Fredette has fans?
All our baby had to do was poop his pants twice a day and we were certain he was some kind of infant genius.
Fast forward seven years and three kids later, and my only goal in life is to keep the baby a baby — forever. Experience has taught me not to be deceived by her sweetness; all those cute coos and gurgles turn into tantrums, and the crawling means she’ll be running out in the road before the term “baby gate” even crosses my mind. Like my sister used to say about her fifth child, “When he pulls himself up, we gently push him back over.” That’s our plan exactly.
After a quick catch up with the doc, he got right down to business. “So, how’s she moving? She should be rolling by now, right?”
“Oh, you know,” I said, hoping to avoid his questions with covertly vague answers.
He waited. “Well, she’s not exactly rolling, but she does kick her legs when we put her on the ground.” I didn’t mention that she’s only spent about seven minutes of her life on the floor.
With three enthusiastic siblings ahead of her, the carpet is kind of hazardous to her health.
“I see,” he said. “Well, how are the solid foods coming along?”
Now, most babies who hit the seven month mark are well on their way to three square meals a day. Unfortunately, I’m too lazy/busy to spend 15 minute intervals trying to shovel baby goop into my disinterested child’s mouth. I prefer 10 minutes nursing her with a good book for company. Way less messy, plus babies have thrived on that for centuries, why fool with a good thing?
“You know, she’s not really that interested in solids,” I said, “We’re kind of just breastfeeding at the moment. But she sleeps through the night, so it’s not a problem.”
Doc sighed and geared up for the lecture. He’s been in the family for a long time, so my parenting techniques are nothing new to him.
“You know,” he said, “I’m sure she’s fine. Although I was just reading a study that said children who regularly consume vegetables before the age of 3 have a significantly higher IQ. It also said that kids who didn’t start veggies until after 3 kind of miss out on the early benefits.”
I thought of all the chicken nuggets and burritos my family has snarfed down in the past seven years. Somehow I don’t think they fall into the vegetable family.
“So you’re telling me my other children have no hope?” I asked.
“No! Your children are very smart! I’m sure they’ll be just fine.”
Yeah, thanks to their lazy mother who went too easy on the carrots they might manage get their GED’s without too much trouble. And hey, there’s still hope for the baby. If I start now she could potentially get into a good community college somewhere. So much for all those apples and oranges. Apparently their blood sugar is not linked up with their IQ.
Ah well. Personally, I think that no matter how hard we try or how badly we sometimes miss the mark, our kids will still manage to grow up and function (unless we’re talking about the baby, who is going to live with me and be my buddy forever). Hey, a mom can dream.
Annie Valentine is a Layton wife, mother and columnist. Readers can contact her at email@example.com or visit her blog at regardingannie.wordpress.com.