How the smugly have fallen.
I used to be a Tipat Chalav snob. Everyone had horror stories from their well-baby checkups at Tipat Chalav. The baby's too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short, can't hear, hears too well, eats both too much AND not enough. Oh, and may the Lord protect you if your child fails to stack the blocks correctly.
But I had a great nurse. So I felt very smug, listening to all my poor friends complain, thinking how lucky I was to be placed under Nurse Simcha's care.
And then. We got switched to Nurse Debbie. Nurse Debbie is a dour little woman, who called Nadav "chamud" but without any real feeling. I mean, what kind of person is that?
Look at that face!
So she sees in her notes that Nadav had a speech delay. She asks me some questions about that. I explain: "Surgery....tubes...hearing tests...improvement..." expecting that this is the end of the conversation.
But no. Alas, for the days of Nurse Simcha. Nurse Debbie gets an evil glint in her eyes and pulls out a colorful, laminated card. On it is a picture of a little boy in bed, hugging a teddy bear.
Aha! She's going to ask him "Where's the bear? Where's the boy?" He can totally do this. (Whether he is willing to is a whole nother story, of course.)
But no. It's not a pointing activity. She asks, "Tell me what you see here, Nadav," waving her hand vaguely around the picture.
Nadav and I were thinking the same thing, "For the love of Ben Gurion! Are you hafuching crazy????" Well, Nadav actually smiled serenely, clearly believing this to be some sort of hilarious joke. But I'm sure he was thinking it, on the inside.
She kept asking, changing the words around. "Describe what's here. What do you see? Can you tell me what you see?" Yes, because that's the problem. He just didn't understand you the first time.
Anyway, I started to panic. Was he supposed to be able to answer this open-ended question in full sentences, with a capital and a period? You see, once I have left a child-rearing stage, I have absolutely no recollection of what is supposed to happen at that age. I have to start again with each kid. So I had no idea if Ariella and Yaakov frequently offered elaborate, detailed explanations of colorful laminated cards when they were two.
But as for Nadav, he clearly Failed, which I think makes Nurse Debbie quiver with an excitement normally only felt during SuperPharm's 1 Ploose 1 sale. She made us an appointment for the beginning of November, to assess his speech again. She then asked me what words he does have.
"Does he put two words together? Three?"
"Yes," I responded happily, "he says, 'lo rotzeh et zeh."
"That's only 2 words," she snapped.
Oh boy. None of my other 2-3 word combos counted either, apparently. Even his "DIE!" which he can draw out to as long as four or five words.
I have been humbled. I now join the ranks of all of you inferior parents, raising your inferior children. Let's get together and practice stacking blocks.