Continuing last week’s theme, Maddie had one more doctor visit this week. This appointment was with the NICU Clinic for a follow-up. She was last seen in April, where the doctors and nurses deemed her awesome. I felt pretty confident that, despite her size, they were going to feel the same way about her this time around.
I sent Mike off to the appointment with Maddie (damn work) with a very detailed list of her medications, nutrition, and medical history. I knew at this visit there would be child development specialists to determine if Maddie was on track for her adjusted age. We weren’t worried. Maddie amazes us every day.
The development specialists spent about an hour and fifteen minutes with Maddie and Mike. They had her reach for toys, watched her to see if she passed toys back and forth between her two hands, tried to get her to roll over, stuff like that. Maddie got a bit of stage fright and refused to roll over, but the specialists said they were pleased with how she held her body when she was on her tummy.
They also checked Maddie to see how well she followed things with her eyes and head. No problems there, Maddie has excellent vision and practically turns her heard 360 degrees to follow people around the room. Then things started to get dicey. They wanted to see if Maddie knew her name. “Madeline!” they called. Nothing. Mike suggested they say her nickname, so they sang out, “Maddie!” She turned. Yay! Then one of the specialists said, “Sally!” and Maddie turned. Damn it, Maddie! Mike started to sweat at this point.
The specialists then went back and had Maddie reach for things again. As she would reach for the toys hanging in front of her, the specialists would jot things down on their pads of paper. At this point, Mike was wiping the sweat off his forehead. They tried to get Maddie “talk” to them. That baffles me. Can anyone get their baby to blab away on command? Weird. When the specialists were done, they left the exam room as Mike shouted, “She rolls over at home! All the time! And talks! All the time! And she tries to crawl! And she can write her name! IN CURSIVE!!!”
A nurse practitioner came back in the room to give Mike the results. Maddie was given the score of “average” for cognitive and language skills. Her motor skills? BORDERLINE. WTF? Mike asked what that was about, and was told that Maddie uses her thumb “incorrectly.” Um, wha? Apparently, when she was getting evaluated, Maddie would close her thumb into her hand – sort of like when you make a fist with your thumb on the inside instead of on the outside. According to the development specialists, this is a Very. Big. Deal. So big a deal that Maddie now qualifies for therapies provided by Regional Center. And that’s all well and good – I am glad that she will have some outside help because Regional Center does great work. But then the nurse dropped this bomb:
“She will have to wear thumb loops.”
A what now? Well, a thumb loop is a wrist brace that puts her hand and thumb in the correct position to grab, manipulate, and release objects. Greeeaaaaat. So, Maddie has to wear braces on her hands now. That will go over with her really well. I hope they are saliva-proof, because those braces will spend more time in her mouth than facilitating functional use of her hands.
I am trying to figure out why this is bothering me so much. I mean, really, of all the things that could be borderline, I am glad it’s her thumbs, you know? I guess I just don’t get it. As I said in an email to my friend Stefanie, unless Maddie is going to start punching bitches, I don’t really care if she doesn’t form a fist properly. But if she IS going to start punching bitches, then we have to work on this thumb thing. I can’t allow her to break her thumb when she pops a bitch in the nose, you know? And I clearly already have competition issues because I can’t stand that Maddie didn’t score “awesome” again. I don’t blame Maddie, though – obviously the evaluators are at fault. OMG – am I going to be that parent who yells at the umpire or hires a contract killer to murder Maddie’s cheerleading competition?
Do they have Regional Center for hyper-competitive moms?
Aw, hon…she’s perfect.
Really, think about that for a second. She’s YOUR baby and she is absolutely perfect just the way she is. The tests don’t mean anything about who or what she is. She’s your baby. And everything about her makes her the baby that you adore.
So she needs a little help with something? No sweat – she’ll get it, you’ll move on, and she’ll win an international thumb wrestling competition someday.
Smile, mama. :o)
(Oh, and I’m THAT mom too. A friend had the audacity to point out that her son uses more words than my Avery, and I honestly wanted to leave the playdate right. that. second. Wanna share a jail cell for knocking off the Little League coach when our kiddos sit the bench?)
Backpacking Dad says:
I think Maddie just knows something the rest of us, including her under-valuing evaluators, don’t. That the dude with the scissors who comes after thumb-suckers is REAL, and she plans on getting away with thumb-sucking for a good long while and she’s going to outsmart that mofo to do it. Awesome AND clever.
Backpacking Dads last blog post..Curious
Lee Anne says:
LOL @ knocking out bitches! Maddie IS awesome, whether the NICU claims it or not. It’s great that she will be getting help – but the thumb loops? Sound like they’re going to be interesting…
So a few things.
1) My daughters dont know their own names yet either.
2) My girls doctor who btw was the head of the NICU for many years says that those kinds of tests are BS- Since we were supposed to have one on Monday.
I say dont worry. I try not to.
mayas last blog post..Nurturing Individuality
whenever we’re a little worried about developmental stuff with our son my husband jokes did you ever meet a five year old who couldn’t ….. and didn’t have something seriously wrong with them.
my gut feeling is that if you feel she is ok, she’s ok. maddie probably just wants to punch some bitches. hell i know sometimes i want to too.
moosh in indy. says:
It’s secret baby code. What the doctors don’t know is that she’s throwing gang signs.
moosh in indy.s last blog post..Hot: Day 20-Cup of tea? I am not.
She is perfect!!! My daughter who just turned 6, (oh, how I can’t believe it!) who was born only 6 weeks (only, is there ever an “only” when babies are premies?) early had to have both OT and PT, which my first and second pediatricians didn’t see. When I finally found our current ped he saw exactly what I was talking about. At 2 she still flipped flopped around when holding her, we found out that her muscle tone all over was NOT up to par at all, she also has SID (sensory intergation disorder, which that might cause you to go over the edge, or crawl into a bottle of wine or two) and her motor skills were not where they should be. The fact that Maddie has to wear brace’s sucks!!!! But be thankful that this was caught early!!! Lexie still gets OT and should be getting PT but the school system here sucks when it comes to their therapists abilities!! To me the OT is more important, as that deals with her motor skills and teaches her how to cope with the SID,she will never be a star athelete but her muscle tone will catch up eventually!!
Oh and how I understand the “my child didn’t score awsome” feeling, especially when at home they act and do different things!! But really when you have a big bright light shinning in your face and sixteen doctors pulling and prodding and asking you to do things 17,0000 times I think I would (as a baby, well an adult) want to bitch slap them!!! I think sometimes babies don’t do for the doctors because it is their way of bitch slapping them!!! LOL
All in all I was just trying to say she is awsome and don’t stress too much about this side of the developmental part, she will do what she wants in her own time, not our time, not the dr’s time, but when she is damn good and ready!!
Again she is perfect just the way she is!!
Fiesty Charlie says:
Ummm… Abbie made the same fist Maddie does, and she turned out pretty damn well… I was in the medical field for 16 years and wonder how they come up with some of this stuff…
If I listened to them, Abbie would be sitting in the corner drooling on herself today… because I let her watch TV. Bleh!
Tania is right, she is yours and you know when something is not right. Be peaceful…
Hmm…my girls are 12 and they still don’t answer when I call their name.
I find it odd that assessments of babies are made after just one visit – because they’re always ready to do exactly what you want them to at the drop of a hat right?
Maddie is quite obviously awesome, and the thumb thingies? She’ll be starting a new fashion trend.
The thumb sling or whatever it’s called does sound a little ridiculous–hopefully she won’t have to wear it too long! It must be nearly impossible to evaluate a baby that age–I mean calling “Maddie” and then “Sally” doesn’t sound all that scientific!! It sounds like she’s doing amaningly well and they’re just being super cautious. She’s awesome!!
Jennifers last blog post..So Long, Long Hair!
You know, you have to trust your gut instinct on this – you’d know if Maddie wasn’t developing properly – it sounds like the results of this test were kind of a “fluke” in that she wasn’t doing tasks that she performs at home on a regular basis. I mean, jeez, I think I would have had a bit of stage fright myself! These people are looking at her for a short period of time on a limited basis and thus, they can’t necessarily see the big picture. Go along with what they say and at the next meeting, Maddie can walk in and say “Wassup bitches” before she pops them in the nose.
TUWABVBs last blog post..The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of My Brain Cells Dying
Aw man. It’s SO hard to have your child measured like that. The good thing is, Maddie isn’t going to really give a crap one way or another. Hopefully it will be a funny story for her to tell when she’s older.
The strain is on you guys, and yeah–even a little thing like thumb loops is a strain. It’s totally reasonable for it to freak you out. But we all know that Maddie is awesomesauce and brilliant.
Marias last blog post..they have those, right?
OMG, by the time I got to the part about her breaking her thumb while popping a bitch in the mouth, I was literally laughing so hard I was crying in my office. They clearly didn’t do the right testing, which would include portions on adorableness. Yep, that’s a word. My baby wouldn’t do any of that on command. Hell, she rolled over for the first time on July 21st at daycare and we still haven’t seen her do it. Your baby is perfect I check in every day to read about her and see more pictures!
Leslies last blog post..Same Picture But Better
I can’t believe they made this assessment after one visit. I would think those kinds of decisions would be come to after a series of appointments. Maybe Maddie just didn’t feel like holding her thumb out that day. You’re right, my daughter will NOT talk on command and I’m not 100% whether she is responding to her name or just my voice. If you feel strongly that their tests weren’t accurate, you might consider either a retest or seeing another doctor for a second opinion.
Caras last blog post..Welcome to Bawlmer, Hon!
She’s healthy, adorable, and obviously a genius. Give the thumb loops thing a try, and see how it goes. Bitch-popping skills are important.
Middle-Aged-Womans last blog post..When You’re Out, Go Out All the Way
i would have been sweating too. i hate “forcing” my kids to perform. it’s too much pressure.
whatever. Maddie is awesome. thumb loop or not.
alis last blog post..professional
They never “perform” the way that you want them to when the doctor is looking! I think it’s just to give you a few extra gray hairs.
Maddie will be fine, you would know if something was seriously wrong. Doctors can be alarmists, and I imagine that especially in Maddie’s case they are going to be extra-careful.
My daughter is 2, speaking many many words in linking them together in 2-3 word phrases, getting better every day, and they still recommended speech therapy.
In America, we medicalize everything… and I don’t think doctors ever say “He/She’ll grow out of it” the way that they used to. In some ways it’s great – in others, not so great.
Don’t stress too much. I know it’ll hang in your mind every time that you look at her, but she’s happy, healthy and developing. Those are the important things!
(Disclaimer: This is all totally my opinion. Feel free to flip me off if you think it doesn’t apply to you!)
Because Maddie was a premie, there will be certain challenges. Just remember that whatever is corrected now, will make it so that she does score awesome in the future. No one will ever remember when she applies to her Ivy league school whether she used thumb loops. I think that the way that you use your thumb now can affect the way you use your thumb and index finger in the future to grab things, which is something they will likely test for when she’s corrected age 9 months. My nephew was a preemie twin, and although his sister has been fast on her motor skills – he lacks and at 1.5 years, he has trouble using his thumb and index finger together (pincer grasp). They have not been tested, but he uses all 4 fingers to grab things, subsequently missing putting his cheerios in his mouth.
I like to try to keep in mind that – everything happening at this age is all just laying the groundwork and foundation for the serious skills in life. Using a protractor and flipping over an omlette.
Besides, when she is ready to do some serious bitch punching – she’ll need to do it correctly. You know, like when she’s 5. Cheers.
Sassys last blog post..Please Don’t Judge Me
Ben has always been delayed in his motor skills. Sadly for me, tho, I never got to see him wear these new fangled thumb loops. I think I might need one. Or two.
I have successfully punched many a bitch, tho.
I remember the first time my son scored “well below” on the developmental charts. Made me wonder all sorts of things. But, he got the therapy that he needed and 5 years later you’d never even know he was “delayed”. I’m sure she’ll be just fine. Good to know you’re getting her ready for life on the street, they grow up fast these days
Punk Rock Dad says:
Thumb loops…..hmmmm there are thumb loops on boxing gloves???? I smell a correlation here between getting her thumb in the proper position (which I thought at that age proper thumb position means in the mouth) and cold cocking some bitches. You sure the NICU isint running a underground fight club?
Punk Rock Dads last blog post..Dont Touch That Button
Yes, you are one of those moms. And just belly up to the bar with the rest of us moms who read so much into every potentially evaluative situation or statement. Jack just moved up to Pre-K and I’m thinking I may have to outfit him with a belly-cam so I can see for myself who these bullies on the playground are and put scary notes in their backpacks.
Bonnies last blog post..Time Outs Tear Me Up
Heather at Domestic Extraordinaire says:
LOL, I tend to agree with Moosh and Punk Rock Dad. Gang signs and underground fighting clubs indeed. If Maddie’s first words are “The first rule of NICU club is that you don’t talk about NICU club” then I would get concerned.
Heather at Domestic Extraordinaires last blog post..Random letters
I got to the “thumb loops” and guffawed and said “Thumb loops? What the fuck are those people smokin’ in Cali because I want me some of that shit!”
It almost sounds like something from the Fantasy and Fetish Ball they have in October in Vegas. (Don’t ask how I know about that! )
She’s gonna be fine. When she goes to knock the shit out of some beeyotches I can guarantee you she’ll have that thumb right where it needs to be.
preTzels last blog post..Oooh, Mr. Done Went And Pissed Me Off!!!
Yikes, thumb loops. Sounds terrible, but I bet it’s not that bad. She has adorable little thumbs and I’m sure she will be using them perfectly as soon as it suits her! Sometimes these things seem a little arbitrary. My son’s not a premie, but his doctor is all freaked out because he doesn’t have five words and he’s supposed to “by now.” I know there’s good reason for these milestone markers and it lets them catch problems early, but seems like there must be some natural variation in attainment. Anyway, she’s perfect in my eyes
anymommys last blog post..I’m Going Insane. GOING INSANE??
When I read about how terrible Maddie’s doing, it makes me want to go and hug my baby. Unfortunately, Sadie’s “well below average” so she doesn’t really hug that well. So, you know what I’ll do? I’ll hug Elby who will undoubtably say, “mommy you smell bad today. Please don’t hug me.” So I will then in a panic over not having hugged anyone after reading about poor poor Maddie go and hug Mattie who will thankfully drool huge teething pools of spit on me and I will feel much better. Thanks.
Stefanies last blog post..I Need Something New to Complain About
Sorry hon. I know these things are annoying.
But, Maddie’s going to be the hottest chic on the block. She’s rockin’ the accessories at a 9 months. Yeah girl!
At least her sight is awesome. She can point to things and Zach can pick them up for her. They’ll make a good team.
I am just going to send you hugs. Maybe Maddie figured out a new way to flip off the doctor? Smoosh her for me will you? I love her to pieces and I don’t even know you!
Kristins last blog post..That’s what blogs are for, right?
laurie feldman says:
After my Isabelle was in the NICU for hyperbiliru anemia, full blood transfusion, follow ups;etc- I had to take her for follow developmental checkups. At six months old, they told me her upper body strength was not sufficient. They wanted to send OTs to my house to help her gain strength.
At this point, I was already a mom to three other children, and you know what sometimes as a mom, I felt I just knew better. The reason her upper body strength was lacking was because I held her 24/7. She was a sick newborn and I wasn’t about to let her out of my sight. I told them there would no therapy. I’m sure they thought I was nuts. IT’s free, they said. It’s not about the money, I said. I thought they were crazy.
Today Isabelle is a precocious five year old who never ever stops talking and who can hold her own against her older brothers. She scored her first soccer goal on Mother’s Day. Her upper body strength is fine. Sometimes, I think these health people are ridiculous.
P.S. Tasha is up for view. Go and have a look
Well, how else with Maddie learn to hitchhike if she doesn’t have the thumb loops?
nanettes last blog post..Belated weekend recap
Too bad Maddie didn’t show them a different finger! She’s a cute little chicken love muffin, and she’ll probably do something brilliant one day and outearn all those ‘specialists’ – and buy her supportive parents a huge mansion.
(LOL @ Danes!)
Thumb loop? Seriously? Can she pick stuff up? Seems like they would need more than one evaluation of your perfect little one to say she needs to wear some crazy thumb loop thingamajob!! I say take the extra help, but watch her picking stuff up – if it looks wrong to you, go with the loops, otherwise, give her a little time and check that part out again!! (Just my opinion! I have no knowledge of any of this stuff you are dealing with, only mama instinct, which apparently works via internet on other people’s kids. hehe)
pgoodnesss last blog post..you can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him
Sleep Deprivation Ninja says:
OMG! what did they do a thousand years ago without thumb loops?! Oh, that’s right, half the population grew up with crooked thumbs… it’s amazing the human race survived long enough to invent such a wonderful device…
Sleep Deprivation Ninjas last blog post..New Ninja Uniform
Surfer Jay says:
Yes, you just may be that lady…
I gotta tell ya, my three month old boy still makes a fist with his thumb under his fingers. I tell him, I say ‘Son you can’t suck on a fist, but you can suck that thumb if you just take it out of there.’ But he doesn’t care. Just goes on sucking his fist.
I know you’ve had other issues, but these doctors are freeken wack jobs.
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