17 March 2009

Smile and nod

So on Monday we took Morgan for that two-year-old check thing. Jenna didn't have anything formal, but there were were (when eventually we got there - hint: taking children for drinks before seeing the HV not a good idea, they were filthy by the time we arrived) and several tasks were put in front of Morgan, who seemed confused but happy to follow the instructions.

Anyway, it all seemed a bit of a rubbish way to assess a toddler - if Morgan had been having an unco-operative day, she'd have come out as having something wrong with her most likely. As it was, she was rating around the 3-4 year mark on every test area...

But it was the conversation *I* had with the health visitor that made me feel a bit like I'd just dropped in from Mars.
"Can she drink from a cup?"
"No bottles any more?"
"She's never had a bottle."
"Does she ever use an open-top cup?"
"All the time, I thought that was what you meant..."
"Does she feed herself?"
"Um, yeah."
"Do you still spoon feed her?"
"I've never spoon fed her. She weaned herself onto adult food once she could help herself to it."
"Oh, well, that's good."

And a minute later...
"Has she started potty training?"
"Yes. Well, no. She's usually dry in the day, if that's what you mean. But I haven't potty trained her, and she still uses nappies when we're out and about. She just tells me when she wants to go and I take her - and at home she's taken herself to the toilet since she could walk."
"Oh. So you aren't potty training yet?"
"No. She's potty training herself."
"And she sleeps well?"
"She sleeps about twelve hours. Until recently she was sleeping about eight and then coming into my bed for milk and cuddles."
"I guess you had to do something about *that* with the baby on the way! [laughs]"
"Um, no not really. She grew out of it when she was ready to. Why sleep-train when she's quite capable of actually *wanting* to grow up and imitate the older folks in her life?"
"Oh. That's... Nice... You seem very relaxed about all this."
Smile, nod, don't mention EC or that we don't have a buggy or anything. And definately don't volunteer that she's breastfed unless asked.

Then on tuesday I had a midwife I hadn't met before (get well soon Ellie!!) who told me that I need seeing EVERY WEEK and if ANYTHING comes up on my urine samples or blood pressure readings I will NOT BE ALLOWED a homebirth. "You do know that, don't you?"

Smile, nod, don't mention unassisted birthing. DEFINATELY don't volunteer anything about our on-off labour attempts.

And then, bless the poor girl, she tried to go through the breastfeeding form thing with me. Of course, Morgan heard and started trying to climb up - any talk about breasts and she is *right* there. Once the midwife realised that I'm nursing a toddler she said, "oh, well you'll be giving baby *some* breastmilk then". She tried to broach how I'm planning to wean Morgan.

Smile, nod, say, "We're quite happy with the idea of tandem nursing thankyou." Don't elaborate. Keep your head down. Just being here with my nursing toddler is enough political activity for one day, forget trying to convert the confused and worried health professionals...


  1. Tee hee - some people just don't listen to the answers you give them - bet that HV tries harder next time. Maybe she's more used to uptight, GF mothers than relaxed ones.

  2. LOL that gave me a good laugh and reminded me of the kind of interactions I had with "health professionals" when pregnant with Eloise! Nod, smile and don't let them in on what's *really* going on in your head! :) xxx

  3. Well, what can I say? I could say that your post has really made me giggle, because I can just imagine me in that same position when the time comes, trying very hard not to say certain things that might make the situation more tricky,, and for some unknown reason, that makes me laugh! I could also say well done for not saying those potentially provocative things, but most of all, I have to say well done Morgan for helping your mum when breasts were mentioned! xx

  4. This post made me laugh so much and also made me very proud of you, good for you to keep calm and focussed, i would have had to say something about not every one is a sheep etc.. it reminded me of a time when my friends boy went for his 2 year check and they had a list of words he was supposed to be able to say !! of all things. he could say none of the words required and the HV was very concerned and my friend jo pipes up "but he can say bumble bee and transport !"i still laugh thinking about it

  5. Health Visitors, don't you just love them! Well done for giving them a glimpse of natural parenting.

  6. Brilliant! We had an interesting first visit with our new Health Visitor, who was very surprised when Grace rolled over (apparently, she's not "supposed" to be able to do that - I had no idea!) and whose eyes nearly popped out of her head when I absent-mindedly replied "Oh yes, she been doing that for about a month - it's so she can help herself to milk when we're in bed".

    Ooops, wasn't going to bring up the co-sleeping.....

    Broken Man's Wife

  7. Hehe oh hun, aren't some people funny? The first time we saw our HV with Morgan she directly asked, "Is she sleeping in bed with you?" I mentally went, uhoh here we go... Until she said, "Oh good, babies belong with mummy!" *phew*

  8. LOL this made me laugh!! And reminded me of how my mw reacted when she asked if i would breast feed baby and i said well since i am still feeding Cara at 2 years old it would be kinda rude not too!! She mentioned i might want to wean her and i said i'm not bothered about feeding 2 and she left it at that and hasnt mentioned feeding again :)

  9. He He, sarah this made mne giggle. Because i can picture you smiling and nodding at them.
    Its much easier that way isnt it, its good you've got some good regular health professionals though, thats the way they should all be hey!
    Kirst xx

  10. very funny, and well done for keeping your mouth shut! That's where I let myself down - tend to say too much :-)

  11. We had our two year check last week. Phoebe was feeding in the waiting room but the hv didn't notice when she came to get us. Luckily she was really nice - a bfc and nursery nurse who was standing in. Wish she was there all the time! So was fine with the fact i'm still bfing - though she did broach the issue of feeding two and asked if i thought Phoebe would wean before no 2. Ha! Very unlikely! She did noticeably wince when i mentioend she wouldn't be going to nursery/school though. :)

    Laura/Mamoo x

  12. I liked this post a lot. Sort of sad though that you couldn't have a 'real' communication with the HV, i.e. sharing joys, hints, tips and learning...although maybe the learning was all on her part anyway. At any rate, a great post.


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