Another Checkup at CHOP
Austen went in for another well-baby visit today (I can't remember which one it was supposed to be—maybe 15 months?). Dr. Everly pronounced him "still perfect" and pretty much on target with all the milestones and growth charts. At 26 lbs. 14 oz. and 32 1/4", he's now in the 75th percentile for both weight and height (and head circumference, too, though I can't remember what that measurement was).
While Dr. Everly was gearing up to ask us all the milestone questions, Austen marched over to the door, pulled down on the handle (it was an L-shaped one), opened the door, and left. "Well, I guess he knows how to open doors," Dr. E said, "so that answers my first question." I clarified that he can't quite turn round knobs, but he tries. Al chased Austen around the hall while I answered the milestone questions... most of which I can't remember now.
I know she asked whether he puts two words together, and I said, "no, he doesn't really talk yet. He's more into signing." "Signing counts!" exclaimed Dr. E. "Oh, then yes, he's put two words together. He signs 'more, please'." He got full marks for that, which made me feel a bit better—not because he passed a test, but because it didn't seem to matter that he's not really talking.
We also talked a bit about the fact that Austen's been whining, crying, and melting down lately, and my best guess about what's going on. I came to the conclusion the other night that he's trying to determine what the appropriate response is to different situations—and to determine whether *our* response varies according to the situation, or just to how loud he cries/how much he fusses. "That's exactly what he's doing," said Dr. E. While the whining and crying is still extremely annoying, once I was able to break down what I thought he was up to, it became a little easier to deal with. I also made up my mind about how to deal with it—when I'd be solicitous and when I'd walk away—but I think Al had a slightly different approach in mind. I didn't mention this to Dr. E, but when Al came back into the room with Austen, she said to him, "you have to resolve to be firm, to stand your ground. If you cave once, it's all over." I wonder how she knew he'd be the most likely to cave? :-)
Austen took his last shot until age 4 like a man, ripping the Band-Aid off as soon as the nurse stuck it on, but he whimpered a little when he had his blood drawn for iron and lead levels. He ripped that Band-Aid off right away, too, but there was less bloody mess than there might have been because I was prepared for the move. I grabbed the gauze and applied pressure until the bleeding stopped. After the blood draw he wanted to be picked up—by Daddy, not by me, of course. I'm the one who'd held him during the draw, and I think he was a little mad about that. By the time we arrived home he'd forgiven me, though, and he helped me vacuum and mop while we waited for Hannah to arrive. Such a good kid.