Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Apparently, I'm raising veal

Sam had his first appointment with the occupational therapist this morning. While I am not particularly concerned with his health and development, I acknowledge that he has areas of weakness and if we can give him a boost, why not?

His teachers have mentioned that he struggles with coloring and cutting, and part of me wants to tell them to calm down because A) he’s four, and B) coloring is not a life skill. Chris is probably bad at coloring, but you don’t see that showing up on his annual review.

Chris, you’re doing a great job handling those call escalations, and your work with the billing system is going pretty smoothly, but, Good God, Man, it’s like you didn’t even SEE the lines in this Mickey Mouse picture.

But the other half of me knows that fine motor skills do come in handy every once in a while. Even if he’s doing okay without it, Chris would probably love to know how to button and snap. My point is that I’m not stressed out about Sam, but I’m aware he has certain limitations and it can’t hurt to work on those early.

In preparation for this visit, Chris and I discussed how we would describe Sam, and the issues we thought should be addressed.

“Well, fine motor, definitely,” Chris said.
“And, actually, gross motor too, because that kid spends more time falling down than standing up-right,” I add.
“True, and he can’t kick, catch, or throw a ball,” Chris agrees.
“So mention that he struggles with cutting and coloring and also that he hasn’t chosen a dominant hand yet.”
Brief pause . . .
“But he’s handsome and smart and loves to laugh. Say that too.”

Because it was starting to sound like he was defective there for a minute.

Really, we thought we had a pretty good grasp on what Sam’s problems were. But it turns out that I completely missed the fact that he “lacks muscle tone.”

Yeah, Chris reports that this lady said that Sam was a WEAKLING (maybe not in so many words). Which is really weird to me. I’ve always thought of Sam as being really strong. He’s so impervious to pain, and tends to just bulldoze his way through problems. I always thought he was using his strength to cope with his lack of motor skills. Turns out I don’t know what I’m talking about.

My first thought when Chris told me this was that this was the result of sending our kids to daycare. Seriously, I bet the hearty stock of stay-at-home-moms have muscle tone. But at daycare, it’s all “Stay on the carpet, everybody sit down, stand on your spot.” We put them in this one room for almost 8 hours a day and I wonder why my child has turned into veal.

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