Baby milestones are busting out all overPublished 4:35pm Saturday, August 3, 2013
Column: Pass the Hot Dish, by Alexandra Kloster
The scene: A doctor’s office.
The players: An anxious mother, a reassuring nurse, and two indifferent 12-month-old girls.
Nurse: We’re going to go over the things babies probably do at this age. Do they pretend to use objects?
Mother: Should they pretend to use objects?
Nurse: We prefer probably over should.
Mother: I never met a well-meaning probably I couldn’t turn into a should to beat myself with.
Nurse: We’re just talking about things like holding a phone up to their ear.
Mother: Why would I give one of those small people my expensive phone?
Nurse: A toy phone.
Mother: They have a toy phone, but they point it at the TV like a remote control.
Nurse: How about a brush to their hair?
Mother: I gave them my old Snoopy hairbrush. They hold it up to their ears like it’s a phone.
Nurse: Do they say any words?
Mother: Besides Mama and Dada? Clara says wow.
Mother: Wow. Like she’s seen an iceberg or a big sale at Macy’s.
Nurse: Do they recognize their names?
Mother: I think so. They definitely recognize the music to “The Young and The Restless.”
Nurse: So they watch television.
Mother: Is that a question, a statement or are you telling me I’m not on the short list for mother of the year?
Nurse: Are they walking?
Mother: Can I substitute one milestone for another? Like coleslaw for a side salad?
Nurse: Uhhh …
Mother: Because Gertie walks, but Clara climbs. She climbs the coffee table.
Nurse: Well that’s a milestone!
Mother: Yeah, a milestone she’s going to fall off of and break her neck.
Nurse: So what are you doing about that?
Mother: I gave the coffee table to Goodwill.
Nurse: Does she know what “no” means?
Mother: Sure. “No” means Mommy is hilarious.
Nurse: Do they seem to figure things out for themselves?
Mother: Gertie figured out how to blow a whistle. Then she blew it again and again and again. Next I’m hoping she figures out how not to blow a whistle. Clara figured out how to set the DVR to record.
Mother: All I know is that “Walker, Texas Ranger” keeps showing up in my saved programs and Clara’s the one who gets caught pushing the buttons.
Nurse: Do you tell her no?
Mother: I tell her she should have better taste.
Nurse: OK. Moving on. Do they feed themselves finger food?
Mother: Only the foods they like. Everything else they feed to my purse.
Nurse: Your purse?
Mother: It hangs next to the high chairs. Well, it did until the other day when I discovered I was paying for my groceries with peas and carrots.
Nurse: You’ve got a couple of live ones, don’t you?
Mother: Can I put my head down for a little while? I mean, yes, I do. Very live.
Nurse: Do they point to things?
Mother: I worry about that one. I’m cheering for them when they point, but in a few years I’m going to tell them it’s not polite to point. Are you sure that one should be on the list?
Mother: You mean maybe it shouldn’t?
Nurse: No, probably, not should.
Mother: I’m not sure what we’re talking about anymore.
Nurse: Just a couple more questions.
Mother: That paper blanket looks so comfy.
Nurse: Do they play simple games?
Mother: Absolutely. They play smack me on the head with the Snoopy brush they think is a phone, which I’m sure is the influence of “Walker, Texas Ranger.”
Nurse: How about something more conventional like rolling a ball back and forth?
Mother: I’ve tried that, but when I roll a ball to them they refuse to roll it back.
Nurse: A little confused, then?
Mother: No, just greedy.
Nurse: Let’s wrap this up. Do you have any concerns about Gertie and Clara?
Mother: Should I? I mean, probably. Probably not. I’m not sure. Shouldn’t I probably be sure?
Nurse: Probably not.
Mother: That’s a relief. Do you think we could dim those lights for a few minutes?
Woodbury resident Alexandra Kloster appears each Sunday. She may be reached at email@example.com, and her blog is at alexandrakloster.com.