Friday, February 03, 2006

Developmentally appropriate?

Okay, first—some clarifications. When I say junk like, “I am the one who looks like her kinda butchy lesbian lover,” that’s what we language people call FISHING. Like for a compliment. Or at least a knee-jerk denial, as in, “Butchy?! Oh heavens, you delicate flower, you don’t look butchy. Maybe a little androgynous in a totally come-hither sexy way, but goodness knows, woman, you’re not the least bit butch.” It’s my fault; I should have specified that this was a self-deprecating comment and not an Oxygen movie concept you were supposed to run with. So it’s tooootally my fault—but hey, now we’re clear, right?

So, on to the real point of this post. I’ve been thinking about those wretched words “developmentally appropriate” quite a bit lately, because I really want the D-veloping child in the Matic household to be, you know, normal. I like that he’s walking and climbing (though someone last week guesstimated his age at six months. SIX MONTHS? Wha-? Has anyone seen a 25-lb. six-month-old recently?), but part of me wishes he’d start talking already. I know all kids are different, and I’m sure all the hoopla we threw at him for the one-off “buh-guh=broccoli” incident put him off language totally, but a mother worries. Especially a linguist mother. Darn the growth charts and baby books!

So anyway, when he started insisting that I drag out the playmat we put him on when he was but a wee bairn, I got a little concerned. Was this a regression? What did it mean? Why wasn’t he focusing on, say, learning to say my name or Daddymatic’s? Did we need remedial classes to get him back on track?

Of course, it turns out he simply wanted to conquer it, which in his case means pushing down the whimsical toy-laden arches and sitting on them in triumph. Which is—you guessed it—developmentally appropriate. Oh.

Here he is, pre-triumphing.

Interestingly, the other children in the house like it, too:

Sula likes it. And dude, she's, like, ten.

So does Cat (because sometimes you run out of original, witty, kitty names).

Even M, the incredibly vain tabby, and her "friend" Shere Khan like it. Though they'd NEVER admit it.