A Lesson in Nursery Games & Development

Yesterday, Jenn took Nolin for his 9 month check up (9 months and 1 day to be exact) and everything came back great.  He is now 19 lbs 1 oz. and 27 & 3/4 inches tall.  The head circumference is still between the 50-75%  which to me means he is pretty much perfect.

Leading up to this appointment they gave us a check list of developmental milestones that he should be reaching.  We simply needed to indicate he does this regularly, sometimes or never.  Some of them were easy to check off

  • Go from sitting to lying position – check
  • Crawls or Scoots easily – check. He doesn’t stop.
  • Pulls himself up on his own – check
  • Will repeat sounds after you – check
  • Throw toys or objects – definite check
  • Looks for hidden toys – check. He now thinks every carpet has the rubber puzzle mats underneath like his playroom which he enjoys ripping apart.

Most of these he has been doing for what seems like forever, so we must have a super baby right?  One would think so, except like all developmental objectives, the baby industry needs to make you think you are not doing a good job so that you stay on your toes.

On the list, there were things like pick up a piece of string between his thumb and forefinger…well I don’t know if he has done that because we have never had him chase a piece of string like a cat (although maybe that would be a fun party game)…and what if he picks it up with his thumb, forefinger and then adds his middle finger in there (for good gesture of course) does that mean his pickup doesn’t count?

The worst one was interacts and plays nursery games.  Nolin and I play catch and he will grab the ball and then when I count to three he throws the ball back to me (actually he drops it between his legs and then laughs as he kicks it back to me).  Would that count as a nursery game since we do that in his play area?  Probably not because they specifically mention patty cake (which by the way I have nightmares about since hearing it repeatedly growing up…stupid game, stupid name).

So for the past two weeks, in a desperate attempt to ensure that our child is exceeding all developmental milestones we have been working with him to see if he will actually do some of these things that he was missing off the checklist.

Jenn and I would sit there playing patty cake with each other.  Nolin would sit simply staring at us like its official these people have lost their freakin minds (don’t worry Nolin as you get older we will find even more ingenious ways to embarrass you).

First Jenn would sing it, then I would sing it, then back to Jenn…now it’s Nolin’s turn.  Jenn would guide his hands in the motions as I sang it and then I took my turn guiding his hands.  At this point without fail Nolin would start laughing hysterically at us and lay on the ground right about the time he was supposed to “mark it with an x“.

I guess it’s a negative on Patty Cake and nursery games.  Although I am sure that he probably sits up around midnight in his crib and plays Patty Cake when no one is looking simply to spite us.

Well apparently Patty Cake, chasing string, nor pulling cheerios out of a small jar are necessary check boxes for good development.  The doctor told Jenn that he was doing fantastic, had a lot of energy (I guess she noticed as he was trying to climb the walls to touch the animals painted on it), and that he has 3 more teeth coming in up top.

I guess today’s lesson is simply that there is no need to get too hyper-sensitive about your child not performing exactly what the “experts” say they should.  Because out there somewhere is a boy Nolin’s age who is “rolling it, patting it and marking it with an x”, but not yet pulling up carpet and ripping apart rubber plastic mats…so in the end, they are nine months old, so enjoy the little things while you can because it is all going by way too fast.

3 Thoughts

  1. I have to go to work and I am sitting here reading this wonderful bloq about my grandson with laughs and tears. Paddy, you do a great job. Mom is very proud. I could probably put all checks next to your developmental levels-especially loving your son.


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