51 Things I Thought About at My Son’s Assessment

Last week we had our five-year-old son evaluated at ChildFind, an early-intervention program, to see if he was falling behind in fine motor, gross motor, speech, cognitive or social development. We met with both a Speech Therapist and an Occupational Therapist for about two hours, during which The Professor was tested on a full gamut of childhood activities – everything from throwing a ball to drawing a self-portrait and building a robot out of blocks. It was a bit nerve-wrecking, simply because I want the best for my child and don’t want to see him falling behind his peers in anything.

I know a lot of people have been through this, but I can’t speak for all parents. I’ll just speak for myself.

Here are some of the things that ran through my head.

  1. I hope it was okay to tell The Professor that this was a doctor’s appointment.
  2. Oh look, another family is in the waiting room. Why is that kid crying?
  3. Is The Professor going to cry?
  4. I wish we didn’t have to mess with this.
  5. Are the other kids in his classroom going to ask him about this? What will he tell them?
  6. Is this going to scar him?
  7. I really should have given him a bath last night.
  8. Oh no, look how long his fingernails are. They’re going to think I’m a totally neglectful mother. He’s going to cut someone with those things!
  9. These ladies seem pretty nice. Everyone’s been really nice.
  10. There’s a lot of fun stuff in this room.
  11. It’s taking him a long time to take off his shoes.
  12. I should have taken a Xanax.
  13. Oh, he’s breezing right through those questions. He’s already counted past 62. Keep going, buddy!
  14. How can I help him be more comfortable? Should I put my arm on the back of his chair? Or on his leg? What should I do with my hands? What do the other mothers do? I want to be here for him but I want him to do stuff on his own. How do I do that?
  15. That’s a picture of toast and he doesn’t know what toast is. I’ve never made him toast. Holy cow, I should make him toast. He doesn’t like bread, but maybe he’d like toast. He should at least know what it is!
  16. That’s green, sweetie! It’s your favorite color! Why aren’t you telling them it’s green?
  17. I can’t believe he just said that red rock is actually burgundy. Do I have a perfectionist on my hands?
  18. Oh no. Scissors.
  19. Look at him cut with those scissors. Way to go, buddy!
  20. He doesn’t think he can do it. But he can.
  21. That’s the best cutting I’ve ever seen him do!
  22. Wait, maybe it would be better if he cut like he normally cuts so they can see he struggles a little bit with cutting.
  23. I should have him cut with scissors more often.
  24. They’re asking him about his favorite superheroes and he doesn’t even know who they are. Should we be watching more superhero stuff at home?
  25. Am I sheltering him too much?
  26. But he doesn’t like Batman.
  27. Do most kids his age like Batman? Is that why they’re asking him about that?
  28. Yikes, sweetie, you don’t have to be so… forceful. Did I remember to include “emotional outbursts” on the questionnaire?
  29. Don’t all kids have emotional outbursts, though?
  30. That’s a pretty awesome dinosaur village.
  31. We need to play less iPad and more with just toys at home.
  32. I wish they didn’t have iPads in his classroom yet.
  33. These evaluators seem to really like him. He’s so sweet. How couldn’t they love him?
  34. Awe, he put a mommy elephant with the baby elephant.
  35. He’s so tall. When did he get so tall? He needs new clothes. How haven’t I noticed that?
  36. He can’t skip. Wait, can he skip? Oh, maybe not. He’s close, though!
  37. Okay, time to talk to the evaluators.
  38. How can I talk about him in front of him without him understanding that I’m talking about him?
  39. YES! He’s a picky eater! How did they know?
  40. Yes! He has problems sleeping!
  41. Yes! He repeats the beginnings of sentences. All. The. Time.
  42. Holy cow, they just keep validating all the things we’ve struggled with.
  43. Does that mean there’s really something wrong with him?
  44. There’s nothing wrong with him. How could I even think that? What kind of mother thinks there could be something wrong with their child?
  45. I need to work with him more in the areas he struggles with. Why don’t I spend more time working with him?
  46. I read all about pregnancy and baby care and toddler care – why haven’t I read more about this age group?
  47. I don’t need to read more, we just need to do more.
  48. Wow, has he grown up.
  49. Okay. He didn’t score perfectly, but he scored good enough. What does that mean?
  50. What do we do next?
  51. God, I love this kid.

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