Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Still shaking after a whole day

Here's something that still has me shaking after a whole day. I couldn't fall asleep last night. I am trying to figure out why exactly that is - because I'm so terrified of government institutions because I'm an ACoN and my NF was so much into doctors and teachers and all these authority figures; or because I'm so vulnerable and defensive about my parenting because I know at a deep level that I can never be an adequate parent. Anyway, feel free to point out my craziness out to me. This is what I wrote about it on a parenting forum:

So, I live in a post-Communist country. Public schools and certain medical check-ups for children are mandatory (and free, by the way; but still mandatory).

Today I had the pleasure of taking my 2.5 yo daughter for a first check-up with a speech therapist and defectologist AND getting information from them about my 5 yo's check-up that was conducted in her preschool class.

It was a real treat.

I was told my (wonderful, sweet, smart, almost bilingual, introverted) 5 yo is "socially impaired" (because she's shy in large groups and with strangers), "behind" (because she apparently didn't know all the arbitrary things expected from her at that age), and needs help from them.

The (pretty mean-looking, intimidating, crabby) lady told me it was obvious my daughter wasn't used to a "collective" - she'd been at home with us all her life before preschool and never went to daycare, something they obviously saw as neglectful and somehow evil - and she needed institutional help so she'd catch up with other, "socialized" children.

When I asked exactly what techniques and methods she thought she could use to help my daughter adjust to a school setting with more ease, the woman frowned at me and said "That's for me to know!" I replied: "I can't give my consent unless I have information on what you propose to do to my child" and she still wouldn't tell me! So I declined - the lady was giving me, a grown woman, the creeps, I certainly don't want to expose my sensitive child to her!

She said my child had cognitive issues. When I asked for examples, this is what I got:

- "She couldn't name all the body parts"
"I find that hard to believe," I replied. "Which ones couldn't she name?" I asked and got NO REPLY. My kid knows how to name body parts in two different languages and this was absurd.

- "She couldn't count to ten"
"She can count to one hundred," I replied. Perhaps she was terrified of this lady.

- "She couldn't name the days of the week."
OK, this one is true. My kid doesn't know the names of the days of the week. Those are seven words that she can cram by heart in two minutes, but what's the point of it in a 5 yo's life? She's just never been interested. She can tell time, though, but that doesn't matter, because the guidelines say that a 5 yo must know the days of the week or be deemed cognitively impaired. (Added: I actually taught her those seven words yesterday and it took all of 90 seconds.)

I said my child was fluent in two languages, and she reprimanded me for that, as it is bad for a child to be bilingual - a child must first learn her own language well before she's exposed to another one. I immediately got scared and defensive and said I couldn't prevent her - she just picks up languages effortlessly!

(And, only after writing this, I actually find the courage to say that this is baloney! I studied language development in uni and there's nothing wrong with being bilingual!)

Then it was my baby's turn. She was, to begin with, speech impaired - yes, she develops verbally a bit slower, but she's got a good ear and is catching up quickly. She just started showing an interest in learning words later. She's more interested in her motor development. (She speaks more than 200 words at age 2.5, and is learning new ones every day.)

They were concerned and seemed to blame me for not "working with her" enough. See, I have to actively teach my child speech, not just talk to her in a normal way.

One horrible oversight on my part is not teaching my children onomatopoeic words. You see, a child will never learn how to speak and will forever lag behind if you don't drill into her when she's two years old that a doggie says "woof" and a cow says "moo" and a sheep says "baa". Or whatever. I told them I wasn't sure I knew them all and I am a language and literature teacher at a university.

(I just remembered - she does know that a mouse says "click" )

It was problematic that my 2.5 yo was still not "part of a collective" - i.e. at daycare 8 hours a day. (I have no reason or desire to put my child in daycare).

And it was shocking to them when my toddler asked to nurse. They asked me why on Earth I was still nursing her. I answered "Because the WHO encourages it until at least the age of 2, and then further if both mother and child are happy with it," to which I was given a lecture about the bad quality of my milk.

My milk has great quality, by the way. It has just been used to cure conjunctivitis in my toddler and myself, and has warded off strep throat for my toddler.

Then she said I was attaching my toddler to myself by nursing so long, and she won't be able to be a part of a collective and learn well in the future because of it!

I asked her what research she has to back that claim up and mentioned that experiments in attachment psychology (Harlow, Ainswhorth, Bowlby and others) have demonstrated that securely attached children actually do a better job exploring and learning.

To which she replied that I can have my theories, but it was her job to tell me what the consequences of my actions were.

All this time, they were talking to me and asking me questions, never even looking at my toddler. The poor kid noticed toys in a box and tried to get them, which I attempted to bring to their attention, but they ignored it, and she gave up and headed towards the soap on the sink. I got up and took the soap away from her, as it looked yucky, and the speech therapist had the nerve to reprimand me for not listening to her, but paying attention to my child instead!

I've been sad, angry, crushed, all day long. My husband told me we should just ignore it all and keep doing our thing. But I can't help feeling both reprimanded as a bad mother AND afraid for my child in the future, if people like this ever get to her. Trying to turn her from an introvert into an extrovert. Trying to make her into a neat case with all the right boxes ticked. Knows days of the week? Check. Detached from parents and adjusted to the collective? Check. Fully "socialized", i.e. institutionalized? Check.

Really, feel free to comment honestly. Am I being overly narcissistic and defensive? Part of me believes I truly am an inadequate and neglectful mother and that my children really are better off with anyone else; and part of me wants to protect them from these people; then the other part of me tells me that's because I'm trying to keep them for myself and from the people who'd love them more and do better by them because I'm a neglectful narcissist; then I go insane.


  1. "I just remembered - she does know that a mouse says 'click'." This is priceless! I just had to admire this one first.

    I'm right here with you, shaking, angry and with heart palpitations. This is exactly why I am more than willing to forego compulsory shit.

    How dare this "lady" say such a thing about your beautiful, sweet, intelligent and shy but what the fuck is wrong with that daughter? This "lady" is assessing your kids with just about as much insight and intelligence as your father did when he said there was something wrong with your kid after babysitting for an hour.

    She sounds rather more like a narcissist than you do, come to mention it. This post-communist, never-question-authority environment is a great place for a narc to be a doctor in. Get people to worship you or at least get them to feel anxiety if they don't listen to you. Fuck her. I am so, so sorry that you feel there is no way out of this kind of appointment.

    Please don't give in. Can't you ask to see a different person? Your kid is fine the way she is, and so are you. Perhaps suggest the lady gets herself some therapy, though :).


  2. Just to add, I can relate to feeling like a neglectful parent and a narcissist, to feeling too broken to be a good mother.

    Those worries are probably justified, partly (we are not narcs, and not neglectful, but definitely broken as ACONs). If it helps, you can probably trust your husband's judgement if you don't feel able to trust your own (though you CAN trust your own judgement).

    You know just in which way you are broken. You have no idea in which ways this ignorant "healthcare professional" is broken, though. You do know that she does not care about your children, whereas you do. I say fuck them all!


    1. Great points, J, thank you so much!

      Excellent insight on this being so similar to what my father did - how on earth did you remember that one? Both instances greatly upset me - possibly because they hit too close to home, because there's truth in my being a broken parent, because I'm defensive and all that, BUT ALSO because they are unfair!

      There's no other defectologist to choose - we get one per area and that's it. So far, I seem to be allowed to decline whatever she wants to do to my child - just imagining my kid with this woman gives me the creeps, but without knowing what she proposes to do is madness!

  3. NO - you are not being TOO ANYTHING. This isn't a matter of your being broken, it is a matter of you having developed a finely tuned sensor to narcissistic bullshit!

    What this woman was telling you is absolute ROT. Your children are not 'behind', they are just children. There is no way everyone has developed at the same pace. These are just guidelines. For myself, my son could read at a high level but could NOT balance on a bicycle or on one foot for YEARS. How is that 'delayed?

    Kids develop organically. Stop second-guessing yourself, please... THAT IS a by-product of having been abused, we don't think we know anything. YOU know your children better than anyone!

    There are always narcs in positions of authority. This 'lady' sounds exactly like the profile. As long as you can keep your children away from her, I say follow your instincts. That is one think I have learned over and over - your instincts are NEVER wrong.

  4. P.S. I meant to add, it sounds as if you pissed her off for knowing more than she does! "No one shall challange the great authority figure!" And also, these people like to be in charge OF CHILDREN, who's word is not believed over the narc in charge. You are RIGHT to feel uncomfortable in this person's presence.

    Keep blasting them with facts. As I told Jonsi, get a binder! A binder full of information always helps. Get all of the research about studies and whatever into one place, so that if necessary you have that binder like a sword AND shield.

    OH, I am cheering so hard for you from here. You are taking your sacred duty to keep your children from harm very seriously - STANDING AND CLAPPING!!

    1. Thank you so much, Gladys! It's so easy to second-guess oneself as an ACoN, especially given that our parents also would discard any criticism of their parenting from anyone - it's so easy to suspect myself of the same!

  5. Sounds to me like you are the sanest one of the bunch. I do admire your daughter knowing that a mouse goes click. That is just awesome. Smart girl. I don't live in a post communist country and I got lectured on how I wasn't raising my children correctly. Well my kids are parents themselves now and amazing adults. I think your instincts are better than you think and I am very proud of you for paying attention to your child. When in the midst of insanity, the sane seem crazy. I agree with your husband...ignore them and believe in yourself. You are doing better than you think. If you want a fun book to teach sounds try Mister Brown can Moo How About You. One of my kids favorites. I can still recite fairly long passages. I like Einstein's idea, "If you want to raise intelligent children, read them fairy tells." :)

  6. Are you serious? A defectologist? If she looks at the world from the context of defects, defects is what she sees.
    Before I got too hung up on her words I would check with some other moms and see if she is has a defect intensive view of things.
    If she never finds defects they might snap to what a ludicrous job she has and what a waste of money she is.
    Like an arson investigator who sets his own fires, she is the supply creating her own demand.

  7. PA, I just saw your Post. I'm with ^everyone above. MON DIEU! NO, IT'S NOT YOU!
    Please don't change a thing you're doing with your kids. Keep 'em away from those Crazy People, go with your gut-your kids are FINE.

    1. Thank you, TW.

      You have no idea how much this support means to me, guys. I half expected everyone to say you now realize I'm a horrible, neglectful, narcissistic mother.

      I'm sure there was a place where our parents felt this great insecurity about everything, too, including their parenting - I have an inkling mine did, anyway - but never allowed themselves to be open to any questioning, especially by their children.

      It feels so great to have opened myself to questioning here. I almost didn't do it.

  8. Each person develops at their own rate. My son didn't talk till he was two years old except for a few words. Since then he won't stop talking. Each of us has our own skillset, don't let these people force you into making your children to conform to their crazy standards. Wish you could move to a better place!

    take care,
    Q's Sis

    1. Thanks, Q's Sis. Getting there, for sure.

  9. PA, I feel for you! Being a parent is so hard, and I'm always second guessing myself.
    First, it used to be my job to evaluate children on developmental scales (I was NOT a defectologist). We would never have used such willy-nilly bullshit to "label" a child delayed or any other nonsense. We always looked at the big picture of the child, using testing that had at least some psychological merit. And then we tried to work WITH the parents. Any person who really wants to help a child, knows you need to work WITH the parents. So, in short, this lady was a moron. Every child has different abilities.

    I have never heard anyone say that bilingualism is harmful to a child. Since when is learning anything "extra" harmful. This is some of the most archaic thinking I've heard in a long time. Pure b.s. And good for you for nursing your child and taking such a close approach to parenting.

    For what it's worth, I think you are doing a fabulous job. Just keep doing what you are doing.

    1. THank you, jessie. This is very helpful.

  10. I've got a lot to say about this. I'm going to start with the idea that your children are "behind" linguistically. One of the things I have had experience with is that typically, bilingual children tend to appear as though they are "slow learners" when in fact they are anything but. It is my understanding that in the long run, they do as well as, if not BETTER than children who do not have the privilege of speaking multiple languages. As far as I can tell, the beginning process of teaching a child more than one language almost always goes the way you have described: as in the child typically seems like they are catching on slowly to the concept of verbal communication. In most cases, they are not. (I am not a speech therapist, this is just the information I have picked up from speech therapists I have known and from friends who were bilingual or who have children who are being raised bilingual.)

    Having said that, what about getting a second opinion? If there IS something valid to what they have said, maybe it would be worth getting the input of another (hopefully friendlier) speech therapist? Maybe your five year old has a learning disability? It doesn't seem likely, given what you have described, but it might be worth getting someone else, who you feel more comfortable with, to meet with her?

    I think there is also something to your thought that maybe your daughter simply wasn't comfortable in the setting with this particular lady because she was grumpy and rude and we all know that doesn't usually make for a particularly cooperative child. (And who can blame them, right?) Truly, from the way you've described this woman, she sounds fucking awful.

    (I'm going to re-read again and collect my thoughts and continue in a second comment)

    1. My older child who can now speak our native language and English (picked up from cartoons and Anglophone friends) actually started speaking before age 1. She's always been very verbal. She has also been described as "gifted" by many people we know who are involved in research on or work with children. She is picking up things - math, reading, writing - that she won't be learning in school for years. My guess is the lady frightened her and she didn't cooperate in the expected way.

    2. Dear god, find a different doctor. Or no doctor.

      My son has ADHD. We found a couple great doctors for him. He had a horrible kindergarten teacher who I nearly strangled for her unfair and incorrect assessment of him as a problem child.

    3. Yeah, no doctor sounds just right now.

  11. So, I do believe that exposing our children to social settings (in particular with groups of their peers) is very important, and that the younger we can do it the better. BUT, I don't believe that a child needs to be in daycare or preschool for 8 hours a day to achieve that. (I'm not a fan of daycare, period. I wish that more people were willing, and in some cases able, to take care of their own children during the day because I think that toddlers and young children can easily get exhausted in a constant daycare setting and I've never understood the idea of having children but then shipping them off for someone else to take care of them for most of their waking hours. Having said that - I am not judging parents who need to do that. Not in the slightest. I respect every parents choice to decide for themselves what is best for their family and their children).

    What I find to be disturbing is that, when you pressed this woman for details about how, precisely, she was going to be accomplishing the task of helping your child get acclimated to social settings, she flat our refused to answer you and gave you the odd and belligerent response that it was for HER to know. That's...crazy talk. Who the hell in their right mind would send their child to a person who wants to keep secret how they plan on socializing their children? There's something...not right about that.

    This woman reads as judgmental and crass. I don't think I would have liked her either. I'm not a proponent of attachment-parenting or breast-feeding beyond the age of one, but I would have tried very hard to A) Not to act in a haughty manner about it, which would only serve to make it look like I somehow felt superior and B) act surprised about it. Because really, it's not all that surprising. There are MANY women who choose to breastfeed their children for 2-3 years (and longer) and it's really not all that shocking.

    1. I do like the idea of socialization while the parents are actually there, and we have tried to socialize with other parents whose children don't go to daycare. We have succeeded to do so roughly on a weekly basis. Still, these were smaller groups of children (4-5 kids total) and my daughter, who is naturally reserved and cautious, is not comfortable in the large group she now has to go to. My hope is that this will get better in time - today I saw her playing a game, and then jumping straight to free play with a group of kids, so it's not BAD, she just tends to be labeled "the shy one" who will sometimes choose not to speak in class if 20 kids are listening.

      This was the most disturbing for me, too. You expect me to bring my child to your office (parents do NOT go in) WITHOUT telling me what you propose to do to her? Um, no. You scare ME, lady. I'm not giving you access to my shy kid.

      Hey, I'm not a proponent of anything, either - whatever works for a genuinely loving family is fine with me.

      Their info is outdated - this was advice given to young mothers decades ago, aimed at making sure that daycare workers have less trouble with babies missing their mothers. It's incredible how calm I am now about it, but I felt so guilty for nursing while I was in there.

  12. Really - you're one of the best judges about whether your child can actually do the things they are looking for - like as you mentioned, labeling parts of her body. I think, as you said, if your daughter can do it at home but didn't do it for this woman, it wasn't a matter of "can't" but "won't." And that's really okay because chances are good that your daughter just didn't feel comfortable talking with this horrid-woman. So she exerted her own control in the situation and decided not to collude with what this woman wanted.

    I say, "Good for you kiddo!" I'm not advocating that a child be rude, but I think that that was the only way she knew how to express that she did not want to play along with this woman's (more than likely harsh) demands. You're doing a good job interpreting her needs and feelings.

    1. She did all the things the woman said she couldn't later at home - and more! She can count to a hundred and count down from 20 and do simple additions and now she even knows the fucking days of the week.

      I also like the idea of a child not being forced to communicate with people who are toxic. I would personally have been glad to avoid communicating with these two women - the defectologist in particular.

      I guess this is one of the ways they check if a child is properly "socialized" - if a child doesn't mind answering every question a rude stranger asks, just because the preschool tells her to, then she's "socialized".

  13. "I said my child was fluent in two languages, and she reprimanded me for that, as it is bad for a child to be bilingual - a child must first learn her own language well before she's exposed to another one."

    I can understand why you got defensive.

    That's the fucking stupidest shit I've ever heard in my whole damn life.

    First of all, children have the highest capacity for picking up multiple languages from ages birth-three years old. Their minds are like fucking sponges at that point. You could teach them 10 languages at once and they'd have the capacity to learn them all WITH EASE. The truth is that our brains are pre-wired to learn every single (and I mean every single) language and dialect of every language - but as time goes on, we start to lose the ability to hear certain unique sounds that different languages contain. (Which explains why people who were born and raised speaking certain languages often can NEVER fully pronunciate certain words/sounds/letters in other languages even if they move to a new country and learn the language of that country and speak it for decades.)

    Essentially, the more languages you are able to teach a young child, the more they are able to learn. ESPECIALLY when they have a natural interest in it anyway. Again, you go girlfriend!

    1. Thanks! The weird part is, I KNOW! This is part of my fucking profession! I took several courses in this shit! And I got so scared and sheepish there. Sheesh. ACoN.

  14. "They asked me why on Earth I was still nursing her."

    None of their fucking business. What assholes.

    1. I know. But this seems to be everybody's business. It can be frustrating.

  15. And beyond that, there is nothing but insane amounts of research out there that say breastmilk is the number one most fucking awesome-est thing you can give your babies. Like fucking awesome-est. Just the fact that our babies can survive on that alone for the first MANY months of their lives is fucking awesome enough, right there. Then add to that the fact that formula can't even TOUCH the amount of components in breastmilk that serve to keep our children healthy/promote physical/emotional/mental growth and it just fucking blows me out of the water that anyone would say breastfeeding is a bad thing, or breastmilk is a bad thing.

    Fuck THAT ish.

    1. I won't argue with you there :)

      I do believe my toddler can physically do without the nursing now, though - though the immunity alone is awesome and she's been to the doctor exactly ONCE in her life for an actual issue - but I'm not ready to deny her the emotional component of it that I still see just because someone else has a problem with it. Soon enough. My older daughter nursed until 2y7m and was mature enough at that point to agree to stop. She was also potty trained at that age. The "baby" is still not there.

    2. I have a shitty immune system. NM found it uncomfortable to breastfeed. Thanks, NM! >:-p

    3. My mother was prevented from nursing me, too - maybe that's why I found it so important in my parenting.

      I had a shitty immune system while I was a child. My NF was very much into how "sensitive" I was and into taking me to doctors and stuff.

      Interestingly enough, him going from engulfing to ignoring and me going from "sensitive" to strong and healthy coincided. Don't know if one caused the other, don't know if there's even a correlation there, don't care. Happy about both.

    4. I usually don't comment, but this one has me coming out of the wood work after probably more than a year of following you, needless to say I enjoy the blog very much, thank you.
      First off, I breastfeed my children for the 6 months exclusively and 1 year in total recommended in Denmark where I am from, so I am definitely fine with breast feeding. However. There is actually not conclusive evidence that breastfeeding is superior in any significant way. I can tell you from my cross cultural experience that the advice and reasoning from Denmark and the US (MN), two places where breast feeding is very much encouraged, is often directly contradictory, and it is clear to me that the whole field of what to feed your infant is one big cultural mine field and that the result is guilt for moms.
      So this idea that a shitty immune system is due to lack of breast feeding is not right (I have a shitty immunesystem and I was breastfed for anecdote's sake), and the idea that breastfeeding is the awesomest thing to do for you kid is not supported by evidence. I know of plenty of people who are not able to breast feed, or breast feed exclusively who are living with tremendous guilt about that, so please, let's not ad to that irrational guilt.

    5. What is supported by loads of evidence is that bonding with your child properly is the most important thing you can do for your child. And I wouldn't be one bit surprised if the compromised immune systems could be a factor of how our parents bonded with us. We were not supposed to defend ourselves and we were never truly safe. We were supposed to be healthy or sick in response to their needs. How many ACONs are being guilted for what their breast feeding did to their mother's breasts (and indeed the whole pregnancy)(that would be me), and for how many of us was the bottle feeding done so that our mothers wouldn't have to actually spend time with us / or could be available to a narcisistic father who "needed" her more than the infant?

      None of these issues have anything really to do with what we feed our infants. It's all about the relationships. And it sounds like you are really tuned in to your kids, how they are doing, what they are interested in, who they are as people, and how they need or want your nurturing. And that is what it is all about.

    6. I think that breast feeding and milestones for kids are all highly culturally dependent and I say this again as someone who is living with two cultures in our family. don't ever feel like you are a failure because of a somewhat arbitrary collection of facts. Consider what skills your kids need to succeed where you are and where you want them to be able to go. Help them learn those skills and give them the mothering they need. That has become my recipe, no matter what I do, one part of my family will always be critical, and my husband and I quickly figured out we have to make the choices based on our values and our kids as they are.

      When I read your blog, what I like is your sensitivity and it sounds like your daughter has inherited that temperament and you know how to deal with that. This lady who visited with your child sounds like she has no idea how to handle this or that it is normal for up to 20 % of the population by some scientific measures.

      I wonder if you have ever read any of Elaine Aron's books about highly sensitive people, I think they would very much apply to your situation here. She has one about Highly Sensitive Children, and has some advice on how to handle teachers/doctors and so on. She also talks about ways to help adults and children who are highly sensitive to handle situations that we would much rather avoid. - like being tested by a bossy, loud, stranger, no wonder you kid didn't do so well.

      As you probably noticed I'm a bit keen on the scientific evidence, and Elaine Aron's work is based on extensive research but at the same time she is highly sensitive herself and I think you might like reading her take on these types of issues.

      I hope you take from all of this that you seem to be doing just great with your kids. Trust yourself and if you feel you need help in some area that is a weak area for you, get it from someone you trust.

      I wish you all the best!

    7. Thank you for chiming in!

      "And I wouldn't be one bit surprised if the compromised immune systems could be a factor of how our parents bonded with us. We were not supposed to defend ourselves and we were never truly safe. We were supposed to be healthy or sick in response to their needs."

      This is a great insight. It's really interesting how I was so sickly while my father was so controlling and took me to doctors, but when I grew up enough not to be taken by him, I suddenly had pretty darn good immunity - still do.

      Thank you for the support.

  16. Not done blowing up your comments yet - I hope you don't mind PA. I'm going to end on this note: I don't see anything here that makes me think you are being narcissistic/overbearing/overprotective or whatever. I think your perception of the situation is clear and that you are very aware that these people did not have the interests of your children at heart.

    If you aren't comfortable and are worried about whether there was any truth to what they were saying, then maybe you can consider taking the kids to a safer place to have someone you are comfortable with re-asses them. (I don't think there is anything wrong with that). Chances are that your kids are doing just fine. And if they do need a little help, then there are CARING people out there who would happily do it; who will want to work WITH you, instead of against you, and who will also inevitably make your children feel comfortable as well.

    Take comfort, you are doing okay.

    1. Oh, it's amazing - this must be the record and I enjoyed every single one of them - all excellent points.

      I actually don't really believe there's anything to be worried about here - and I've been reassured by many friends who are actually experts on the issue - including speech therapists - and know my kids. It has been helpful to hear people laugh out loud at this stuff.

      And it's very helpful hearing from you.

      It's hard trusting your knowledge and your instincts when you've been told by those who were supposed to love you the most that THESE ARE WRONG WRONG WRONG.

      My father also attacked my parenting and it was equally upsetting.

      It's fucking hard, this parenting as an ACoN thing.

      Thanks for listening and leaving 7 comments. Feel free to leave as many as you wish.

  17. "Like an arson investigator who sets his own fires, she is the supply creating her own demand."

    I have to agree with Q here.

    There are many fantastic doctors/therapists/etc. out there who truly do care for their patients. BUT, there are also others out there who just view their patients as dollar signs - if they can come up with some sort of label or diagnosis, now your regularly scheduled appointment is their steady source of income...

    If this lady really wanted to work with you and help you, she wouldn't have said "That's for me to know" when you asked about what methods she planned to use. Big red flag.

    Just my 2 cents.

    1. Thank you.

      Unfortunately, this is not true where I live. We have a health center we are assigned to, where the pedi is bound by law to refer us to the only defectologist/speech therapist pair in the building and we have to go see them for this mandatory check-up that we've just suffered - the older kid got "ambushed" at preschool.

      I live in a post-Communist country. "Choice" is really not something you have a lot of.

      And in what she said, she acted in a way that many authority figures in Communist systems do, unfortunately.

      I agree it's a red flag and I'll try to avoid her. I guess she'll be visiting my daughter's preschool again and there's little I can do about it.

  18. HOLY CRAP! NO! No, you'd be a MODEL MOTHER in Canada!!!!

    Can you send in a formal complaint to the woman's superiors? Can you use your qualifications to call into question the capabilities of the appointed civil (civil, HA! Only in one sense!) servant?!

    No no no no no! This woman sounds INSANE! Your kids are 2.5 and 5 years old?! They're BABIES still! Let them be babies! I can't BELIEVE this institution is trying to insert them into the machine at this age - to groom them to suit your country's needs?! That's how I'm reading it!

    Shit. I don't swear often (well, not in type!), but this SERIOUSLY pisses me off!

    Can you move? Like, leave the bloody country?! I realise that's improbable, but SHIT! Is there another city or niche in your country with a different predominant lifestyle? Another culture that you can immerse yourself in? I don't want to be judgmental, but the one you're in does NOT sound like it's on-the-ball in this respect!

    Holy crap!!!

    PA - I LOVE that you're still breastfeeding your child! It's GOOD FOR THEM! And no, no matter how "poor" quality your milk might be, it's still HUMAN BREAST MILK and not anti-clumping chemicals in a bottle! And yeah, "attachment parenting" is seen as a valid approach pretty well everywhere else in the world! I think 'different strokes for different folks'! I can't believe it - your country sounds as if it's yet to overhaul certain government departments! It sounds communist to me to tell you, "There is only one way! We determine the fitness of your child!". CREEPY!

    1. Ha ha ha! Leave the country! Yeah, it has occurred to me more than once. Many have left this country. Many. Some of us thought things would change once the gov't changed, but now it's just apathy all round.

      I live in the center of the capital, the "nice" old neighborhood. It doesn't get much better than this here. Sigh.

      Canada sounds like fun. :)

      Yes, creepy. You should hear stories from women giving birth. And from schools.

      I wasn't even advocating attachment parenting (which may sound kind of "trendy" and "new" to some) - though what we do looks somewhat like that - I simply mentioned Attachment theory to the woman - the things they proved half a century ago using those poor monkeys and that no one has yet managed to disprove: children feel freer and safer to learn and explore and act independently if they are securely attached to their caregivers. Proven. LOOONG ago.

      Nope. That's my silly theory.

      But I still feel I should be trying to change things here and stand up for myself before Narcissistic Parent Gov't, instead of running away from home, you know?

    2. PA, thanks for reminding me how fortunate and lucky I am to have lots of choices where I live: choices about how I birthed my children, how I raise them, and the type of education I provide for them.

      I often forget that their are many other people in this world who have less choice.

      Wishing you hope.

    3. Thank you.

      Interestingly enough, I'm only seeing how bad things are here and how insanely controlling the whole culture seems to be about certain things now, after I've realized my family was narcissistic.

      Part of my delusion involved having to think the system was also nice and fair. Just like my family was.

  19. Little One, All the Comments ARE Honest!

  20. You have taken your child for the mandatory check-up. Are you required to do anything further, i.e. take this consultant's advice? Or can you just ignore it and let your daughter find her own way? She's not even three yet, and from what I understand it's normal for kids to develop in some ways faster than in others, at different rates from other kids. The consultant sounds authoritarian and kind of crazy.

    1. I don't think I have to do anything she tells me yet, but, when I declined her proposed "treatment" of my older daughter, she mentioned "waiting until the spring" to see if she was socialized yet.

      I don't know what happens then.

      However, when my daughter starts school in a year, she will no longer be under this woman's "jurisdiction" - school-aged children go to another part of the building.

  21. Maybe it's not such a big deal. At least about the breast feeding thing.
    My mother never breast me for an instant.
    I turned out ...
    Never mind.

    1. Haha! I wasn't breastfed either. I turned out... well, I have a thing for bottles. Freud was right in that respect.

  22. Yep, this lady is a full on narc. There are so many of them in the health field. There is nothing wrong with your kids.


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