Thursday, May 18, 2006
A Good 18 Month Appointment!
We just got back from a really good 18 month appointment with Noah and all I can say is "Amen"! FINALLY someone other than Jon that really seems to be understanding what I mean about Noah's activity level and believes me that he's just a notch more intense than most kids his age, perhaps inherited my ADHD. Friends, family, they've all been very helpful but many comment to us; "he's so good when we see him" or "don't worry, our child is the same way" or "it's normal". I love my friends and family, they only want the very best for us and are super helpful, but now I feel so much better having someone say "No, you're not crazy, you're not being over reactive, I can see what you mean about Noah".
Our pediatrician is the nicest doctor in the world. She takes lots and lots of time at each appointment to answer any questions we may have. She listens carefully, gives great, easy to follow advice and I feel comfortable asking her anything! I trust her medical opinion too and she is great with Noah, our doctor is just great all around!
Today when Dr.M. walked in she said; "So tell me what's on your mind". I told her that I'm having fun with Noah these days but that sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with his activity level and defiance and that it makes me unsure if I want more children which is both sad and confusing to me. I said that I know ALL toddlers are active, all toddlers have tantrums, all toddlers try to do things independently, that most don't always eat, most don't love to nap. That said, when I watch Noah in groups of children his age or compared to friend's kids, most times he is just a tad more wild,the one who won't eat, that won't nap. He's the first to the top of the play structure and then goes flying down the slide head first. His fights at diaper changes are just that much more dramatic, his tantrums a little louder a little more often. She looked at me and then down at Noah: "I know what you mean, I can see it in him". At this point, like ALL toddlers who have been in an exam room for a while, Noah was getting restless. he was more than restless though. Noah had been at this point, running circles around the little room, stopping at each of the six of so blue linoleum tiles in the mostly gray tiled room, slapping them and then shrieking at the top of his lungs. I went on to tell her that I don't want to label, I know he is very young, I don't think medication is an answer but that I just have this feeling in the pit of my stomach that he had perhaps inherited my ADHD and almost everyone just brushes that off as him "being a boy or being a toddler".
Dr.M. looked at me and said; "You know what? I have ADD too and so does one of my children, I know where you are coming from". She told me that what I had described and what she was seeing Noah do during the exam, (Now flat on the floor with his head on the ground) was just what she had gone through. She told me that if someday it turns out to be ADD, then that explains his lack of need for sleep, that I should not feel bad for not being able to get him to nap like the other kids. Can I just tell you folks, it's SO embarrassing! I often can't schedule get-togethers with other Mom friends because I never know when Noah will nap. I eventually have to pick a time and sure enough, he doesn't sleep before and then has a meltdown/tantrum. Moms who don't know me as well say well "why don't you read this book or that" and "why don't you try..." or "well do you do this?". The thing they don't know is I have read every book and tried every tip, tactic, routine, trick..etc..etc..etc... It's hard because you feel like a bad Mom and you think you look like a bad Mom when it is your child that has the consistent fits in Mom and Tot class or the one who will not listen to the teacher, the one who has to leave the play group...
I digress. Basically, Dr.M. said that she does see some traits of hyper activity in Noah and that I'm not being dramatic. She gave me some good techniques to keep Noah under control and to set limits and discipline when he needs it. I mentioned, and it seemed she agreed that medication isn't a good answer, it's setting a strong base of good behavior and what is to be expected of him as he grows. She also said that she would be sending me a reading list and some helpful articles on dealing with children with attention problems and hyper activity. Dr. M. said that Noah is really younger than the children talked about in these papers but it's never too early to learn about good parenting for kids with high activity levels.
It just feels good that someone understands. Dr.M. pointed to me purse and said; "Let me guess, that's not a purse, it's a toy box"! She told me that parents of over active kids tend to carry a million and one distraction tools...ie) toys, snacks, book, music. I just laughed and said Yep! Today I brought in addition to two trains, a truck,two books,a Thomas key chain, snacks and a drink, some crayons and paper. We drew all over the four foot long paper that they lay over the exam table. I drew train tracks that squiggled all over and Noah followed them with his trains.
Bottom line, I don't feel like a stupid, crazy complainer anymore. I mean, don't get me wrong, I complain a lot and I know how yucky that is, but I wasn't just blowing his activity level out of proportion. Hopefully down the road, hyperactive or not, Dr.M. has started us off on the right foot for parenting Noah!
Noah didn't grow taller since his 15 month which is ok. He was 30.5 inches tall which is the 10th percentile. We don't expect Noah to be tall, I mean look at Jon and I. It worries me a tiny bit though, in our society it can be difficult to be short man or on the flip side, an overweight girl.I just want him to have an easy life. I'm sure Noah will be just fine, I'm a Mom, I worry, it's what we do. He only gained a pound and is now up to 25lbs. 5 oz. which is the 50th percentile. Everything else looks good and is on track!
Our next appointment is in six months when he turns two. Two!? huh, where is the time flying!!!??
Thanks for once again letting me ramble and vent. I feel so lucky that we have found such a wonderful pediatrician, thanks Dr.M!
Noah at 8 Months.