YoungestGirl had her two-year development check today. Second time around I’m a lot more laid back that she can’t walk up or down the stairs by herself yet, nor retrieve a raisin dropped into a bottle. (To be fair, she did retrieve the raisin, but not by tipping the bottle upside down like she was supposed to do, but by jamming her whole fist into the bottle.) Basically, unless she starts growing horns and/or speaking in Tongues, I’m generally satisfied with her development.
But, needs must, and today TheBloke (TM) and I took her to her health check. Health visitors are a peculiar breed. I’d like to say that, as with all professions, some are good and some are bad, but I have genuinely never yet met a single one who wasn’t patronising, ill-informed, just a bit stupid, or – holy trinity – all three. I have been told by various health visitors to: use more formula and consider stopping breastfeeding, that baby-led weaning is dangerous, that babies shouldn’t have eggs until they are a year old, and all sorts of random nonsense that was disproven in the 1950s.
Today’s health visitor wasn’t unpleasant, but was… humorless seems unfair because I imagine she probably did enjoy a good laugh
at Mrs Brown’s Boys but she just couldn’t tell when we were joking.
SCENE: A children’s centre in the Home Counties.
Health Visitor: So can she jump with both feet yet?
Me: No. Not really. Her sister couldn’t do it until she was almost four, so we’re not bothered. It’ll come. Besides which, I’ve never yet been asked in a job interview whether or not I can jump.
Health Visitor: It’s not really about whether or not she’ll get asked to do a jump in a job interview though, is it, Ms Nunn? It’s more about her own personal development in herself, you know? Maybe you could take her to a local gym club or get her to spend some time on the trampoline? Because it’s not about whether she’ll need to jump for a job really, do you see?
YoungestGirl: (very clearly) ARSEHOLE!
Me: Sorry about that. She’s saying “dinosaur”.
YoungestGirl: (with emphasis, carrying dino toy) ARSEHOLE!
Health Visitor: It’s nothing to be concerned about; they often don’t speak clearly at this age.
Me: I’m not concerned…
Health Visitor: She’ll soon be making her feelings clear, don’t you worry!
YoungestGirl: (fortissimo) ARSEHOLE!
Health Visitor: So she’s scored 5 out of 65.
Me: (bit shocked) Oh. Oh dear. I wasn’t expecting that. She seems fine to me.
Health Visitor: That’s a good thing. the higher score she gets, the more problems there are likely to be. 5 out of 65 is a good score.
Me: Great. Does it count as a grammar school pass? Can I sign her up now?
Health Visitor: No, Ms Nunn, it doesn’t work like that. I think they take an exam called the eleven plus when they’re about thirteen, and then they get to go to grammar school. You can’t use these results.
YoungestGirl: Arsehole. Cat.