The Baby’s Speech

This afternoon, I took Rosie to a speech therapist to attempt to address her refusal to communicate at a level higher than that of Cro-Magnon Man. I figured it was a win-win situation– I would finally know what Rosie wanted for breakfast without pointing at every single thing in our pantry and saying “THIS?” really loudly like I was talking to a foreign tourist, and Rosie would finally be able to explain to me why exactly it is that she spazzes out whenever I try to sing her “Rocket Man” at bedtime. A deep-seated fear of space travel? Maybe she likes the Shatner version better?

The appointment started out well enough– waiting room full of toys, other kids for Rosie to wander up to and then stare pointedly at, which is her current favorite group activity. The therapist came and got us, took us to another room with even more toys (as well as some sort of hellish high-chair looking thing with arm straps that I don’t even know what that was for– “ENUNCIATE YOUR R’S OR YOU WILL NEVER EAT MAC AND CHEESE AGAIN!”) and started explaining to me what was going to happen. There were two parts to today’s visit– observation for Rosie, and a test for me.

That’s where things started going downhill.

In addition to my fear of sandwiches and driving, I also have a strange paranoia that all doctors will think I am constantly faking, even if I’m not. In my mind, there is a good chance that I could walk into an ER with a bullet wound and the doctor would just be like “did you try putting Bactine on it? God, suck it up.” And as soon as I knew I had to take a test, I absolutely knew that they were going to find two things:

  1. There was nothing wrong with Rosie
  2. I am a bad person for taking up valuable time from a client that actually needs speech therapy, and there’s a distinct possibility that the worst picture ever taken of me will be used in a Ted Cruz campaign commercial about how I am everything that’s wrong with Obamacare

And then it didn’t help that as soon as they started asking Rosie to pronounce things, she was busting out words I didn’t even know she knew as crisply as a proper British lady, and the therapist exclaimed over how well she was doing, and all I could do was stare at Rosie with slitted eyes, because now I knew she was just dogging it at home. I had just been subject to a long con.

I won’t know the results of the test until next week– I will say that Rosie followed up her initially stunning performance with a ten minute incomprehensible monologue that appeared to be about the pair of shorts she wanted to put on her baby doll, but could also have been about world hunger– but I’m thinking this entire thing was just a ruse so that Rosie could get out of day care for a couple hours and play with some new toys. I hope she shows this level of dedication to her school work in a couple of years. At least I already know that she’ll be better at tests than I ever was.


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