Ben's 2 year old birthday is this week. I can't believe it! In many ways, he still seems like my baby: his pudgy cheeks, slobbery kisses, and lack of verbal skills.
On Monday, he and I went for a full developmental evaluation to see if he qualifies for any speech therapy. The Part C program in Florida is a last payer program that will pick up any costs one's insurance company doesn't cover. One therapist played and interacted with Ben while another asked me questions. Both women were extremely nice. We felt comfortable and listened to. At the end of the evaluation, Ben and I left the room so they could tally the scores and write up their report.
In all, his only area of concern, the one that falls below the average range, is his expressive communication. (His social-adaptive skills, like feeding, dressing, pottying, are also a bit behind but not drastic and well, he's a bit of an immature boy.) In order to qualify for aid, the child has to score a 78 or below on the test. Ben had a 76 in speech. The therapist then informed me that we qualify...to attend a parenting class (3 hours every Wednesday night for 12 weeks and its down on Michigan St.) on how to teach your child to talk. I wanted to cry.
All my irrational guilt about neglecting Ben, not reading enough to him, not paying enough one-on-one attention to him came flooding in. And I was indignant. I wanted to (calmly, of course) inform them that I was an educated educator whose four-year-old reads at a first grade level. I know what I'm doing! Right?
My mom pointed out the positive side; he's not that bad. And when GG babysat for me yesterday she told me I'm being humbled and maybe I'm just supposed to know how to teach from high schoolers down to toddlers. And that there could be someone God wants me to meet in this group of parents going through the same trials as I am.
I spent the afternoon working on Ben's book I'm making for him for Christmas. And we colored and drove cars around the floor, got through one nonverbal temper tantrum (I'm sure it was over Goldfish), did a puzzle, and had a nice evening together. I needed perspective and to enjoy my baby who is growing up and learning things and who will one day be able to tell me all about it.