The Age of Supplementation

Last month I embraced thirty with open arms. Well, maybe they weren’t open… they weren’t folded tightly closed either. Time is marching on, with or without me, so I figured I had better get on board.

My birthday was lovely, really. It was every bit as chaotic as any other day here and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. My family surprised me with a couple of gifts that caught me totally by surprise. Some thoughtful, some sweet and some totally foreign to me (the  gift certificate to the nail salon?!). My favorite part though was all of the extra affection. When someone in this house has a birthday they can feel the love. You get a birthday countdown: extra tight squeezes when they shower you with hugs the night before. Winks as they scuttle up the stairs for bed, whispering anything-but-discretely about their plans for your special day. Birthday mornings are filled with early risers, sloppy kisses, kids hopping excitedly on one foot waiting for you to gasp in surprise at whatever shenanigans they’ve cooked up for you. Cards, goofy gifts, serenades. They/we go all the way.

But now that thirty has settled in on me I am beginning to realize that I’m getting to an age where I need to start taking care of myself better. Today I sat down with my supplement cocktail and counted out the pills. When the number of pills in your daily regimen exceeds the number of days in a week, you know you’re no spring chicken anymore.

Here’s  today’s fistful:

Daily Regimen

2X 500mg Goldenseal (2x/day)for my immune system/sinus health (I sound old already)

2X Fish Oil 1200 mg + Vitamin D 1000 IU (2x/day) to stabilize my mood: the omega 3’s help me combat my depression

1x Viactiv Complete Women’s Formula because I’m a woman

1X CoQ10 30mg for heart health since I’m genetically predisposed to heart disease

2X Cranberry 2000 mg plus Vitamin C (2x/day) because I’m a girl… and sometimes “girl stuff” happens.

2X Everlast Defense because the shrooms, berries, roots, etc. boost immunity and bacterial health

1x Viactiv Calcium chew for strong, healthy teeth and bones since I have birthed four beautiful children

 

I feel like a walking GNC. I haven’t a clue how my urine is affecting the water supply.

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Standards, Percentiles and Equivalents

Yesterday a team of four speech-language and therapy evaluators came to my home to take a gander at Captain Crazy Legs who, early on, had some hearing difficulties and has been a little bit behind on the communication spectrum. They ran him through a battery of tests, which were more like a series of fun games and activities for a busy toddler, and within moments of completion I had his personalized assesment in my hot little hands.

I will start off by acknowledging that, as a parent, taking the initial step to have a child evaluated for any delay or disability can be somewhat intimidating. You are looking for answers, wanting to be reassured that your child is “normal” or you are desperate for someone to affirm your fears that your child is needing intervention–alleviating your guilt for thinking that something might be “a little off” in your little one. Just knowing that you can help your child can be so empowering… on the other hand, not knowing how to help can be very frustrating, for you AND for your child.

Leading up to Crazy Legs’ evaluation I tried to make light of it. I didn’t mention it to our older children and we took the morning of his eval pretty slow. He slept in and was in his favorite pj’s when the crew showed up. A  few stray toast crumbs lingered at the corners of his mouth and he was tooling around with his newest toy car.

He played, stacked blocks like a pro, searched for Cheerios on command, scribbled on papers for the lovely ladies and stood on one foot. At the end of their hour long visit the therapist/evaluation team affirmed my concerns, telling me that my son was about 7 months behind in his communication skills and lags in all other areas as well. His skills ranged from an age equivalence of 18 months to 23 months, with most areas hanging right around the average 20 month old child. Then they informed me that he does not qualify for any intervention or therapy services.  On a percentile chart, his scores averaged to 29%… whatever that even means.

Before our team left I was given a helpful handout (note: sarcasm) titled “Shaping Communication”. The handout has some really great suggestions like:

Set Clear Expectations: …”I expect my child to talk.”

Play Dumb: Shrug your shoulders

Do Something to Get Something: …child has to give you the desired response to get the desired item.

Be Consistent: NO communication, NO item, EVERY time

I suppose my frustration stems from the lack of empowerment I had hoped for.  I am sure that every effort afforded to these women was made to help my child to the fullest extent that their program allows but I was left with more questions from their visit than I was given answers. I wanted to know how to help my child; the one sided sheet of tips I was given is more likely to help me paper-train a dog or shake off a pesky tourist. I want my child to feel like Mommy wants to help him, not that she doesn’t care enough to make an effort to understand him. I don’t want to pacify him, I want to encourage his growth and development. I want to foster independence, not dependence. I want to teach him to think creatively, not to act like a robot that pushes a button to elicit a response. Yes, I want him to behave. There is a difference between being strong-willed and having free-will.

Have you ever been in a place where your child was explained to you in terms of averages, percentiles, standards and age equivalents?

In Other News

If my life were newsworthy, here are the headlines that may have flashed their way across the news ticker in the past 36 hours:

 

Heavyweight Drinking Glass No Match for Angry Toddler

Out With the Old, In With the New Furniture

New PreTeen Craze Sweeps Kunkel Home: Metallic Aqua Nail Polish

Busy Housewife Shampoos Carpets Four Times in One Day

Creative Toddler Ahead of His Time? Plays Piano… With Markers

Laptop Adapter Grows Legs and Runs Away in the Night

Woman Sells Same Dryer Twice in One Day

Grade Schooler Gives up Wiping and Flushing to Save Planet

The Sink that Refuses to Drain

Flat Tire Leaves Desperate Husband Stranded

Frantic Conspirators Race to Hide Soiled Carpet

Band-Aid Shortage Riots Looming

Rising Artists Uses Own Body for Canvas

Crazed Hostess Hides Dirty Dishes in Oven

Popular Science Magazine Launches Special Bipolar Science Edition

Over Filled Dumpster Creates Border Skirmishes Between Angry Residents and Agressive Squirrels

Crowded Holiday Sale at Bread Outlet Leaves Shoppers with Bruised Ankles

Pita Vs. Pizza = Mass Confusion at Mealtime