Mali's 18 Month Checkup

Today was crazy hair day for Mali, too. Why not. I waited until after she had her milestone checkup with her regular pediatrician, Dr. M, though. Here's what the good doctor and I discussed:

Mali is short and chubby, though less chubby than three months ago because she is more active. She is growing into her big heed.

Our baby walks like Frankenstein because she is 18 months old, has big squishy thighs, and wears a diaper. Our slightly younger neighbor Trinian is more sprightly because 1) he is not her and she is not him and 2) he is a whippet.

Mali refuses to hold sippy cups and sippy bottles upright on her own because she is a princess and knows that if she fusses some sucker will do it for her eventually. Any concern we might have is kibboshed by her using the same required cross-midline movement to eat with a fork or spoon independently.

Dr. M encourages potty-training at this age if Mali shows signs of wanting to imitate her siblings. Riiight. That's going to happen.

She asked me if we were going to do any vaccinations at this visit. I told her no, that we'd rather wait until age two. Dr. M completely validated my choosing her to be our kids' pediatrician by saying that as long as we'd already held out this long, that she'd prefer to wait until age two anyhow to completely rule out any chances of contributing to regressive autism. She has had two patients who were totally fine at 18 months lose all language and become classically autistic by age two.

We discussed alternative vaccination schedules (which she has at the ready) and why she thinks we should at least do the DTaP (Pertussis is around, and we don't want to fuck with tetanus any more than we already have), Hib and Prevnar (serious, common, preventable nastiness).

She was more on the fence about varicella (chicken pox). She didn't vaccinate her older child. Then, when she was in her medical residency she took care of a one-year-old with Varicella that turned into encephalitis. The child didn't die, but she also never recovered. Dr. M vaccinated her second child. When I mentioned that we did vaccinate Leelo but that when we did his titers at age five he showed no immunity to varicella, and she said that it is true that it doesn't "take" for everyone.

She didn't recommend the MMR or Polio. I asked her about the rumored virulence of wild mutated measles strains, and she said that the disease isn't stronger; it's just that physicians and patients are no longer familiar with its effects. Which can be harsh. As can those of mumps--Ep later told me of a woman she knew who became deaf after getting mumps at age five.


I love that Mali knocks on doors. She does it loudly enough that I frequently think one of her siblings is responsible.

She goes down the big slide sitting down like the big girl she is. Before she went down on her tummy, feet first.

Her new favorite word is "look!" ("Loooook! Aiyrplane!")

Whenever we go by Rey de las Hamburguesas, she yells out, "French Fries?"

If we pull up to Merlin's house, she declares, "Hi, Merlin!" before we even turn off the engine.

She now says please and thank you spontaneously and appropriately, if not all that clearly. ("Pweeeeeease" and "Tank oo.")

She runs around the house looking for me, yelling, "Mama! Mama? Mama!"

If no one is around to turn on TiV0 for her, she will pick up the remote, point it at the TV, and push buttons expectantly. Since it won't work (the receiver must be turned on, too) she will wail like the addict she is.

Her favorite food is still soup. I keep thinking, "Oh, she'll never eat this one" and she keeps surprising me. (Tom Kah Gai with visible chili flakes floating in it? No problem.)

She is charming and crazy-sociable on her terms. She is the Queen of The Hole groceries, where everyone knows her and she greets all shoppers and employees loudly and with vigor. If you try to get her to perform, however, she shuts down and glares.

If she wants to read a book and you are sitting down, she will plop herself and the book into your lap without asking first.

She puts her dirty clothes in the hamper without being asked. Perhaps Iz will soon follow her model.

She is the cutest, funniest-looking little bug ever.

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