Yesterday I took Eleanor to the doctor for her 2 year wellness check up. Dr. Swindle has seen her since the first day she was born and we love him. He knows about her adoption and birth mom's medical history. He knows about Alex & Emma. We don't have to explain or go over any of that, it's just understood as part of our history. He's kind and patient with Eleanor. He's always great to assure the things that need assuring and to praise the things that need praising. He's really good at making me feel like I'm doing a good job and I appreciate that about him. (All mommas and daddies need that encouragement sometimes, right?)
I was a young first time mom once. Then I was a young mom of two little ones. Then I was a young mom of two little ones with strange needs and unidentified illness. I was a young mom whose husband was often deployed, so I was often going the day to day of parenting alone. I know what it's like to not exactly know what you're doing. I know what it's like to need to trust your instincts. I know what it's like to have doctors and nurses that made me question the things I thought I knew and doubt my instincts. It took a long time to find a doctor that helped me to lean into my instincts regarding my children, talk to me like an intelligent human being, and help me be the best momma & caregiver I could be. Once I found those people, I held on. I still hold them in the highest regard and use them as the gold standard. Dr. Swindle meets those standards for us because he is respectful, kind, professional, encouraging, and advising. We have a healthy kid experiencing normal healthy kid stuff and, somehow, he seems to understand that I sometimes need some encouraging through that. He never says it (and I never feel like he's tip toeing around me), but I think he knows I need that. It's a strange thing, having a healthy kid. It's strange and awesome and I'm so grateful.
So the 2 year check up... she's awesome. Duh. I was a bit worried that she would go all crazy toddler like she did last time, but Drew & I did with her what we always did with Alex & Emma. We told her the night before what we would be doing and just talked to her like a human. Novel concept, eh? She was a tad bit clingy when we first arrived, but she warmed up really quickly. Before I knew it, she was having all kinds of conversation. She answered his questions and narrated everything she thought needed narrating. She had worn a necklace and was eager to show it off.
Dr: What do you have?
Me: can you tell him what color your necklace is?
Me: No. Look at it. What color is your necklace?
Dr: Wow, okay. So you think she can identify some colors?
Me: Yes, she has 8-10 colors she identifies and names regularly.
Dr: Oh, okay. That's not normally something children begin doing until they are 3.
E: Nobody told her that.
That conversation progressed to shapes and vocabulary, all the while Eleanor continued to jabber jabber jabber. By the end of the visit Dr. Swindle was using words like "quite advanced". He said most 2 year olds have 50-100 words, but that she obviously had 200+. I mean, she won't walk down the stairs by herself yet, but she can tell you all about them. (Recent example: "Stairs. Be careful! Fall hurt. Ouch!") We'll keep reading tons of books and talking her up and I'm sure she'll continue to learn and progress exactly as God intends for her to.
I'm super proud of her for behaving during her doctor visit, though I'm certain she remembered prior visits that weren't so fun. The first thing she did when we were taken to a patient room was point at the jar of tongue suppressors and say, "Tongue", while nearly gagging herself in demonstration. She remembers everything.
Physically, she's also great. Her height is in the 25 percentile and her weight is closer to the 50th, which is right on track for where's she's been her whole life... so pretty much perfect. Her heart, lungs, ears... they're all perfect.
She didn't have any vaccinations this time around (it's a bit early for her second Hep A, so we'll do that at her 3 year check up unless we make plans to travel out of the country before then).
At the end of every well visit our doctor's office gives each child a book. This time Eleanor's book was The Tale of Peter Rabbit. She was excited to read it when we got home, but guess what? She hates the book. That book ripped her little heart out and stomped on it. She was really quite distraught over it. She really lost it when Peter got caught in a net and had tears in his eyes. Eleanor's little face curled up and tears rolled down her face and she was conflicted over whether to shut the book or continue going back to that page. I've put it away for now and we'll try it again in the future. (I think this means her emotional empathy is alive and well!)
Other pictures from the last few days...
On her actual birthday we spent the day in the pool and eating yummy food with friends, so Eleanor didn't get a nap. She fell asleep on the way home and, while it was really too late for a nap, I couldn't resist savoring a few baby snuggles from my big girl when we got home. It was exactly what my momma heart needed.
She used her green bell pepper as a spoon to eat all the hummus and then tried to feed the pepper to her baby doll.
We're camping this weekend and I'm so excited to hit the road. It's only been a few weeks, but it feels like it's been forever.