Year two – in review

The health visitor came to visit us this morning for E’s two year review. I had no idea what to expect. She arrived carrying an ENORMOUS bag, nearly as large as her and proceeded to settle down at the dining room table.

She greeted E with the words “Haven’t you grown?!” though I’m fairly certain we’ve never seen her before (I don’t think we’ve seen the same health visitor twice) We did the techy stuff first – weighing E and measuring her height. All is well. Then there were the development questionnaires.

The NHS has devised these to check your child’s development against the average – they include questions on movement, speech, hand to eye coordination and so on. Some of them are delightfully specific. “After a crumb or Cheerio is dropped into a small clear bottle, does your child turn the bottle upside down out the crumb or Cheerio?” (Do not show him how)

I have no idea. I’ve never done this. (Has anyone?) This is apparently problem solving. I suppose it is. Anyway, she never asked this out loud but ticked yes anyway. (I guess the other questions may have answered it somehow…)

Another question was, “When playing with a stuffed animal or a doll, does your child pretend to rock it, feed it, change its diapers (I’m guessing the NHS have borrowed these questions from across the Atlantic somehow) or put it to bed?” This is also ticked yes. She did ask about role play. I told her that E likes to make her toy dragon and witch fly (from Room on the Broom). But she’s never rocked anything to sleep or looked after it though. Clearly she’s already inheriting her nurturing skills from me…

Something about health visitors always make me feel I should have loads of questions about parenting or something and I never do. She asked about three times if we had any concerns and I couldn’t think of anything to say. Funny, as this never really reflects the general feeling each day of dealing with E.

Actually I don’t mean to sound as negative as I do here. The HV was very nice and she clearly had now (or few) concerns about E’s development. She gave us a toothbrush and paste and left with a cheery wave. But not before she decided I might have chickenpox. (I don’t. A doctor confirmed it.)

Despite her arranging to call us in a couple of months’ time about something, that was our last official HV appointment ever – it feels like we’ve passed an exam.

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3 Responses to Year two – in review

  1. The whole questionnaire thing is weird. N had his check when the new system had just come in. We had the check at our surgery, where there’re no toys and no health visitor. She usually comes from another surgery, but had just left, and the new one wasn’t starting until the next day so we had a random other from Oxford. She didn’t have anything with her to assess him, he wouldn’t stand to be weighed/measure and refused to take his clothes off. It was a total waste of time as she didn’t interact with him, just took my word on what he could or couldn’t do. Maybe if she had, she might have picked up his tongue tie and seen what he could really do.

    It makes so much more sense to see the child at home, or in a group play situation. I do agree how weird it feels never having another appointment with the HV. I guess it means they trust us to look after our children, while others may need more support.

  2. Mum says:

    I apologise to any Health Visitors reading this but I’ve always found them a bit weird! When my girls were little we had a variety & the only one I really liked went on maternity leave shortly after visiting! I’m sure they do a good job in some circumstances but I just think they’re unnecessary! Sorry again!

    • basfordianthoughts says:

      I think we only think they’re unnecessary because we haven’t needed them. I can imagine circumstances where you might call them having no other option.

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