I’ve been good. I haven’t looked at our copy of What to Expect… for months, but recently, Violet pulled it off the shelf during one of her climbing expeditions. I couldn’t resist picking it up and flipping to the chapter on “The Tenth Month,” the section describing everything that might currently be wrong with Violet. I’m being glib when I say that, but only slightly. There is some good info there, but there’s a fine line between covering everything that a parent might want to know and scaremongering. After beginning with a list of all the things Violet “should” be able to do: stand holding on to something, play peekaboo, pull up to standing from sitting, the chapter goes on to list all the things she “will probably” be able to do and “possibly” be able to do. I have to admit to feeling a guilty sort of pride on reading each milestone that Violet has achieved and a corresponding sense of shame for every one she’s yet to reach. Following that, there is a lengthy Q&A section on “What You May Be Concerned About.” It should be prefaced with these instructions for parents: take a muscle relaxer before reading this next part. Included are segments on teeth grinding and messy eating, two behaviors that Violet engages in, as well as a number of ones that I didn’t know existed. For instance, I had no idea that some nine-month-olds hold their breaths until they pass out. They actually turn blue, stiffen, and/or twitch. My favorite bits of advice from the book? "Respond calmly to breath-holding spells," and, "No treatment is necessary for a child who has passed out from breath holding." I can't imagine getting to the point where I look at my prone, blue, twitching child and say, "Hmmm...oh, well. What can you do? She'll come to soon enough." I pray that Violet never chooses to become a breath-holder/passer-outer. I just couldn’t take it.
293 days old