I took Dylan for his pediatrician checkup this morning and after the doctor verified that he’s pudgening up at a respectable rate, and pooh-poohed my description of the unpleasant eating/spitting up period he went through (“Yes, babies tend to do a little spitting up until around 6 months of age,” she said, at which point I considered grabbing her stethoscope, yanking her close, and shouting directly into the chestpiece: “I AM TALKING ABOUT A SCREAMING-WITH-PAIN BABY WHO SPRAYS VOMIT INTO YOUR FACE EXORCIST-STYLE, DOES THAT SOUND LIKE ‘A LITTLE SPITTING UP’ TO YOU?”, but decided against it because 1) she was in charge of the needle that was soon to be plunged into Dylan’s defenseless thigh, and 2) whatever, he seems a hell of a lot better in that department now so my need to advocate on his behalf has switched to “Is it okay if I laugh at him when he goes cross-eyed, or should that actually be freaking me out?”), she noted that he tends to turn his head to the left and advised me to encourage him to turn the other way as often as possible.

“If you notice that it’s more than just a preference, that his neck seems to be weaker on that side, we should get physical therapy involved,” she said, “so just make sure to keep an eye on it.”

What? How the hell do I know if his neck is actually weaker or if he just likes the view off to the left? Physical therapy? The kid is 6 weeks old, he’s like a flailing squid! His shit is still under construction, nothing works worth a damn yet — I mean, drop this boy in the forest and he’s TOAST: no survival skills whatsoever!

So anyway, I guess I’ll be keeping an eye on that. I suppose if his head starts drooping off to one side like a thirsty tulip we’ll know he needs to do some neck crunches, or something. I sure am glad to have something to vaguely worry about, my Fret-O-Meter was running dangerously low.

In other news, some of you know I also write at ParentDish, but did you know how often I write over there? I shoot for two posts per day, and the reason I write so often is because they pay me per post. They do not pay a LOT per post, and therefore the only way to earn a halfway decent check at the end of the month is to write, write, write.

I like earning this money because it’s enough to make a positive impact on our budget, and it makes me feel good to get paid for something I generally enjoy doing. The audience at that website is so large, it’s inevitable that some readers are going to disagree with me no matter what I say (or point out the various ways in which I am a bad person, or be offended by my choice of words, or generally treat every entry as a giant stick which has somehow become rammed up their own ass), but while I don’t enjoy receiving sanctimonious comments on a regular basis it isn’t so bad that it makes the experience unrewarding. I figure as long as people are ragging on me and not my kids I can shine it on. Plus, some of the more hyperbolic commenters are truly entertaining with their responses—I had no idea there were so many ways to wind someone’s chain. Is any subject free of controversy? The answer is NO!

Also, in some perverse way it has been helpful for me to have so many writing obligations during this time of maternity leave. It just makes me feel more productive, which helps combat that I’ve-been-working-like-a-dog-all-day-and-have-nothing-to-show-for-it feeling. And having even more ways to connect with people and hear their parenting stories makes the isolation of staying home each day a lot more manageable, despite the occasional foamy-mouthed nutbar.

So anyway, if the all-mommyblog-all-the-time stuff doesn’t turn you off, you should come visit me there. Sometimes I slip in a cuss word or two!

Lastly:

tabboxhead.jpg

I don’t always burn my child’s face with cosmetics, sometimes I put boxes on his head and tell him it’s a crown. “You’re King Tab!” I say, and he’s like, dude, this is bullshit.

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Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
14 years ago

KING TAB!!! That’s great!

I love reading the posts on all of your blogs. I do get a kick out of the commentors at ParentDish. Especially with the whole neglected pet thing, that was a riot.

Mary O
Mary O
14 years ago

I’ve noticed that you sometimes slip in a mild cussword here and there at P.D. How daring of you! I love your posts over there and I’m glad you write so many.

WCD
WCD
14 years ago

Wow they still make Tab Cola? I drank tab as a young young lady — (cough 100 years ago).

Nancy
Nancy
14 years ago

Don’t fret about the neck thing. One of my twins was diagnosed with torticolis (big name for droopy neck) because I was the one who brought it up to the pedi. Another mom in my twins group had kiddos with it and had gotten them occupational therapy via Easter Seals, so it was on my mind when the girls arrived and I noticed that BabyA’s definitely had a droopy neck. Sure, newborns have no head & neck control, but when she slept in her carseat she always flopped to one side, and when she was lying down her head always flopped to one side, and it was always the same side.

Low and behold, she was assessed @ 2 months by Easter Seals and was determined to be eligible for (FREE!) services. Maybe it was so easy because she’s a twin, I dunno. Anyway, she’s been getting weekly OT from a phenomenal therapist who loves kiddos and has extensive experience with little ones. She does craniosacral therapy with BabyA, and she’s not only helped with her droopy neck (which is really more of tight muscles on the other side, vs droopy muscles) but has given me all kinds of fascinating info about infant development. She also works with kids with sensory issues, which my babe does not have, but it’s still great info to have and to work with to help foster speedy and healthy development. She isn’t rolling yet (tho her sister BabyB is), and she’s still a little biased to one side, but it’s better than it was.

It is possible that a tilt like mine had can affect balance, crawling, walking, etc. That little bias to one side means that her perception of vertical isn’t quite at true vertical, and that little bias can impact a lot of her vestibular and physical development. Long post, long story — but when in doubt, ask for help. But if you’re not worried, it’s likely that all is well and intervention isn’t necessary.

Lisa
14 years ago

Lordy, you are one fucking funny woman! “Dude, this is bullshit” had me rolling.

Oh and on the neck thing. No need to worry…just rotate which end of the crib/bassinet/porta-crib/couch/floor/where ever he lays on. He’ll automatically turn his head in the direction of all the action and the position rotation will ensure that his neck muscles get a little equal opportunity.

Naomi the Strange
14 years ago

wow, that’s cool you get paid for writing on a blog :) people will always be assholes about stuff. it’s fun, huh. LOL

Marie
Marie
14 years ago

I got all paranoid that my daughter turned her head to one side more often, too. I mentioned it to my chiropractor, who suggested holding onto her ankles and wrapping my pointer fingers over the bottom of her feet and hanging her upside down for about 30 seconds a couple times a day. (It works best if you are sitting so you can start with them laying face up on your lap and then lay them back down without messing up the neck more.) It didn’t bother her in the slightest and I guess it helps to “unwind” their tissue or something. There was no baby chiropractic adjustment or anything, so don’t go freaking out; but even my husband who is pretty anti-chiro thought it was kind of neat to hang the baby upside down. Anyway, she totally doesn’t need a helmet or anything, that is what I was trying to get at.

I love your PD posts! I’m glad that they still have a bit of the Club Mom feel to them, and I love the way you snark back at the opinionated commenters. My favorite was the one to which you said you imagine them as a cartoon frowny face or something. Awesome.

Keri
14 years ago

Eh? The doctor thinks Dylan’s neck is more of a concern than his spitting up? What a crock! At least you don’t have to worry about EITHER issue for now. =)

Valria
14 years ago

Linda, even without any children I still read your blog over at Parent Dish, and the comments. I figured you were getting paid for those posts and hoped that the increased hits would up the price you get paid for each one. Maybe it doesn’t but your to damned entertaining to pass on any of the blogs. -V

Swistle
14 years ago

We had a pediatrician like that once. ONCE. My fretometer was spinning so fast, my head nearly spun off. He told me to “keep an eye on” an inner ear infection. Um? Can’t actually see? that area?

Ahhhh, that explains the number of ParentDish posts by ALL the writers there. I subscribed (accidentally, but couldn’t figure out a different way at the time) to the RSS feed for the entire site, so I was getting, like, 30 new posts every time I came to my computer.

Liz
Liz
14 years ago

I like how you respond to the jerks. It makes me smile.

Sunny
Sunny
14 years ago

No kids, but I also like to pop over to PD and read your blogs. I’ve noticed a couple commenters in particular are bat-shit CRAZY.

Kristen
Kristen
14 years ago

I read you at ParentDish, not because I am a mom, but because I love to read the comments. They are hilarious! And crazy!

Jennifer
Jennifer
14 years ago

I don’t have kids either but I read your PD posts. Like Valria I was hoping that the more hits you got, the more valued you would be and that they’ll raise your pay. But I rarely read the comments; I’ll pass on the snarky fighting.

Christina
14 years ago

OMG Tab crown that rocks! My kid put his underpants (like Thomas the train underoos kind of thing) on outside is jeans the other day and HE thought that was the most hysterical thing he has ever done, EVER (okay so did we, I have pictures…)

g~
g~
14 years ago

I wasn’t planning on commenting, but my four-year-old son just came over and, looking at Riley, said, “Hey. Look at that cute boy. He has *garbage* on his head!”
Too freakin’ funny.
g~

kalisah
14 years ago

when my kid was a baby, I took him in for a check up and his pediatrician told me that THE BACK OF HIS HEAD WAS FLAT from sleeping on his back which HELLO??? THEY TOLD ME TO SLEEP HIM ON HIS BACK SO HE WOULDN’T DIE A SUDDEN AND TRAGIC AND UNEXPLAINABLE DEATH!!! But I guess since his bones were still soft and still forming it was making it all flat in the back so then we had to turn his head to the side and push a blanket behind it when he slept to try to even it all out. I don’t know if it worked but he’s a teenager now with thick, curly hair and you know how they like to wear their hair in big wild afros THANK GOD so who knows if his head is mishapen under there or not?

Beth
Beth
14 years ago

Hey – we had to do the same thing about encouraging our son to look the other way. One trick we found was moving the lamp next to our packnplay/changing station to the other side. He tended to look at the light so we just put on the optimal side.

Jessica
Jessica
14 years ago

I’m also in the no kids but enjoy reading PD camp. I typically only read the comments if there’s a bunch, don’t want to miss the craziness! :)

Kim
Kim
14 years ago

Delurking to second everything that Nancy said. My son had the same neck issue and had to go to physical therapy since he was 6-weeks old. In the beginning it was a total pain in the ass. I’d have to feed him well ahead of time and make sure he’d napped well before his weekly session, yes WEEKLY session. Then I’d get a list of exercises to do with him at home, like I didn’t have enough crap to do already. What nearly killed me was when our therapist said she wouldn’t sign us off until she could see him walk because, like that smart Nancy woman said, it can impact their walking later. I thought we’d never get out of physio hell.

But you know, in the end it was the BEST thing. Our therapist was wonderful and not only gave me great info on child development but LISTENED to all my new-mommy worries. You know how you’ve been up all night with a newborn and just need someone to tell you there’s a light at the end of that horribly dark sleep-deprived tunnel? Well she was it. And in end I actually looked forward to our sessions. I’m an American living in Switzerland so maybe it’s not the same, but our insurance paid for everything. My son got private physical therapy sessions and I got free counseling. Perfection would have been if she also handed me a margarita at the end of each session. Way too long a post but like Nancy said, take the help. Love your PD posts and the asshole comments crack me up. Rock on.

Operation Pink Herring
14 years ago

I love your Parent Dish posts, and I don’t even have kids. I read every single one and I love that they’re short and plentiful.

Tessie
14 years ago

Dude, my pediatrician was all up on our jock about my daughter’s supposed “head position preference” or whatever and not to be dismissive, but like you my radar said No Big Deal.

And of course, in the grand tradition of annoying baby shit, it went away all on its own.

Moderndayhermit
14 years ago

My son had a similar issue and I was kind of pissed that they didn’t think anything of it until he was a bit older.

It was easy to correct (for us, thankfully). We just turned his head to look in the opposite direction once or twice a day (which he HATED). His was due to the neck muscles not being loose enough as opposed to being too weak.

angela
14 years ago

I only read sporadically at PD but I’ve never really seen any bad comments. I did see the dog comment and I really didn’t see the big deal. Not every one is going to agree with you, it’s a fact of life.

fairydogmother
14 years ago

“sometimes I put boxes on his head and tell him it’s a crown. “You’re King Tab!” I say, and he’s like, dude, this is bullshit.”

We do this at our house too, except we put boxes on the dog’s head. What can I say, we’re easily entertained!

lulu
lulu
14 years ago

“I suppose if his head starts drooping off to one side like a thirsty tulip”

divrchk
divrchk
14 years ago

My friend’s baby had to have physical therapy for favoring one side more than the other. It’s not that big a deal, just annoying to have to go.

lulu
lulu
14 years ago

DAMMIT my comment was half eaten. I meant to write that your thirsty tulip comment is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long, long time. Thank you!

mixette
mixette
14 years ago

Congratulations on the successful pudgening!

ElizabethZ
14 years ago

Long Live King Tab! Too funny :)

Anyway – about the torticollis – it can be nothing but it can also be a real problem so DO keep an eye on it – it can cause plagiocephaly/brachycephaly (that misshapen head thing mentioned above which besides the heads, can cause facial features can get out of whack, ears out of alignment, forehead bossing, all kinds of stuff – so while it can be and usually is no big deal – seeing it early is great – and one of my twins had a bit of it – we just worked on getting him to look the other way as much as possible, it went away. It also can be a bigger deal.

I guess my point is don’t freak out, but don’t treat it like nothing either – there can be complications from it down the road if you aren’t careful! Of course I know you will be – I love your blog – and you are always so hard on yourself – you’re a great mom!

norm
norm
14 years ago

I laughed uproariously at people who “… generally treat every entry as a giant stick which has somehow become rammed up their own ass.” I would like to bronze that comment.

sooboo
14 years ago

I read you over on the other blog too, though I have no kids. Man, those wacky comments are almost as entertaining as your writing. I like to picture these folks as they live their day to day lives. What a nightmare they must be to come into contact with!

Jennifer
14 years ago

Dude, I wish I could be permanently connected to a Tab Energy IV.

Viva King Tab!

Christine
14 years ago

I read at PD even though I am childless because no matter where you are you crack me the hell up. And if you aren’t making me laugh there are commenters at PD who inform me that I am not treated with respect if my husband/lovah does not lovingly put on and remove my shoes for me. Or that you know, putting a binky in a baby’s mouth is child abuse. Or…the list goes on.

Sometimes, they make me laugh more than you do. That’s what I call a talent, and I mean, you’re the mother of the King of Tab so you know you some funny.

JennyM
JennyM
14 years ago

All Hail King Tab!

I’m *another* one of those with no kids who nevertheless reads you at ParentDish. And I read the commenters too, and sometimes it makes me feel better, because damn, at least I don’t have that stick up my ass.

Anyway, I love your writing. You almost make me want to have kids. Almost. :)

JennyM
JennyM
14 years ago

Oh, and also, my nephew had the neck issue as well and fortunately the “physical therapy” was generally as easy as some people have mentioned — i.e., moving the lamp. And it wasn’t long at all before he was flopping his squishy baby head in *both* directions like a champ. But their pediatrician had the same air of “oh, watch out for this, too” at which point my sister-in-law was all WHAT? PROBLEM? EXPLAIN? Like, honestly, how does a pediatrician forget that a new mother is likely not to respond favorably to a tossed-off comment about implied deformity?

Deanna
Deanna
14 years ago

King Tab- cracked me up!
When I saw the picture but before i’d read the explanation, my thought was “Ahh- nice change from tinfoil” (referencing the “gov’ment” comment from a previous week.

Stacy
Stacy
14 years ago

The pediatrician diagnosed my son with torticolis and it turned out to be total BS. Don’t let the droppy neck worry you- it will work itself out without PT (I thought the whole idea of PT on an infant was ridiculous too and didn’t do it). Let the pediatrician teach you some exercises and massage techniques and his little neck with be straight in no time.

All Adither
14 years ago

My first babe only turned his head to the left for a long time. Don’t sweat it too much.

Anne L.
Anne L.
14 years ago

I also am a PD reader… and I have to say that there are days that the comments are insanely entertaining!
King Tab…

Rosie
14 years ago

My nephew favored looking to the left. My sister-in-law waited too long to get concerned about it and now he has an incredibly obvious flat spot on the back left side of his head. Even after wearing the very expensive helmet that didn’t make him stand out at all ;). Did I mention that it’s very obvious? Because it totally is. So yeah, google ways to get your lil nugget to look the other way.
cheers and drive-by parenting,
Rosie

mandy
14 years ago

My son was diagnosed with torticollis, however you spell it. We went to P therapy for a few weeks. All she told me to do was hold him up, twisting him side to side, so his head could stretch each way. I did, and he was fine. BUT because of his preference for one side, he had a very misshaped head. Flat on one side, eyes and ears were even crooked because of it. He is now one and still has a misshapen head, but he is gorgeous anyway. So, now is the time to switch his sides, with a blanket or something while he sleeps only one side. If you notice him on the preferred side, just gently turn him the other way and stick a blanket behind his head. Whenever I fed him, I held him the same way and when he slept, he always preferred one side. Even after the PT. We saw a neurologist at Duke Hospital about the shape of his head and said the helmets were marketed for suckers. Preying on their guilt. He said when his brain begins to really grow, the skull will even out. It is, but I think it really takes time. Good luck!

Lesley
Lesley
14 years ago

It’s probably best if I don’t read ParentDish too often. I’m liable to come out swinging against those who would disparage you. Stepfordwives always rub me the wrong way.

Lesley
Lesley
14 years ago

hey, Linda, re the “neck thing” – I watched the Daily Show the other night and Senator somebody or other was on talking about how when he contracted cancer a few specialists told he had weeks to live and misdiagnosed him and caused him no end of needless worry and grief. They are fallible and they say this shit because they’re learning things all the time and have an obligation to mention it. She saw your babe for all of a few minutes. Didn’t even mention the name of this “disease” your commenters mention. He’s probably fine. My thought is he’s probably entranced gazing at his mom, dad, his brother, and his toes.

jennifer
jennifer
14 years ago

Sanctimonious AND hyperbolic in one blog entry…I love your big words!;-) And I will continue to semi-stalk you and drink in all your experiences and (thank god) funny and real reactions and responses as my 2nd son is growing inside of me (I read that this week his balls are dropping…oh joy!)and as my 1st son is turning 2. Keep prepping me Sista as my life as I know it is about to change in a big way. (eek!)

Meagan
14 years ago

I think the comments there have been a bit tamer lately. pbhj was giving you a hard time but at least he laughed when you called him on it. At the very least it seems like the supportive “OH MY GOD EXACTLY” comments outnumber the “this is awful” comments by about tenfold.

Alyson
Alyson
14 years ago

Girl, you have a WHITE COUCH? What the hell were you and JB thinking…….you have BOYS!!!

A year from now, you will have a grey couch, believe me.

Clueless But Hopeful Mama

Sorry to further address the Neck Thing but I just wanted to say my daughter had a neck tilt and we started PT a bit late (my ped kept telling me it was no big deal and then at the 6 month appointment was like “Hmmm, her head is really tilted! Let’s do some PT” and I was like “F YOU”.). She’ll all good now, even though we started late but I wish I had caught it earlier.

Nicole
14 years ago

My daughter had her collarbone broken at birth so we had to lay her on one side for the first few weeks, which immediately made her head develop a flat spot. We took her to a baby chiropractor and she sorted things right out. Its interesting to know that this can affect development (as one commenter noted). Everyone was teasing me for being vain. Glad that I didn’t listen!