This week, our local Health Visitor Amanda came a-calling for Miss O’s 2-year check. If you have one coming up, here are my key takeaways from the experience!

“…you want me to do what now??”

1 – Despite knowing deep-down that this was a standard check on my child’s progress and not an examination of my parenting skills, five minutes before she arrived, I found myself casually laying out bowls of fruit and putting the CBeebies ballet on in a last-ditch attempt to look like I had my sh*t together (and cover up Miss O’s chronic addiction to Paw Patrol and Custard Creams).

2 – If you’re going to go to all the trouble of ‘setting the scene’ this way, it helps if you remember that an entire Christmas holiday’s worth of empty wine bottles are currently sitting in the recycling box outside your front door…#FirstImpressions #NailedIt

3 – Any other day of the week your child will confidently point to a picture of a car, or tell you what noise a dog makes, but they can somehow sense that their answer is marginally more important this time around, and will therefore point-blank refuse to play ball (and apparently you get no extra points for enthusiastically woofing at the Health Visitor yourself…)

4 – Having confiscated certain items pre-visit, I spent the majority of the time whipping new dummies out of her mouth, which she seemed to be pulling out of thin air (“Oh yes, she only EVER has them at night…“) and trying to convince Amanda that she was saying ‘Rabbit’ when she was actually demanding my tablet (Damn you YouTube with your magic child-whispering voodoo!)

5 – If like me, you somehow managed to mislay the form before the appointment (whoops), you may be somewhat taken aback by the nature of the questions. I’m sorry Amanda, but I’m really not sure if my child can successfully extract a single raisin from a clear plastic bottle / thread x number of beads onto a shoelace / build a scale model of the Taj Mahal using only lollipop sticks and fromage frais…I thought this was a development check, not the Crystal Maze! And some of the tasks seem way too advanced; I mean, “Does your child put things away where they belong?” – my husband’s in his thirties and he still hasn’t cracked that…

6 – I’ve decided not to lose any sleep over the fact that Miss O was unable to identify the miniscule drawing she was presented with. I don’t have a copy, so here’s a fairly accurate recreation of it:

WTF is that Amanda?!? A person? A snowman? A one-legged cat with a pitchfork?? Pictionary is clearly not your forte…

7 – Surely “Do you have any concerns about your toddler’s behaviour?” is a trick question? #AskingForAFriend

8– It turns out that I’ve been chastising Miss O for activities that are actually key milestones:

“Does your child flip switches off and on?”
– All the bloody time! Who doesn’t enjoy a quick game of Finger Russian Roulette when you’re busy chopping vegetables and repeatedly being plunged into darkness?

“If your child wants something she cannot reach, does she find a chair or box to stand on to reach it?”
– Honest to God, at the very moment she asked the question, I glanced to my left and saw Miss O standing on her little IKEA chair gleefully helping herself to the biscuit tin…tick!

9 – Sometimes, it’s best not to go into too much detail with your answers. For example, when asked if Miss O regularly copies the activities I do, I decided to go with a brief “oh yes, definitely”, inwardly cringing over the time I found her busily making dinner at her toy kitchen whilst muttering ‘God’s Sake’ into her toy phone…it was like looking into my own, judgemental little mirror…

10 – And finally, try not to take too much offence if the child who normally greets strangers with nothing less than open hostility insists that the Health Visitor stays to play, blows her kisses and cries when she leaves (“Bye then Amanda, SHE LOVES IT HERE REALLY!!!)

Life Love and Dirty Dishes
Mum Muddling Through

17 thoughts on “The 2-year check: 10 things to bear in mind…

  1. Anyone else infuriated by the arbitrary nature of these “development guidelines”?! Who the hell decides these things? “She’s unusually tall”. Um no, she’s not. If she was looking at a fully grown height of 8ft, that might be unusual. She’s just tall. Ish. “She’s a bit behind on her speech development”. Says who?? Alright, she’s not reciting Shakespeare yet, but give her a couple of weeks ffs!! On the upside, apparently her motor skills are excellent. Now that’s impressive. I didn’t even know she could drive. Tho it has to be said, she’s pretty nifty in that Little Tykes Cosy Coupe…

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  2. We had our 2 year health check in Germany, and it was at the doctor’s surgery. My son had to do things like stack blocks, catch and throw a ball, walk in a straight line, stand on one leg etc. They also showed him pictures to see if he knew the words, but of course he then suddenly went shy and refused to say anything! Typical.

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  3. This made me smile x I love the way you right. Do you know Bea has never had a two year check. I guess it may have been done at preschool which she started at 2.5 but it has never been mentioned. I do think it is so silly to try and make judgements about any child in a single visit, especially a two year old! I love the style of your writing. Thank you for making me smile x

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  4. I love this. My first born has always been a performer and loves being the centre of attention. He always excelled at these kind of ‘assessments’. My second born however is keen to make a liar of me in front of all and refuses point blank to do anything they ask! Including being weighed and measured! Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

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  5. In Wiltshire they have done away with this vital developmental check and now send a checklist. Obviously, every parent will tick everything that is ok!
    My son didn’t do particularly well on his 2 year old check but is on track to get all his GCSEs, is very sporty and a lovely chap. All kids develop at their own rate. Fun post though…especially about the wine bottles! Haha #triumphanttales

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  6. haha we had our 2 year check in December, in Australia we have to go to a local centre to meet with our nurse, we don’t have the luxury of them coming to our homes. Overall I was nervous but my toddler made himself right at home during our visit. #TriumphantTales

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  7. Fantastic – those bloody two year check ups! I have survived two and they were completely different. One was almost like a play date, the other was basically a DIY form you filled in at home. Days I spent trying to get her to stack 8 bricks…it’s harder than it sounds right?!
    Not sure what happens if you fail…but glad we never found out lol.
    Thanks for linking to #coolmumclub

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  8. I knew I would finish this post smiling before I even started to read it! 😉 I was lucky. When the little man had his two-year review (HOW is that almost THREE years ago?!), I took him to see them. I haven’t had a health visitor in my house for almost five years. I think I got lucky. But it sounds like you nailed it! Thanks for sharing lovely. #TriumphantTales

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