Itchy and Scratchy

*updated in 2014 (as I still get an email every few months to ask me about this) to add: the creases are gone. Grew out. Evidently just one of Those Things.

I have noticed a convention in the blogosphere whenever Bad and Shameful Parenting Mistakes are owned up to: the comments generally take the delightful form of bracing one-down-manship. There is always a baby who was dropped further – and bounced higher. The Bad Mother trophy is generally hotly contested by an assortment of piteously hair-shirted current care-givers who are flagellating themselves over recent feeble crimes of minor omission, or by wise and wise-cracking seniors who are gleefully recounting their youthful bouts of maternal butterfingers.

I love these posts. Everyone else’s failure to achieve parental omnipotence is wryly amusing and clearly, in terms of impinging on their child’s well-being, zero to low impact. Hard floors excepted.

But this is me we’re talking about now, so you can all get your damn dirty paws off that silverware. I win it for spectacular non-observance.

Harry’s health visitor (community paediatric nurse) noticed the first time she saw him that he had ‘uneven knee creases’. I mentioned it to his paediatrician – who uttered his standard pish! response – and then I obviously mentally filed the fact under ‘No Further Action’. And shut my eyes.

I, inexplicably (while continuously bleating about how my son cannot balance properly),  seemed to somehow stop noticing that Harry’s legs are completely different in shape.

Tuesday, he was stood in the window while I was snapping photos. I reviewed the photos. I saw this:

leg toddler

And blinked. And promptly rang the GP. John, when he got home, staunchly asserted that the dent was Harry’s extra knee crease growing up his leg and that it’d always been there, but I firmly pooh-poohed him and hauled Harry into the Dr’s office – the same Doctor, incidentally, that struggled to find cervix number 2, and eventually gave up in despair.

So. He never checked his hips – in fact, he never touched him at all – but pronounced his knee ‘puffy’. He then began to refer Harry to the hospital Paediatricians, until I told him we were due to see one in a month or so. He recommended I chase up the appointment quicker, and as we left the room I saw he was googling ‘hip dysplasia’.

No… umm… harm in that, precisely. It’s what I’d been googling before walking in there. I’m now thinking of the fun he must have had trying to google – and spell – uterus didelphys after my previous visit.

And I worry about my eyesight. I have just scrutinised nearly two years’ worth of photos, and John was absolutely right. Harry’s right leg has blatantly always had that crease, albeit it started lower down. How the buggery fuck have I not noticed it?

And that’s not all, folks! This evening, as I was trying to take a photo to better illustrate the crease, I also noticed that the creases on his left buttock are asymmetrical. I know perfectly well why I’ve not noticed his buttock creases before – they’re concealed by his nappy. Despite his new-found mania for divesting himself of the hated articles at every inconvenient social opportunity, he has very little planned nappy-free time for a reason

wee accident

and that stream of pale pixels is not a trick of the light. Our carpets are officially moribund, but they don’t need actually helping into their grave, thanks, son! What’s worse, whenever this happens I feel vaguely obliged to take the opportunity to have a stab at the beginnings of potty-awareness-with-a-view-to-training-one-day-when-he-can-actually-communicate – and happily chirp out that ‘HARRY going WEE-WEES! WEE-WEES from your WILLY, look Harry! Mummy and Daddy wee-wee in TOILET‘ and then I hear what I’m saying and nearly invert myself cringing.

Apart from being extremely cross with myself for not spotting his odd folds and creases earlier and highlighting them, I really haven’t got a clue what to think about any of this. I don’t actually think his balance problems stem from dodgy hips, as his Paediatrician does check his hips every time we see him. But those are some funny looking asymmetries, and he is constantly falling on his ass. And why, HELLO there, Dr Google! (As in: the Dr we all consult, as opposed to the Dr I have, who consults him too!)

We see his Paed on Wednesday. Bring it on.

Incidentally, whilst looking through early photos I spotted some humdingers. I would, at the time, have hurled myself unhesitatingly at the throat of anyone who so much as murmured a suggestion that my child’s expressions were not the absolute epitome of beatific and sunny baby beauty – but looking back, I see that perhaps the maternal eye was a little… fogged.

The look

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