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


16 Responses

  1. That is one grumpy looking child! Also, I see your asymmetrical creases too, also I don’t feel it can be co-incidence. Heck the physio blames my ankle pain on 1 arse cheek being smaller than the other (note to self must sort that out…)

  2. Oh, dear. He looks quite unhappy. Good thing he wasn’t armed.

    I hope this allows you to figure out what in earth is going on with this boy!

  3. I laughed at the pee-pee pic. Sorry.
    In other news, I hope you figure out the issue soon. Don’t beat yourself up. I’ve seen parents who didn’t notice a crossed eye.

  4. My first medical crisis (I had them every ~7 years until the last one at age 13.5) involved my parents dragging me to the doctor because one of my legs had more fat rolls than the other. They thought one of my legs was shorter than the other. It wasn’t, I was just fat.

    Even though I have a very low center of gravity, and it’s hard to knock me over unless you actually pick me up, I am quite clumsy. But my legs are the same length.

    Love that picture of Harry – actually most of them are quite entertaining! My daughter can shoot daggers from her eyes quite well, too. It’s a useful skill to have.

  5. Well, it certainly looks as if you are on to something isn’t it? And don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes the greatest discoveries are epiphanies after all.
    I think that all of your pictures of Harry are just great, and I love that one, he looks as if you are interrupting his very busy day!

  6. Xray that boy, fortwith.


  7. You know I have no idea whether anyone in this house has symmetrical creases or not so not noticing I think is 100% normal. Really.
    That stare though is a tad spooky.

  8. […] Itchy and Scratchy « The Hairy Farmer Family. . […]

  9. The Wee pic a classic for the girls, as well as the overly censored naked pic.

    And as for not noticing don’t beat yourself up, you noticed now and that is a result. x

  10. I see a baby Ray Winston in that last pic – LOL!

    Very interesting in the creases. You have truly been failed by that Dr – he could at least waited until you were gone to google. Can you not change?

  11. That photo of Harry giving Death Ray Stare is a classic. I still think it’s as cute as. And yes, good thing about the Paed visit. Just remember to keep breathing.

    X R

  12. A friend of my son’s broke his elbow while playing at my house. I gave it a rub better, and told him to sit out the next game. Do I get some kind of trophy for that?

    BUT a friend of a friend – who is a GP – sent her son back onto the soccer pitch with a broken leg. So perhaps I only get 2nd prize.

    Children Harry’s age rarely stand still long enough to make a thorough assessment of their skin creases. Don’t beat yourself up. Congratulate yourself on being on the case now (especially since a paediatrician told you to ignore it).

  13. […] with nary a qualm, but this will be the first time someone has looked – I am discounting my young googling locum GP’s vain attempts  – at my cervi since about 2 hours before Harry emerged from one […]

  14. I see the creases now you point them out. We look at our kids every day; I couldn’t tell you right now if Sam’s legs are symmetrical or not. I’ll be sure to look tomorrow, though! Don’t beat yourself up. You were looking at so many, many other things. How could you have caught this too?

    Your doctor on the other hand…him I worry about.

  15. my boy is the same as yours, the extra crease on the bum and the crease on the other leg, im going to see
    my public health nurse, just wondering how you got on, is it hip dysplasia, my boy will be 3 at x mas and have noticed the creases for the last 6 months and its eating away at me….

  16. […] seemingly permanent locum young GP early today – he seems to have flowered a fair bit since the hip-dysplasia-Googling incident – who asked me lots of questions about heartburn, said throat appeared ok-ish really (and it […]

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