We have determined that Tessa probably needs some speech therapy... and on her preschool teacher's referral, we signed her up for this free program through the school district that starts speech therapy with kids 3 through 5. So today was Tessa's initial evaluation screening. Let me preface this story by saying that Trav was supposed to be off work today to watch Tanner while I took Tessa. But, it's the last week of the month... he had to go in. The evaluation appointments are booked two weeks in advance, and so I figured I'd just take Tanner - surely it would be okay.
Well... we arrived on time (shockingly) and walked in to have three therapy ladies waiting on us. Tessa immediately buried her head in my lap and refused to speak to any of them. Luckily, one of them was very kid-friendly, and pulled out some small blocks, built a tower and asked Tessa to knock it down. This pleased Tessa... and so she warmed up.
The same lady began asking specific questions about pictures and wanting Tessa to identify things as a means of getting her to say certain words. Tessa complied. Things were going good. I was relieved. Tessa was cooperating and doing what they were asking. Tanner was sitting in his stroller and was happy, and I frantically filled out the program's paperwork hoping he'd stay that way until I was done. After about 15 minutes, they finished the screening. Tessa scored low and they wanted to do "further testing". At that point is when things started to go downhill.
On another side note, Tanner makes this noise... it is somewhere between a grunt and a scream, and it sounds awful and is very loud. He uses this sound to voice his dismay with various things, but primarily seating arrangements. So, just as one of the ladies was pulling out a new stack of "paperwork" for me to fill out, Tanner begins making his "noise". At this point, the lady working with Tessa pulls out a new book of pictures for her to look at, and Tessa promptly climbs down from the table, walks over and informs me she's "done", and is ready to go home. Great...
I put the papers aside and try to coax Tessa back into working with the lady and doing what she asks. Tessa is ignoring me and the therapy lady, and instead, she now begins jumping around the room counting squares on the rug in English and then in Spanish (we were watching Dora before we left), and needless to say, the therapy people were not impressed.
All this time, Tanner is in his stroller making his "noise" just getting madder and louder. So, I pick him up out of the stroller. He's squirmy... he wants to crawl. The lady with the paperwork (who is growing very concerned that I'm not getting that finished) encouraged me to "let him down" and he'd be fine. The room was pretty open with some room for him to crawl, and so I did.
Now, the lady working with Tessa has had no luck getting her refocused on these pictures. So she reaches into her pocket and pulls out a whole bag of little glittered "Scooby Doo" stickers. Score! Tessa is thrilled. However, as the lady begins to tell her she can have a sticker if she'll look at the pictures and tell her what they are, Tessa ignores her and decides she'll just help herself to a sticker now instead. So, as Tessa is reaching for the stickers, the lady pulls them away and then spills the whole bag... Glitter stickers - everywhere. Therapy lady - very annoyed.
So at this point, I set aside the paperwork I'm trying to finish filling out, and go over to see if I can get Tessa to cooperate. By now the original lady working with Tessa has called her coworker over for back up. They're going over Tessa's file and realize that she is 3 and not 4... they seem relieved... and pull out another book to try. But unfortunately, Tessa is still steadily ignoring all of us and the pictures we're asking her to look at, and has now moved on to playing with the headset attached to the hearing test equipment.
One of the ladies takes the headphones away from Tessa, and of course, Tessa gets mad... and as I'm going to pick her up and give this one last try, I hear Tanner (who has all this time been playing quietly under the table) cough. Just as I look at him, the cough turns into a gag, and with that he barfs up pretty much his entire morning bottle onto the therapy room floor.
The three therapy ladies gasp and move back, Tessa keeps crying, Tanner keeps barfing. And as I'm cupping my heads trying to catch the barf and keep it from hitting the therapy room carpet (which was pointless) what do you think comes flying out of Tanner's mouth and into my hands?? A Scooby Doo glitter sticker.
So there I am on the floor of the therapy room sitting in baby barf, completely and totally humiliated surrounded by the three therapy ladies, who I'm sure were thinking that they do not get paid enough for this, as they were handing me paper towels. Tessa is now standing at the door crying, holding my purse saying she wants to go home, Tanner is covered in baby barf, my hands are covered in baby barf, and of course, all this and my paperwork is still not filled out!! As I tried to mop the barf off the rug, I told them I thought we probably should just "reschedule". Needless to say, they agreed.
So in two more weeks, Trav will be taking Tessa back to complete her evaluation - not me! I think he'll have better luck getting Tessa to cooperate with their requests. Once the initial evaluation is complete, the therapist will go to Tessa's school and do her sessions there. So hopefully I'll be lucky enough to never have to face those ladies again!!