Keep on Pushing Me Baby

Did you know that you can give a soon to be 3-year-old an IQ test?

You can.

And when that almost 3-year-old would prefer to hit a balloon around a room rather than answer inane questions, that nearly 3-year-old earns the distinction of “borderline.”

Yes, my son scored in the 2 percentile of “total bullshit bullshittery” category on his IQ test. He was average in other made-up areas and low in I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Butter Hoopery. I have a glisteny report that details it all and it sort of tastes like margarine.

Three years ago today, my son was born. That day was going to be a gorge-athon of hamburgers and french fries when my water unexpectantly broke and I underwent an emergency c-section because my kid was breech. He was a month early. He came out in the shape of a potato head with the same spindly arms.

He had trouble lifting his head. He didn’t walk until 18 months, but fuck if he didn’t know all the letters of the alphabet by 2.

We got on it early. By six months, he was in physical therapy. Six months ago, he started occupational therapy to help his fine motor skills. His therapists say the same thing: “He’s smart as get out; he’s just low muscle tone.”

Because of his birthday, he’s being moved from the county to the local school district, and this is why he’s suddenly “bordeline” and in the words of Madonna, it’s like I’m gonna lose my mind.

Even the IQ administrator stated the test doesn’t adequately gauge intelligence. So why are we doing this exactly?

Tomorrow he has his first committee on preschool special education meeting. The day I learned about this meeting, my “borderline” son read the word “toys” in a new book.

Something seems a bit off. In the same way, giving every child the same state assessment to judge a teacher’s ability seems like an inadequate form of measurement.

Tomorrow will be a success if I do not throw a chair through a window.


  1. I “liked” this comment in that I do not like how dumb those assessments can be, and how too many professionals trust them like conservatives trust Fox News.
    I hope no chairs go flying.

      1. This assessment was beyond ridiculous. My son just spent an entire day at day care. He wanted to do his own thing when he got home; not answer questions, and he was dinged for that. It would have been odd if he sat down and said “let’s do this.”

  2. If a chair does go flying, do get a video of it. Then all the rest of us parents with non-Stepford children can relive your glory.

    Good luck, tomorrow, Speaker7. We’ll be rooting for you.

      1. Just as long as your son doesn’t repeat that, it’ll be fine. And if you don’t kill anybody.

        Deep breaths and alcohol work wonders.

      1. No problem. Making LOLs out of depressing subjects is kind of my specialty. Hopefully your son will be crushing the IQ tests at the age four. He certainly has the potential.

  3. Oh, man, the same thing happened with Thing One. She was born a little over 3 weeks early (yet still weighed 6 lbs – we have big babies). When she was three someone mentioned that she should be talking a lot more. We just thought it was kind of nice our kid was quiet. Whoops. So I had her tested and she did the “talk to the hand” thing because I think they were annoying her. Apparently she was at a one year old level because she couldn’t do things like cut with scissors. Um, I had never given her scissors. Why the fuck would I give a 3 year old scissors??? People are stupid.

    Now she’s 12 and she makes straight As. Pfft.

  4. When I was a kid, I walked on my toes a fair amount. This resulted in the short term of having some clinic doctor traumatize my mother by telling her I had cerebral palsy. In the long term, it resulted in my having pretty bitchin calves.

    On another note, my 2 year old grandaughter has not yet developed an “inside voice”. I was going to suggest my daughter take her to get her checked, but decided that with my gradually fading hearing, this whole thing might work out.

    Hope you don’t have to go all “Bobby Knight” on those chairs tomorrow.

    1. Now the toe-walking is looked at for autism possibilities. Maybe kids just like to walk on their effin’ toes? No, can’t be that.

      I’m trying to be positive for today. I hopefully will not say something like “The IQ test was beyond fucking stupid” or just general “Fuck”–we shall see.

    1. I don’t know…maybe after spending a full day at day care and finally being at home with all his toys, a kid would rather play than assemble puzzles put in front of him by a stranger…no, he’s must be borderline.

  5. When are you going to suggest to them that they use “The Bachelor” and all contestants as controls? Watch that IQ shoot through the roof. It’s all relative really.

  6. Good lord. Beyond ridiculous. My son had some pretty significant language delays at 2. He barely had any words. But thankfully, my pediatrician realized he was only two. I understand the need for early intervention if he was autistic (and I did have that concern) She kept a watchful eye on him, he was evaluated by speech and he ended up having OT for sensory issues later on, focusing mostly on fine motor skills, He started kindergarten at 6 and is doing great today in school, top of his class (and he can cut with scissors!) Hang in there, throw a chair if you have to. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that mom DOES know her child best.

    1. See–I can’t even cut with scissors, which means I should probably hand my kindergarten graduation diploma back.
      My CPSE (because everything is an acronym in education or BEIAAIE for short) meeting wasn’t too bad. He’s going to get the OT/PT he’s been getting all along and that’s all I really cared about. And they basically indirectly said the IQ thing is stupid, but mandated by the state.

  7. I was put into a GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) program after testing high on an IQ test. They moved me into a hybrid class with kids who were a year older than I was. It was supposed to help foster my intelligence or some shit like that, but all it did was take a kid who was already socially awkward and shy around kids her own age and put her with children even older. Thanks, California Education system. You suck balls.

    IQ tests are for people who care too much about numbers. Children aren’t numbers, they’re unique creatures who need nurturing in different ways. Throw a chair, or ten.

    1. I think a chair has a higher IQ score than the brain trust who developed the IQ test for 3-year-olds. I also believe the person who developed it has never had a child, met a child or been a child…that person just sprang into being as a out-of-touch bureacratic dickweed.

  8. Oh I really feel this post. My youngest is developmentally delayed and is in OT and now speech therapy. I hate the way doctors try to label him all the time. I hate that he is seen as less-than because he doesn’t measure up to someone’s idea of ‘normal’. It’s really stressful. Good luck with it all.

    1. Seriously, not every kid is the same nor do they develop the same way, yet these #$&&@*(& milestone markers are the be-all end-all. My cousin’s son was born at 28 weeks, had some issues, but whenever the doc asked if he was doing something, my cousin always said “Yup” even though he wasn’t. He’s fine. He’s always been fine just like my son and just like yours.

  9. Wow. Good luck at the meeting tomorrow.

    Some things are worth fighting for. My family moved from Philadelphia to California when I was six. I was reading, etc., above my grade level, but the new school wanted me to repeat first grade! The cutoff birthday for starting school was different in the two states, so I’d be a month or two younger than the other second-graders. Fortunately, my mom put her foot down.

  10. As a parent and an educator, I am also ready to throw a chair (except that is my students’ territory). Can’t believe that we are moving more and more toward the idea that everyone can be measured at the same time by the same tests. Meanwhile, it would appear that as our policies get stupider, it would appear that kids are getting stupider also. Data and numbers, count; wisdom means nothing. Boo. Muscle tone is overrated.

    1. The only upside is the kids will probably be some of the best bubblers in any generation. They can color in a circle like nobody’s business.

  11. Holy shit! An IQ test for a 3 year old?!?! You should put laxatives in their coffee. Kidding…

    Happy Birthday to your obviously genius son! Just teach him how to hold up the middle finger, and he’ll be good to go!

  12. You are the perfect mother for him. You know your son and you are wicked smart and will be an amazing advocate for him as you forge forward through the bureaucratic bullshit that is public education.
    Happy Birthday Kid and don’t let the standardized testing get you down!

      1. I know but I don’t know. My best friend’s son is autistic and I have watched her SuperMom her way through the public school system. You don’t take prisoners. You can do this.

    1. Exactly. These mandates are imposed by the state to measure things that cannot be measured adequately through the assessments the state designs. No one will succeed. Our state ed even sent out an email stating they don’t expect kids will pass the new state assessment. Um….then why are we doing this?

  13. Been there done that. (Child is fine now at almost ten.) As for testing for a 3-yr-old? Overrated. Trust your gut over a psyche test. And hang in there for what may be a long awesome journey; occupational therapy does wonders for a child, delayed or not. It was worth every penny we spent if not for what we learned as parents. Hope it goes well!

    1. In all actuality it wasn’t too bad. They acknowledged the ridiculousness of the IQ test, and that’s pretty much what I needed. It’s mandated by the state and the state does a multitude of stupid things such as tying in a teacher’s job evaluation with how teenagers and little kids perform on shitty state tests such as an IQ test for a 3-year-old. Mini Speaker7 will continue to get his OT and PT and that’s it.

  14. My daughter was the youngest in her class and she couldn’t handle the scissors well for the first few months of kindergarten. She was great on everything else and by midyear she was cutting with the best of them.

    it’s amazing the stuff we (and the school system) worry about with our kids. I guess the AIM is noble (to get kids the right help, early), even if the method seems to be crap. I’m glad he’s on track and getting what he needs after all!

  15. Happy belated birthday to Speaker7, Jr. I hate bullshit assessments and development standards. I remember when my daughter didn’t babble by the age of 8 months and I cried myself to sleep thinking she was autistic until she said “babababbaba” one day driving home from the park and I felt the heavens part. For crissake. I hope all is well for you both.

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