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5:07 a.m. - 2003-01-30


We took Andrew for his first visit to the speech therapist yesterday.

We get there and are handed about 32 pages of crap we need to fill out. Since Susie's carrying Andrew and I'm standing there with my thumb up my ass, I'm the one who's asked to fill out the paperwork.

So I sit down and the first few pages are easy. I can do this. I feel like I've been given a test that I knew all the answers to.



Then the questions get a bit harder.

"When did your child first sit up without support?"

Jeez. I don't remember. I seems like yesterday. Sooooo...

"Yesterday," I scrawled.

"When did your child say his first word?"

Man oh man. If we're getting technical here..."Apple" is the only word he knows, yet he doesn't associate it with the actual fruit of the same name. Apple also means "a ball" to him. It also means "up" (up-pull) as well as "What the hell is this shit on TV?" "Apple" is his multi-purpose word. It's kinda like that Kaboom cleaning can use it for everything.

"He hasn't yet," I scrawled.

"When did he first put two words together?"

I laughed.

"Never," I scribbled.

I finally finished what I could of this paperwork and handed it back in to the snotty girl at the desk behind the glass window.

"Someone will be with you shortly," she sniffed.

"Ank oo," I said, as if I was the one who needed speech therapy.

(A lot of things I do? I do for my own f'n amusement. Fuck society and its starchy outlook on how people should properly behave in public.)

We get called back to this little room by this woman who looked like she had just stepped out of a time travel machine from 1968. She had a beehive hairdo, bright pink lipstick and turquoise eye shadow. I was tempted to call her "Flo" for no particular reason.

The room looks like a toddler's play house. There's a table in the middle of the room that's about 18 inches high. There's three chairs in the room, each designed for small children...not for adults.

"I'll stand," I said.

"No," Flo said. "Sit down. Standing intimidates the child and will be counter-productive."

So I squeeze my big ass into a child's chair and pray it doesn't break and I go tumbling four inches to the floor.

Flo lets Andrew play with some toys that look like they're covered in dog slobber. It was probably deaf-mute slobber, but man...sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between the two, y'know?

Meanwhile, she decides to ask us MORE questions about Andrew.

"Does he use jargon?"

Jargon? Like...does he speak in advertising jingles? Instead of saying "More water", he says "Where's the beef?" or "Four out of five dentists prefer water?"

No. Jargon means ... does he sit there and talk animatedly without making any sense?


This is considered "good".


The kid is two and he'll sit there and just babble, babble, babble, moving his hands around as if he's telling you a story about how he replaced the transmission in a '65 Ford Mustang...and this is good?!?

Does he know at least five words?


Now wait a second...these words don't have to be clearly understood. He shouldn't be able to say "Com-pu-ter", but if he says "Cum", that's good enough and considered a word.


I always thought that meant he wanted to be splashed with errant streams of semen when he said "cum". Instead, he just wanted to go to the Disney website. Some parent I am.

We figured out that he had several "words" for objects.

"Water" is "Wa-er".

"Cow" is "Mooooo".

"Dolphin" is "Doll".

"Double Headed Dildo" is "The lesbian stick".

These are all considered words by a certified speech therapist with a genuinely frightening beehive hairdo.

I didn't know this.

She showed Andrew a book with pictures of dogs and children and that infamous photo of the Korean guy making that goofy face with a gun placed near his temple, mere seconds before his brains were blown out. I thought it was a pretty inappropriate picture to show a small child, but I'm obviously not the trained professional here.

She then said she was going to "add up Andrew's scores" and give us the results.

Flo left the room and we sat there in nervous anticipation. This was Andrew's very first test ever. This test would give us a very good insight into how the rest of his life would fall into place. Pass this one and it's all downhill from here. Fail it and we're putting him up for adoption. I thought about holding a contest here and giving him away as a prize. The 1,000th person to sign up for Swappingtons who put me down for a referral wins the contest and gets my deaf mute son shipped to them.

(Didn't think I'd worm it in there, did ya?)

Ten minutes later, Flo comes back in the room and she's not smiling.

Oh great. Oh just f'n great. My kid may as well been born without a tongue because he's never going to talk properly.

I could bore you with all the numbers, but I'll just give you the final results.

He's 27 months old and has the speaking capabilities of a 22 month-old. This is largely due to the fact that he just had tubes put in his ears in December and is catching up with his age group.

But he's catching up quickly.

His overall score is 85 out of 100.

Basically, he gets a B in speech.

There's NO NEED to enroll him in speech therapy. Flo feels confident that in six months he will be all caught up with his age group and will be expounding on all the reasons why The Surreal Life sucks ass in very colorful fashion. father like son.

I felt a special bond to him. Like we could both hate Corey Feldman together or something.

We left the speech therapist with Andrew telling the woman "Bye Bye", warming the cockles of every heart in attendance and went to the parking lot.

It was beginning to sprinkle.

Andrew noticed this and said clear as a bell "Water".

Throwing the T in there. Finally.


That's right son.

That's water.

Water running down the cheeks of your proud parents.


How fucking cheesy is that?

Susie's having her big Northern Dying kick off party here at the house tonight.

She's made this's called White Bean Chili.

But it doesn't look like chili at all to me.

It looks more like something you'd see some desperate bastard try to choke down on "Fear Factor".

"You can either eat this rancid pig rectum...or some white bean chili."

"Rancid pig rectum!! RANCID PIG RECTUM!!!"

I told her to make sure she bought some chips and dip for tonight. Because I get the feeling this white bean chili isn't going to really fly too well.

Either that or I'm going to have a houseful of elderly women farting their intestines out for two hours.

Chips and dip, it is!!

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