Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mark Andre

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

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132 Comment

  • Rant: Hiring freeze.
    Rant: If you ask someone on a dating app to meet, you should not then expect them to then plan/coordinate the entire date. After all the “ugh”-ing I did yesterday, I ended up just unmatching the guy because he was totally not invested even though he’s the one who originally asked to meet up.
    Related: If your name starts with a D and has an X in it and I unmatched you yesterday on Tinder, please be more invested and then find me again! I’m still intrigued by you if you can get it together!
    Rant: RRRR could literally not come soon enough today. I feel like I’ve been awake for a full day and it’s only 9:15.

    • Andie302

      +1 to your hiring freeze rant. A guy in my office that was supposed to come back off of PMF rotation took a job in the office he rotated in – so now we won’t be able to replace him. Ugh

    • How much work is it to “plan/coordinate the entire date”? Isn’t it just agreeing on a day/time, and coming up with a venue?

      • Textdoc, its not but if they are unable to make any of the decisions on Time, date, place you start to get decision fatigue

      • I gave him two evenings that would work for me and he just said, “Yeah.” Which was…. not helpful. I guess I should have just said “Let’s meet Wednesday at 7pm at place x” but c’mon.

        • Ahh, that’s lame. If you say “I can do Wednesday or Thursday,” he should pick one and say “Let’s do Thursday.” (Or say “I can’t do either — are you free Monday or Tuesday of next week?”)

          • Exactly! I don’t mind proposing times/places but give me *something* to work with!

          • Dating should not be this hard!

          • Accountering

            Agree – this is sloppy. If you give him Wednesday and Thursday, he should say – sounds great, let’s meet at 7:00pm on Thursday for beers at DC Reynolds. Or something along those lines. Sounds like he doesn’t quite have his act together.

      • It’s not hard work, but if I ask someone out, I’d expect to plan the date.

    • NH Ave Hiker

      Same to the rant on hiring freeze. I’m in a pathways recent graduate program, and just about done the 2 years. I haven’t heard yet whether this will affect my permanent placement 🙁

      • Same here, I’m done with my PMF program in 3 weeks. I think I’ll be okay because the position already exists, I’m just being converted to permanent, but I’m not completely sure.

        • Current PMF here (in HR). If you are not an ‘at-large’ PMF you should be fine. Granted the language in the hiring freeze can be taken in a lot of ways, but if the position is being filled by you and you ‘swore in’ you should be fine.

    • This really did make me laugh out loud because I COMPLETELY feel your pain.
      Which leads to my rant: Why do guys ask for your number, follow on social media, and then fall off the face of the earth? Why ask for someones number if you never plan to use it? Bizarre but I guess people change their minds… meh.
      Rave: I saw the sun this morning and it made me very happy : -)
      Rave: Got more than 6 hours sleep and feeling slightly more refreshed
      Sentiment: Hope everyone has a good rest of the week! Weather is supposed to be nice tomorrow.

      • I’m glad I made you laugh! People are so weird! I’m sure women are weird, too, and it’s just not as apparent to me. In this case, I felt both disappointed and like I was being rude unmatching him but I also felt like there was nothing I could say that wouldn’t sound … bossy? So I just walked away. Such is life.

    • Re: hiring freeze…ugh I guess my job search is over. This is going to be a long however many years he manages to stay in office. Also what happens when the boomers start retiring in massive numbers? Haven’t they said that is something like 40% of the federal workforce?

      • Yup, I think I read 30% in the next two years.

      • well, if a certain boomer retires from his government job first, I think we can all celebrate?

      • I’m skeptical that we’d be able to fill the boomers’ vacancies anyway. Most young people just aren’t that attracted to federal jobs

        • On the contrary, my office is full of young people (including myself) and has a lot of Pathways interns looking to be hired right now. Maybe they aren’t attracted to certain federal agencies but I don’t think this is true across government. There is demand for jobs from recent graduates. (And also veterans — I’m also wondering if they’ll be frozen out as part of this hiring freeze.)

          • Yeah, but a lot of young people leave too. I started with about 100 young people (ages 22-34) in 2008 and I’d say maybe half of them are left? Many left government altogether.

          • My first job out of college was for an agency that mostly hired people right out of college. The turnover rate was so high. Most of us decamped for private sector before our first year was up.

          • Maybe my office is an anomaly then. We have a lot of people who have been here for several years (although we also have a big promotion ladder and lots of transfer opportunities within the office — that’s definitely a huge reason for our employee retention).

          • Must be. Mine had a very good promotion ladder too (although there wasn’t much variety in the type of jobs available).

          • I think that’s the thing– millennials aren’t as money-motivated as previous generations. They’re not content to push paper in exchange for a steady well paying job.

          • Ummmm, not sure I’d say that. We have a HORRIBLE time with Millenials in our office because they think they should be promoted within one year. You can say that’s “not being content to do x, y, z” but that’s also not how life works. We interviewed someone who had worked in 5 different jobs in 6 years – jumping up the ladder in each one. I didn’t recommend the person but another department hired them and they were WAY in over their heads. They weren’t acquiring skills, just trying to get a promotion.
            And with that said, my company is NOT a bad company to work for. It pays well, we have COLA and also merit raises each year – and that’s on top of other promotions. These kids just don’t like being in charge.

          • Ugh. They don’t like NOT being in charge. Maybe they are smarter than me…

      • I’m not sure of the official overall number, but I did see yesterday that there are 3x more people over 60 than under 30 in the federal workforce. A few rounds of buyouts and nothing gets done.
        Also: “why don’t these young people just go get a job?” “Maybe because you’re hoarding them?”

        • I read something recently about how there are retirement consultants helping DC professionals retire. These aren’t people who need the money, just workaholics who can’t let go. I have a relative in his mid-80s at the EPA who is like that. I mentioned that if he waits until after the hiring freeze to retire, the agency will be worse off because they won’t be able to replace him. He didn’t seem to care. So selfish!

          • Yup – I’ve heard this phenomenon referred to as the “ass ceiling” – as in, these folks won’t vacate their desk chairs, therefore preventing younger staff from moving up the ladder.

          • I know squatters, “double dippers” (retire from the government and take a contracting job), and people who have made irresponsible life decisions and feel they can’t financially retire. It’s a big problem both for people who have aspirations to management and the young people who would take the entry-level position that would open up as others filtered up the ladder. I really like some of these people (REALLY! Some of them make amazing coworkers on both a professional and personal level), but it’s pretty selfish, as you note.
            I was hired right out of grad school with minimal experience (one relatively rote internship and two hybrid internship/temporary entry-level positions – totaling less than a year of work in my field between them). Now we’re asking for 2-4 years of experience from our new hires, since the competition is so fierce. Our agency has middling turnover (most people get promoted, change positions, or leave within 3-7 years), but many other agencies have almost none, and that ups the competition for the slots that we have.
            I love my job, but the only thing I want to be doing at 80 is traveling and yelling at kids to get off my lawn. I just don’t understand the “I’m gonna keel over at my desk” mentality.

          • I don’t have a problem with the double dippers. Sometimes you want to stay involved but not be bound to a 9-to-5 schedule. And if the agency is willing to hire them, it’s probably because they consider their expertise valuable, not because they have no choice but to keep them around.

          • Most of the double-dippers I know aren’t quite as irritating as the squatters and failure-to-planners. Many of them took buyouts in their early 50’s and aren’t even retirement age yet. Still, I know a few who are clinging to jobs well into their 70’s, and…you just gotta let it go!
            I guess I would ask all these people: did you train your staff well? If so, the world won’t stop turning if you’re no longer there. You’ve had 30, 40, sometimes 50 years to “impart your wisdom.” If you’re really concerned, join a mentorship program or start one of your own, even if it’s informal. You can even do this after retiring. But know that your staff is not going to have the career you did or retirement you *could* if you keep occupying the leadership positions that you’ve held *forever.*

    • Your rant reminds me of a recent interaction. Me and a woman swapped 10 messages or so, and I noted she never asked me anything or volunteered anything without me asking specifically. She said I was moving too fast. Promptly blocked!

  • skj84

    Rave: The Oscar Nominations bring me such joy. So glad to see Viola Davis get her 3rd Oscar nomination and lots of Hidden Figures love. I’d switch Janelle Monae for Octavia Spencer though. My prediction is La La Land will probably sweep. Going to see Fences and Moonlight this weekend.
    Rant: Got my eyes checked yesterday, and my vision has deteriorated. My astigmatism in my right eye has worsened, and the doctor is concerned I may have glaucoma in my left. Which really freaked me out, I have no family history, and in only in my early 30’s. Going back for glaucoma tests in the next few weeks.
    Rave: took a Lyra class last night. It was so much fun and I managed not to fall on my head.
    Rant: oh the bruises. All over my legs. Worth it though.

    • dcgator

      Viola’s got it in the bag, and apparently Hidden Figures might grab best picture, so that’s something to look forward to. Hope you enjoy Fences—its style is not for everyone.

      • skj84

        I’ve heard that Fences is pretty much the play on screen. Very talky, less action? I’m ok with that, but I could see it being off putting to some. I’m also reminded that I should find my copy of the play.

    • Am I the only person who didn’t enjoy La-La Land?

      I hope that Fences takes a lot of the awards — it was awesome! And I’m looking forward to checking out Hidden Figures.

      • skj84

        I haven’t seen La La Land yet, but I’m not really feeling it. And the more I read about the movie the less I want to see it. Anyway I need to give it a shot, before I can really make an opinion.

      • dcgator

        I LOVED La La Land, but I think all the praise it’s getting is turning me off of it. Weird, I know. Fences was great, but it’s more about the performances than anything else.

      • I think I would have liked it had the two leads been able to sing. Even with the processing, they were incredibly off key for most of the movie. It made me want to cry.

      • Have you seen the SNL skit about that (not really liking La La Land)? Pretty funny.

    • I have awful vision as well (terrible astigmatisms, and developing cataracts in both eyes at 30) and I’d recommend getting a second opinion on the glaucoma. I have the worst vision in my family, but almost everyone on my mother’s side has cataracts. when my nana was about 85, the doctor told her she had the beginnings of glaucoma and needed to begin treatment. cut to 5 years later, nana’s still taking twice daily drops, no complaints about vision issues. my mom asks her opthamologist to take a look at her eyes for glaucoma since my nana has it–no signs in my mom. she asks him to check my nana who was also at the appointment, he says I actually don’t see anything here, are you sure the other doc diagnosed glaucoma? it’s a serious issue, one that I fear, but I’d definitely talk to someone else before beginning the treatment.

  • RANT: Federal hiring process coupled with the hiring freeze, FML

    RANT: I think I have an ulcer and am on liquids only for a few days

    RANT: I didn’t win the powerball last week

  • Rant: still beat up from yesterday’s run in between bike and truck. Hoping my knee is just sore and not injured…
    Rave: I’ve got two good books in rotation and a good tv show.
    Rant: working through sticky issues with mentally ill friend who is in bridal party of our best bud with me.
    Rave: work travel planning for the year ahead had some new and interesting places. Looking to squeeze in some vacation time as well.

  • Rant: overslept by a half hour again. Ugh.
    Rave: Still managed to get out the door mostly on time, by some miracle and a lot of strong-arming the preschooler into getting up and dressed.
    Rant: Need to renew my DC license. Ugh. Perhaps I can pull off a trip to the DMV over lunch some day.
    Random: I really want to see La La Land–anyone know if there’s a way to stream it online for an at-home date night? Or is it not available online yet?

  • Rant: I am attempting to take a break from social media. Easier said than done.
    Rave: Baby Artie was in an excellent mood this morning. That made our commute really pleasant.
    Rave: I refinanced my student loans. Another thing I can check off the to do list.
    Rant: So behind in the class I’m taking.

  • maxwell smart

    RANT: Last year’s raise resulted in IBR loan payments increasing $260/month starting in March. One financial step forward, 2 steps backwards.
    RANT2: Being in the pocket of student loans + rising uncertainty about the economy + being dealt a harsh blow last time the economy tanked = rarely taking vacation, which also means I’m VERY close to maxing out my vacation accrual.
    RANT3: H1-B. Worried to see co-workers suddenly lose Visa’s because we need to “put America first”

    • Re your first rant: Ugh! I’ve been worried about that happening, but I also feel like we’ll have to take raises when we can get them at this point (especially for feds). It’s a catch 22.

      • maxwell smart

        I think I might be getting close to the threshold of being kicked off IBR… it was a good run while it lasted.

        • I maxed out two years ago, and my payments are painful ($700). But I’m grateful for the 3 years of lower payments, which helped a lot at the time, and that will also mean there will still be a fair amount that gets forgiven in 5 years!

          • maxwell smart

            I have about + $150 on you… ugh. Unfortunately I don’t get the 10 years forgiveness; IBR would have been 20 years, but I think once you get maxed out of the program, you also lose the forgiveness.

          • You guys, i’m terrified about this. If the IBR goes away, my payments go up to about $1600 per month – how the f*ck am I supposed to afford that?! That’s more than my rent + utilities!

          • LBP – IBR is going away for maxwell smart and kanon because their income went up, so don’t worry about it yet. (I’m more worried about Public Service Loan Forgiveness, which is one of the only reasons I bothered getting my Master’s. Yikes!)

          • maxwell smart

            @LittleBluePenguin – it’s fine. Once Donnie T successfully catapults the US into a deep recession and we all have to get jobs at the coal mines and factories because we should be a manufacturing economy rather than a knowledge and science economy, we can all file for loan forbearance because we will be making minimum wage.

          • @maxwell smart – god I hope you’re very, very wrong on that one. This whole thing bums me out so bad!

          • maxwell smart

            @LittleBluePenguin In times like these, I find making light of the situation to be the best means of coping.

        • Oh, I’m worried about the Public Loan forgiveness going away too, because it’s part of the reason (not the only, but part of) I’ve worked in the non-profits I have and do, but I’m just scared of it all vanishing…. : (

        • can you guys explain what you mean abut getting kicked off of IBR? Do you just mean you are making enough that your payment based on your income is now the same as what your payment would be on the standard repayment plan? I was under the impression that there was no upward limit on IBR. by the way, I recently switched from IBR to REPAYE and my monthly payment went from 850/mo to 645/mo. It might be worthwhile to look into whether that makes sense for you.

          • It’s actually REPAYE that has no upper limit on payments. Be careful if you expect your income to increase substantially before the repayment term is up.

    • I don’t think h-1b visa will be eliminated or anything like that. It does need to be revised though. The minimum salary and other requirements are way too low now. Many h-1b visa holders themselves agree.

      My wife is the only person on her team NOT h-1b, and their work could be done by any decently educated/intelligent person (such as my wife).

      So while I sympathize with your colleagues, and there are plenty of counter examples to mine, the h-1b does have its problems.

    • And yet: http://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/2016/12/23/trump-winery-under-fire-after-applying-for-visas-seeking-foreign-workers.html
      It’s not just the winery either. The Florida Trump properties employ hundreds of low-skill workers ($10-12 per hour) on visas.

    • I have no sympathy for the H-1B program. Its misused and abused every year. Majority companies don’t even try to look for qualified candidates, and most of these Employers are from that country, and are just trying to bring in friends and family. Working in IT, I have worked with many H-1B employees, whose jobs are could be done by most college graduates.

  • Rave: Exercised last night for the first time in weeks.
    Rave: Finally got enough sleep last night after weeks of not sleeping and feeling like shit in the morning.
    Rant: Weird interaction on work elevator with a coworker that I don’t know. Yes, I am going to the eighth floor and the elevator is stopping on every floor to let folks out. No need to laugh at me about it. Especially when you’re getting off on the seventh floor.
    Rant: Federal hiring freeze.

  • That One Guy

    Rant: woke up in a grumpy mood for no apparent reason.
    Rave: the renters across the street are moving out so that mean that I don’t have to deal with the night club garage anymore. Never understood why they seemed to congregate in their garage instead of inside the house.

  • Rant: I think I’ve officially hit the painful stage of pregnancy. So uncomfortable and stairs are presenting an issue (which is a major problem in a multi-story row house).
    Rave: But it’s only a few more weeks. That’s become my mantra.
    Rave: It looks like we’ll be able to slip in one last date night before the big day. Crossing my fingers that it includes Thai food and Hidden Figures.
    Rant: I’m out of ideas for Valentine’s Day and I was hoping to get the Other Mrs. Rabbit a gift early. We never do anything major or even remotely romantic but just something small and typically extremely practical (that’s become a joke in our house over the years as we’ve gotten each other everything from a new shower curtain to a pair of winter boots).

    • Flashlight? There’s always an need for one more flashlight. Or organic bug spray that smells nicer than the normal?

      We just do cards and nice dinner at home.

  • Rave: Had a good night’s sleep last night!
    Rant: Not long enough, though. Need to figure out how to have energy to unpack when I get home while also being able to go to sleep at an early enough time….
    Rave: I love the feeling of trying to decide what the eat today because my cupboards are so stocked! I realize I’m really really privileged to feel that way.
    Rant: Sooo much to do!

    • Andie302

      Just plan to do one box. If you have more energy than that, then it’s a bonus! I’ve always found that getting started is the hardest part, so if I commit to myself that I am in no way going to overdo it, I’m usually happy with the results. I guess it’s another version of setting your expectations low.

      • That seems like a good idea, but I’m easily distracted and tend to start finding something in one box that makes me think of something that’s in another box, etc… Soon I have all the boxes open, only a few things put away and a bigger mess than I started with! But I’ll try to make myself stick to one box a day, that’s not a bad think to try – I just have to be more disciplined!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Back to work after vacation and I was late and I locked myself out of my computer twice. Not a good start.
    Rave: Back to work also means back to my popville habit.

  • Weird question as I’m on the phone with Washington Gas – did anyone else get a new account number this month? I noticed that my billing address and other details seem the same, but, for some reason, I have a new account number AND my bill is double what it was in November (December was super cold, though). Do they just give folks a new account number every year?

    • That One Guy

      I believe in an upgrade of their system Washington Gas was giving everyone longer account numbers. They should still accept your old account number to pull up your records.

    • WashGas said everyone’s account numbers were lengthened this month, because theyre switching to a new system. Just FYI if anyone else noticed this and freaked out a little.

    • This happened to me when I moved in 2014. I was randomly assigned a new account number and was double charged for a month. You just have to call and complain and they’ll fix the glitch.

    • My bill was double, too. This winter hasn’t been nearly as cold as last year and I keep the house on the cool side. Did rates just go up for some reason?

    • I was just online trying to pay – it took my usual log in, but not the account. Couldn’t find the account. Saw a few pages of lots of words and just gave the f up.

    • My gas bill was much higher than it should be as well. I didn’t notice the account number change.

    • My bill was higher than usual last month ($200 when it’s usually more like $100 in the winter months) AND I was out of town almost the whole month and had set my thermostat lower. I thought it was because you guys had some very cold days while I was away, but maybe not?

      • Ok, so this is like a thing. Hmm. Maybe Ill call back and ask them if they recently changed their rates? I don’t understand it…

  • Rant: SO’s business is suffering due to the new administration. He is in construction, and a lot of projects are funded either directly or indirectly by the government.
    Rave: Being in the position to hold things down financially by myself. I worked really effing hard my whole life to be able to support myself and the kids, and adding him and his kids to that has not been easy, but I’m able to do that and for that I am very proud.
    Rant: Thinking of all the people for whom this is not possible, many of whom probably thought that a vote for Trump would equal an increase in the trades and jobs for working class people. The problem being that there seems to be zero plan for these infrastructure projects, and if those projects are largely roadworks, they won’t actually create long term jobs.

    • I feel your pain…my husband is also in a trades career and I am stressing myself out trying to be conservative in any career decisions I might make as I am the main earner in our household. I am really hoping his industry can stay afloat in coming months/years. This is one of the many more frustrating parts about the narratives the Administration has been floating. Yes we live in DC and yes we are normal people that are trying to earn a living just like anyone else. Not everyone is part of the magical DC that is ruining the country or whatever it is they are claiming.

      • “Not everyone is part of the magical DC that is ruining the country or whatever it is they are claiming.”

      • We (me and the kids) no longer live in DC, and to be perfectly honest, I’m glad we don’t because had we made to live in DC instead of the Baltimore ‘burbs, we’d be pretty f*cked right now. But I completely understand where you are, as it wasn’t long ago that I was living in DC, raising kids, and making far less than I make now. Contrary to popular belief, there are people who struggle on a daily basis in the city and who are hard workers just trying to get by.

        • I should also add that people around the country definitely forget there are government employees all over the country. We have passport agencies almost two dozen locations, there’s nuclear facilities, there’s FBI field offices (although I’m assuming that’s including in the ‘public safety’ exemption), etc. The impact has the potential to be far wider than our little metro area.

    • jim_ed

      Re: your first rant – Is your SO doing just standard GC work? Because I work in a related industry and all the GCs I know in DC are set for really good years in 2017 and 2018 and are aggressively hiring. I’d be curious to hear what he’s seeing differently.

  • Rant: Cab driver this morning arguing with me when I asked him to turn down the radio, said I was disrespecting him and that we’re not on the plantation anymore. Huh? Got out of that cab and then
    Rave: Next cab driver was someone I’ve ridden with twice before, he lives in my neighborhood and we’ve had delightful conversations about what DC was like when he moved here in the early 70’s, about how the neighborhood has changed, about local politics, etc
    Anyone interested in making kombucha? If you can make tea, you can brew kombucha! I have a number of extra starters (aka scoby or mother)

  • Rant: 15mo appointment today for mtpbaby, and apparently he’s just enough behind on language development that we got a referral for an SPL to check in with if he doesn’t seem to be making progress in the next month. That in and of itself is totally reasonable. But I’m dreading discussing it with my mom because she’s going to want to get overly involved because of her background–she’s also an SPL, but only worked with age 3+. And while she used to say she wouldn’t have the background to work with babies/toddlers, now she’s changing her tune. Not that I doubt her skill set, but she’s always so quick to offer help and involvement on everything kid-related that I can’t help but have a visceral response to withdraw. Perhaps not the most mature response, but I still feel burned by her stress-related dumping and attacks the last time I asked for & accepted any regular form of assistance.

    • Any chance you can avoid talking to her about it until after (if/when) you have the SPL appointment?

      • That was my first inclination, but then I’ll get a guilt trip about not mentioning it ahead of time. It’s a question of setting the right boundaries–and perhaps the right thing to do is to let her get more involved this time around–but it’ll just take some thinking to determine what those are.

        • Bah, I understand. That’s a tough spot to be in.

        • I haven’t told my family that Baby Artie is in physcial therapy. My family is just weird about a lot of things (like the fact that I have a therapist); I know they would “label” Baby Artie; and I just don’t want to deal with it.

          You could also go through DC’s Infants and Toddlers programs for an evaluation. That’s what we did in MOCO (different jurisdiction, but I think the process is similar), and I have been so happy with the level of care and treatment we are getting.

          • My parents lived locally (moved here to be closer to kids/grandkids–though my sister helpfully moved across the country a few months after they got here) about 18 months ago. So we see them 2-4x/month. And my mom has asked about the language issue, so just not mentioning getting it checked out would plausibly be fine until she brings it up again.
            I’m so glad to hear you’re having a good experience with early intervention. I’m not concerned about the route for the speech therapy–or even potentially needing to do it. It’s more the navigation of parental involvement that I’m struggling with. Case in point–I mentioned that work was busy and was treated to an extended monologue about how she’d be happy to help out and pick up the kids so I can work late, etc. Which I appreciate in theory, but then we need to straighten up/declutter before they come when I’d rather spend the evening doing other things. So I’d rather stick with the usual routine and catch up with work after the kids are in bed. It’s just a little bit overwhelming.

          • I understand the challenges in navigating parental involvment and boundaries. Sometimes having the help feels like more work than is worthwhile. Perhaps getting more clear on what kind of help/involvement from your mom would be more helpful than stressful is a place to start. From there, you can decide what and how much to tell your mom. Would your partner be a good person to help troubleshoot that with? Having a clear plan, like your mom would take the kids every other Saturday afternoon or have dates with mtpbaby on Sundays to do “additional therapy” may help. Or maybe your mom could pick mtpbaby up from daycare and take him to appointments so you or your partner don’t have to take more time off of work? I think having a concrete “ask” of parents is really helpful, especially if they are the kind of parents where you really do need to set those boundaries (I speak as someone who has those kinds of parents).

            Keep us updated on the evaluation and the baby’s progress. And I hope you get some rest. These are exhausting times.

    • I’m not sure if I’ve suggested this before or not, but have you had mtpbaby’s hearing checked? Littlest Anonachild was speech delayed as well. There’s congenital single-sided deafness on his father’s side which was a concern, but it turned out he just had fluid in his ears with no infection (ever) that was causing profound hearing issues. At around 2 1/2, his ears finally drained and magically his speech took off (and never stopped lol). I know there are many issues at play in regards to speech delays, and I know not every situation is the same, but just wanted to suggest it since the only reason hearing was ever brought up for us was because of his father’s issue which ended up being completely unrelated to Littlest’s issues.

      • Thank you for this. I’ve worried about his hearing as well–especially since he has had some extended periods of fluid in his ears. But his ears have been clear at the last three appointments over the course of the month (first to check for fluid, then pink eye, then his well-baby check today). The pediatrician also does a hearing screen and both ears came out fine with whatever diagnostic tool they used. On top of that, his receptive language seems to be on track and he absolutely seems to understand what we’re saying in terms of his responses. So I don’t think it’s a hearing issue. But we’ll continue to keep an eye on things.

    • HaileUnlikely

      For whatever it’s worth, one of my cousins did not begin speaking until after the age of 3. It turned out that it was related to his previously undiagnosed terrible vision. He couldn’t see sh!t. He got fitted for some glasses, began speaking within a couple months, and went on to be utterly brilliant (No exaggeration; if you ever log in remotely to your work computer from home, you can thank my cousin who didn’t utter the word “mom” until after his third birthday [and a small group of his buddies] for the ability to do that.)

      • Lol. My grandfather didn’t speak until 4, and went on to obtain a PhD in chemistry. How funny how the senses play off of one another. I wonder how the vision ended up affecting speaking. Fortunately, mtpbaby’s vision also seems to be just fine (courtesy of a pediatric ophthalmology visit awhile back to check on vision screening results at the pediatrician’s office).

        • Prince Of Petworth

          I didn’t speak until I was three and as my parents say, I never shut up afterwards 🙂

          • Yeah, while I’m not inclined to ignore the issue, I’m also not that worried about it. I’m happy to engage in SPL therapy, and if a larger problem presents itself, we’ll address it then. I’m just not looking forward to getting into it with my mom.

          • mtp – FWIW, I think you are doing the right thing. When I sought out help for Littlest I got a lot of “so and so didn’t speak til…” stories. Hell, right now I’m getting a lot of “I had anxiety as a kid too…” stories in relation to seeking help for Middle Anonachild. We have come a long way, we know how helpful early intervention is, and it’s great that you are able to offer it for your child.

          • Thanks, anonamom. I’m reading everyone’s contributions as a reason to not be worried–not as a rationale for not investigating or trying SPL services. And my mom would be totally on board with us going down that path–but I’m guessing she’ll also want to be involved in some way or provide services “on the side”. She’s already floated the idea of working with him on a weekly basis. I just don’t relish the idea of managing that.

          • I can top that: My dad didn’t speak til he was SIX. And then, he went around finding people saying things like “Remember last year at Christmas, you said that the best fishing is in Miller’s Pond? I like Smith Pond better.”

          • wdc–that’s hilarious.

          • I didn’t talk until I was 3+ because I learned early on I could exploit my older sister to do my bidding for me.

          • saf

            Ha! I spoke only slightly late, but they didn’t worry. They could hear me, alone in my bed at night, practicing. Apparently, I wasn’t going to talk until I could speak in sentences.

          • My brother is a quiet man. He has to be because his father, siblings, wife, several of our mutual friends, and daughter never shut up. My mom said they were worried about him a bit because he didn’t talk much as a young child. Turns out he’s just the master of silently observing, then chiming in with the most perfectly formulated smart-ass comment. When we were finally old enough to stop hating each other, I learned that he is hilarious! 🙂 I try to encourage his son to talk more (he’s 4), since he faces many of the same challenges (a mother, sister, and aunts who don’t have a mute button), but I know he’ll turn out fine even if he doesn’t. 🙂

      • Yeah, my cousin didn’t say a word until he was 5. Then he started speaking in full sentences. Granted, he’s autistic, but he’s brilliant.

  • Rant: Hiring freeze. Husband has conditional job offer already – where does that fall? Since it’s only conditional, is it now a no-go?
    Rant: When I mentioned hiring freeze to my boss, he said, “We celebrated when we heard that, because that means you’ll be here longer.”
    Rave: Had fabulous weekend at a friend’s new house in Harrisonburg. Did a bunch of thrift-store shopping, drove up in the mountains to see the stars, and just hung out. Super relaxing.
    Rave: Took day off yesterday for a dr’s appointment which was mid-day. (Was planning on hitting up DMV as well but is closed on Mondays. Oops.) So had lovely day of laundry, binge-watching Fuller House and staying cozy and dry. It was so wonderful to have such a leisurely day where I wasn’t stressed about how much work sucks…wish I could do it every day. As in, not work.
    Last Rave: Watched Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo & Juliet”, and it was the first time watching as an adult. I now have a much larger apprecation for the movie, as well as the opinion that R&J, such young teenagers, where just overreacting.

    • fuller house is awful but also awesome (I watched it with my 10 year old nieces – but I probably enjoyed it as much as they did… which I probably shouldn’t brag about)

    • That version of R&J has really grown on me. And I don’t normally like experimental/ interpretive versions of classics. I’m looking forward to watching it again with my kids.
      I wonder what the right age is to make them watch O Brother Where Art Thou?

      • skj84

        I’m biased since O Brother Where Art Thou is one of my absoulte favorite movies ever, but maybe 10 and up? Other than some language and the sirens, I think its kid friendly. I first watched as an older teen with my then pre-teen brothers and they loved it as well. I actually re-watched for the first time in a while on inauguration day. I’d take Pappy O’Danial for president over our current one any day.

  • Rant: In the 2 months I’ve been back in the states, I have used my data by the middle of the month. yesterday I was at 90%, today I’m done. I don’t understand it – before I left, I never even used half my data, and I’m not doing anything with my phone I didn’t do before. I’ve followed all of the internet ideas to conserve data, and that doesn’t seem to work. I have a very old cheap plan, so if I upgrade, it’ll cost me aver twice as much. 🙁

    • Can you check where your data use is going in your phone’s settings section?

    • You might want to try an app like My Data Manager to see where it’s going. I had a couple of (well-known) apps freak the F out on me earlier this year. I noticed quickly because my battery was dying within a few hours (like, I’d unplug it at 8 AM and it would be dead by Noon), but MDM allowed me to see what apps were causing me trouble (no, battery manager was not all that helpful!). Not only would I have thought I needed a new phone/battery without being able to see the eye-popping amounts of data those apps were using, but I would have ended up burning through all my data for the month in about a week.
      Once you narrow down what apps are doing it, if it doesn’t seem like a malfunction (uninstall and reinstall, look at reviews to see if others are having issues, update if you haven’t), check the settings. Push notifications can eat up a lot of data. Running in the background, as well.

    • Another thought–do you have your phone set up to automatically switch to wifi when it is available? That can help on the data use as well.

    • Thanks, I’ll check the app. I can probably check where my data is going, but I’ll have to google how :). And I do have wifi assist and refresh in the background off, so it isn’t those things. We shall see. I’m determined to figure it out.

  • Late in the day Rave: Had a hoagie at Bub and Pops and was informed that someone posted their number on social media as the white house’s number and they’ve been getting calls all day! Good Morning America, a Netherlands TV station, and a bunch of other local stations across the country have done stories (ABC7 in Chicago was practicing one when I was there!). I love that place and they were so sweet about the attention.

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