It became apparent within minutes of my son's "Before School" Plunket check, that I may
have skipped the process with his older sister.

They do this check close to their 4th birthday.

I thought I was just going in to answer a few questions, maybe air a few concerns if I had
any, which I don't because he's my middle child and I stopped being concerned about
anything other than my own sanity ages back.

So, we roll in there: me, the 4-year-old and his 4-month-old brother.


I'm sweating and trying to pretend it's all been sweet as getting here, no worries at all. We just got our girl to school and made it across the other side of town for a 9.30am appointment - too easy. Didn't eat breakfast or anything so excuse the audible stomach rumbles.

The Plunket nurse measured and weighed our boy. So far, so good.

Then, the interrogation began.

As I was distracted filling out a three-page questionnaire, she started interviewing ... him.
He's going to tell her everything. Even some stuff that isn't true but makes me sound bad.

As my hands shook holding her blue Bic biro (I'm not sure if it was from the empty stomach or from worry about what he might say), she asked him to sing his ABCs and count to 10 - which he performed excellently apart from the last line which he usually chops and changes as he pleases but through some miracle did not choose this time for one of his favourites: "…next time Fart sing with me".

Then, a line of inquiry into his eating.

All open-ended questions for him to expose my many, many inadequacies.

"And what's your favourite thing to eat for dinner?"


I'll admit. Summer is not my favourite time to hang out in the kitchen. I have mostly been
wanting chicken and buns myself. Sandwiches. That kind of thing. The oven heats the house and it's way too hot to hang around a hot stove.

Excuses. I have a newborn and I don't really care what anyone eats at the moment because it just makes me angry when I put in effort and they don't eat it.

Please don't say McNuggets.

He hardly ever has them but you just don't know that's coming.

"Basghetti and meatballs," he replied.

Phew. He hasn't had that in months either but great answer!

"And what vegetables do you like?"



"That's a fruit," she corrected. "What about things that are green?"

This kid has shunned most things that have any colour since he was born, unless it comes out of a packet. He won't even put broccoli in his mouth, he picked it up and threw it off the highchair even as a baby.


He won't eat it, but that will do! You are acing this!

"And how many times a day do you clean your teeth?

"… And do you do it or does Mummy do it?"

They're really trying to catch me out!

When we left, she gave him a new swimming togs bag and a new toothbrush and

He was very excited about this and talked about it for the rest of the day.

Of course, World War III erupted when Miss Six got home because she didn't have minions
on her toothbrush and was not allowed to use his toothpaste (which was exactly the same
as the toothpaste we already had).

But you try telling a 4-year-old that.