#mummyfail, Exams, Freya, Parenting, Tests

The “24 Month Questionnaire” – a test of her skills…or mine?


Question: When it comes to tests do you?

  1. Dislike them intensely.
  2. Hate them with every fibre of your being.
  3. Feel like you would rather cut off your own arm with a blunt knife than sit one?

My answer? None of the above accurately depicts my absolute and utter horror at having to sit exams (and now, see, I haven’t answered the question properly and so I’ve failed. Just one of the reasons I hate them so much).

Thankfully, being 39 and qualified in my chosen profession, I thought I was well beyond the need to take tests – and then the 24 Month Questionnaire from the health visitor plopped on to the doormat.

I was pretty calm, at first.

“It’s not a test,” I told myself. “It’s just to check that Freya is roughly where they think she ought to be, developmentally, for her age. And, even if it was a test, it’s not me under the microscope, it’s her. Right?”



I believed that right up until question six.

“Can your child string small items such as beads, macaroni, or pasta “wagon wheels” on to a string or shoelace?”

I had to read it three times before the penny finally dropped; this one isn’t about her skills at all, it’s testing me.

I ran through the list.

Do we have:

Beads? Surely a choking hazard?

Macaroni? No.

Pasta “wagon wheel”? I honestly don’t even know what that is.

String? Erm, no.

Shoelace? Come on, we MUST have a shoelace. YES! Finally a win. I even overlooked the fact that it was coated in mud so thick that it was almost double the size.

Ok, great. Now what can I (she) thread?

I know, penne pasta.

I’d taken the time to unlace the shoe and given it a quick wet wipe but it soon became clear that it was too big to go through the pasta.

Right, think again.

I riffled through the drawers and after considering using a USB cable I finally came across some ribbon. Success!

Well, not quite.

Freya was sat at the dining table looking at me expectantly. My plan was to show her what to do once and then hand it over.


Seriously, it took me five minutes to get one threaded. If I can’t do it how is she expected to?

Although, actually, that no longer mattered because I’d taken so long she’d got bored, taken a handful of pasta and wandered off (is the next question about her concentration? Argh).

Ok, test masquerading as a questionnaire, you’ve proven your point. Freya’s growth is being hampered by my lacklustre pantry.

What about points for ‘thinking outside the box”? For having some pasta even if it’s not the right sort? I have a good mind to put some of my own questions on the form (surely that’s what the notes section is made for?).

Before I do that I think I’ll just go and stock up on rotelle, macaroni and some new shoelaces – you never know when you might need them.


28 thoughts on “The “24 Month Questionnaire” – a test of her skills…or mine?”

  1. Oh my gosh how ridiculous are some of those questions! Haha boy did I feel bad because I didn’t have the chocking hazards for Holly to thread *tut-tut bad mommy alert*. Well done hon for your quick out of the box thinking! Oh and then there was the pram obstacle course thingy. Fun times not and after answering all the questions I wasn’t even able to be there for her assessment, as it was the morning of my op grrrr. Xx


      1. Thanks hon. From what I managed to get out of John I think she did. *Men huh* Have you had yours yet or still waiting? Ummm tones better thanks hon and moving is becoming so much easier thanks for asking.xx


      2. So pleased you’re finally on the mend, it’s been a long time coming. We haven’t got our appointment until the 14th. We didn’t have a year one as they didn’t have enough health visitors so I was hoping they’d skip this one too.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hah! It does make me feel better, thank you. I bet there are people who have all that in stock. Shame I’m not friends with them then I could have just borrowed some 🙂 I’ve been thinking about your brave post since I read it this morning. I’ll be commenting later.


      1. Don’t feel you have to at all! I just saw your name as a follow so wanted to come check out your blog! X


      2. Thank you so much, that’s really lovely to hear. It’s only a wee baby (one month old in a few days) but am really enjoying blogging so far.


  2. With my professional background things like this make me roll my eyes like crazy. Let’s tick boxes to fit all the children in a one size fits all box. *sigh* The world has a long way to go….
    You did better than I would anyway, I’d have lost the form before we could even start! 😉


      1. Our under fives service is so stretched and chaotic here that they are oblivious if forms get filled in or not. Needless to say it’s a not in this house 😉


      2. 2 year check was previously a very big ‘thing’ now it’s mostly palmed off onto childcare settings. You have an efficient team it would seem, especially as she’s only just 2. I guess it’s good they are on the ball.


  3. The pressure starts young, and goes on forever. Who writes those questions, and do they give any thought to the range of people they will be going out to? Pasta wagon wheels have a pretty narrow social/ cultural range I would have thought. It reminds me of a friend who’s child is part of an ongoing millennial study, and who at 4 years old was asked to identify asparagus.


  4. To be honest these check ups annoy me. We were literally *hounded* about having a 2yr check for our daughter, even had a HV knock on the door about it less than a fortnight after my son was born (there is 2y and 4 days between them). It left such a nasty taste in my mouth that I refused the 8 month check for my boy, and I didn’t bother with the questionnaire either. I can imagine it would make some mums feels like absolute crap 😦


    1. That sounds awful! Not what you need at all with a new baby. All joking (of my post) aside, I did actually feel a bit of a failure when she couldn’t do some of the stuff (mainly because I’d never done it with her).


  5. I tick all of the above for tests. I hate them and I resent them and I loathe them.

    To be a mother is to believe you are not good enough. Freya is a bright, happy and glorious little girl. You are an awesome mum.

    If there was an issue with her development, you’d have picked up on it ages ago.

    Put two fingers up to the system honey.


    1. Thank you, Rose. You’re right, if I thought there was a problem I would have asked for help (as I did with the whole intolerance issue). As far as I can tell she’s doing just fine and that’s good enough for me.


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