Reluctant Mother Gets Berated By The Pediatrician AGAIN. . .

Adorable Super Chunk reads Goodnight Moon. PS What’s with that page that says “Good Night Nobody?” Am I the only idiot parent that thinks that’s jacked up? What, did they just need an extra blank page or something?

Last Friday, Mac had to go back to the Doctor’s for his “weigh in.”

If you recall, he has barely gained any weight since February  – despite his voracious appetite – and the Doctor gave us strict instructions to fatten him up. . .virtually by any means necessary.

I have been trying.  Honestly, I have.  I’ve been trying to dip his veggies in ranch dressing.  I’ve been offering full fat dairy of all sorts.  I’ve started offering a variety of meats.  I’ve upped our tater tot consumption at least four-fold.

But I knew it wasn’t working.  The kid just isn’t keen on ice cream or full fat milk or sodium laden lunch meats. . .He wants watermelon and cucumbers (sans dressing) and cherries and chick peas.

I. Am. Not. Joking.

He rejected two different types of cake on three different attempts in the past 48 hours.

He prefers water to milk.  And he’d like it in a “real glass” not a sippy cup or bottle, thank you very much.

Oh, and now, to make matters worse?  He has started feeding himself with a fork.  So you can imagine how little actually makes it to his mouth.  Although, the little guy is getting much better.  Amazing how quickly they catch on.

But despite our attempts, and at least 8 gallons of wasted milk, ice cream, and yogurt over the past six weeks, the snaps on his diaper didn’t need loosening and his onesies were certainly not bulging at the seams.  I just knew this visit wasn’t going to be pleasant.

Friday afternoon, I braced myself for the Doctor.

The nurse sees us promptly (I love that they are always on time with their appointments).  She took care of the weighing and the temperature taking.

So of course, the Doctor sees the results prior to her entry into the exam room where I am cowering like a caged lab rat.  She’s a super petite middle-aged woman with lots of dark curly hair.  She has sharp eyes and an even sharper tongue. . .

LIke some kinda’ little Napoleon, she storms into the room with gusto.  “No progress,” She declares dramatically as if we are losing some epic battle.

Why does she do that?  She always makes me feel like I have to debate her.  And she never lets me form a complete thought or even finish a complete sentence.  Jesus, she should have been some hot-shot litigator.  She missed her calling.

I cross my arms and uncross them almost immediately.  I don’t want her thinking I’m feeling defensive.  Which I most certainly am.  

I slouch back a little in my chair, trying to assume a more relaxed, non-confrontational posture.

“How much is he drinking?”  A better question would be how much am I going to be drinking if you let me out of here alive?

“Honestly, on average 10-12 ounces of milk a day.  I can’t get him to drink more.  He doesn’t love it and I can’t force him to drink it.”

“Well,” she says almost kindly, “Perhaps we need to trick him.”

“Like, chocolate milk?” I ask wide-eyed.

“You could,” she says, “Or perhaps some chocolate-flavored Carnation Instant Breakfast or Ovaltine.”

I agree to try.  (WTF?  What kind of parent willingly gives their kid chocolate or chocolate flavored milk several times a day?  It feels like it goes against everything I’ve ever learned about teaching good eating habits to children. Isn’t this just the sort of thing that dooms a kid to a couch ridden, pre-diabetic, sedentary, life until they gain notoriety on some Discovery Health Show called “Half Ton Teen”?)

“What’s he eating?” she demands.

“Everything.” I tell her.  “He eats almost anything.”

“Well, what’s his favorite food?” She asks.

Chris and I answer in unison, “Watermelon.”

“Watermelon?!” She roars.  “Watermelon has hardly any calories.  You have to stop offering him watermelon.”

“Do you hear that Mac?  No more watermelon, doctor’s orders,” I say jokingly.

“Well, it’s not like he can get it himself.  He’s not six.  Just don’t give it to him,” she snaps at me, clearly not picking up on my attempt to be funny.

“He needs bananas and avocados,” she continues passionately.

“But we have at least one banana a day,” I murmur.  “And he does eat avocado frequently.  And he really likes shrimp.”

“Well,” at least that’s some protein,” she quips.  Do I sense sarcasm?

Then she settles into her seat so she can fully illustrate the foolishness of my watermelon, cherry and chickpea feeding ways. . .

“Look,” she says pointing aggressively at a computer generated growth chart, “We’ve been at the same place on the weight chart since February.  We need him to gain weight.  It’s not good that he’s not gaining weight.”

I want to protest.  I want to tell her that he never sits still.  And that I think it’s awesome he’d rather have watermelon than ice cream.  I want to tell her he’s perfectly healthy and certainly doesn’t look too thin.

But I don’t.

“At least he’s been healthy,” she says.

Which is when the Husband (GAH!) pipes up that he possibly had a virus for a few days a few weeks ago.

“Well,” she says, “I had better check his ears and throat and lungs.”

And as she’s prodding around in his ears, Mac starts to protest a little.

This prompts her to accuse him of being a little drama queen!  

Is she actually trying to get me to snap?

Then like some kinda’ parent abusing tornado, she’s as gone as fast as she arrived.

On the way home, we stopped to get Mac a turkey cheese burger and french fries.  Predictably, he was more interested in the saltines that came with our raw oysters.

Epic Kid Fattening Fail.  Again.

Just an FYI:  I joke about our pediatrician a lot.  There’s no doubt she’s a tough cookie.  But if my child were seriously ill,  I would absolutely want her managing his health.  She’s smart and she’s frank.  And while she makes me feel like an idiot, I appreciate it.  And honestly, because I’m clearly a glutton for punishment, I kinda’ love her.  🙂

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17 thoughts on “Reluctant Mother Gets Berated By The Pediatrician AGAIN. . .

  1. I love reading your banter 🙂 This one especially because I see us being in this position down the road. Avery is lean and tall. He only gained 1 1/2 pounds in 3 months. Our doc wasn’t concerned, but I bet he’ll continue slowly gaining.. and he eats. and eats. and eats. and drinks! he loves formula. however, he is sooo active. the kid burns more than he puts in his system and I bet that’s what’s happening with Mac. And I see the picture of mac… no protruding rib bones.. I think he’s healthy. but good thing you have such a concerned doc 🙂

    • I do like our Doctor. I know she knows her stuff. . .Avery looks perfectly healthy but I’ll bet he’s going to have to keep eating like a hungry little caterpillar to keep up with all that energy he’s burning! I am still amazed my kid is having trouble gaining weight. Heck, if I’m in the same room with dessert, I gain weight! His father has the metabolism of a bird. . .and I think long term, Mac will be very lucky if that continues for him as well. It’s nice to splurge sometimes without having to worry too much about the consequences to your waistline.

      • Yes, I think we’ll have to keep Avery well-fed because he is so active. He’ll be thankful though when he’s older if he keeps that metabolism because like you, I eat a cookie and I gain a dress size!

  2. He looks chubby to me – look at the rolls! Why do doctors do that to us? My daughter likes milk, but if I give her too much, she won’t eat food. So I only give her 12 ozs a day…on purpose. And she hates ice cream and when I tried to give her a donut on the weekend, she took one bite and threw it on the floor. And she hates bananas and avocados and cheese (unless it’s in a grilled cheese – go figure).

    Like you, I think these are great things as I don’t WANT her to love sugary crap over healthy stuff. But I’m sure I will be coming home this afternoon with another gallon of ice cream (for me to end up eating by myself…again) and pamphlets on developmental milestones. It’s such a shame my husband can’t go with me and drive as I would have a shot of vodka beforehand to calm my nerves! 🙂

    • How did things go with the Doc? I hope everything was perfect. I was thinking of you last night while I was eating a massive scoop of full fat vanilla ice cream smothered in dark chocolate syrup. . .because MAC refused to eat it and I just did not have the heart to throw it out. 🙂

  3. oh he looks just fine to me!! not emaciated at all! it’s funny how you brought this up now; we just had our little guy weighed and for the 3rd or 4th month in a row he’s still holding steady at 10th percentile. everytime i raise my concerns that he’s so lightweight, every health professional tending to me has reassured me saying “he’s fine.”

    • Thank you! Benji certainly looks perfectly happy and healthy to me in the photos. I guess it depends on the Health Care providers to a certain degree too – they might have different benchmarks, developmental milestones they weight differently. Have a fantastic weekend!

  4. I wouldn’t worry too much, right now. Kids that young aren’t anorexic or weight conscious. He looks good. He’ll eat when he’s ready. You could have the opposite problem, which would be cause for much more concern in my opinion. The nurses kept measuring my baby’s head (i.e., wow, that can’t be right! Is it really that big?), but finally the doctor said, “Well, everything else in the 95% percentile (weight and height) so I guess it matches.”

    • Thank you! I’m not overly concerned but the Doctor clearly wants him to gain some weight. I agree, that I’d much rather have him have his Father’s super fast metabolism than my brutally sluggish one. Mac has a big head too! 🙂 I hope you have a marvelous weekend.

  5. Deni, while your doctor does know best, some kids at times plateau out their weight gains on and off. My son eats very well, burns off everything he eats even more efficiently but ever since he graduated from being a creepy crawler (he used to slither like an overstuffed boa) to a walker and then a runner he hasn’t been chubby and lost his baby fat relatively quickly.

    From the pictures of Mac I can still see a beautifully chubby baby. Let him eat what he likes, it makes life easier for you and him. And a happy baby is an overall better-adjusted and adaptable child.

    Anyhow, your doc knows more. I have only 3 years experience with a hyperactive but very happy and almost-perpetually smiling child.

    You’re doing a great job. Take a look at Mac and it’ll get validated!

    • Thank you so much for the encouragement and wisdom. We’ll just keep trying as best as we can. That’s all any parent can do right? I hope you have a great weekend!

  6. One more thing I forgot to mention: my son’s always been steadily perched on the 50th percentile for his weight gain. Even when he was a chubby lil ball and now that he’s lean like his father. Go figure huh?

  7. I’ll be honest and say, you post here is driving me nuts. By all means – vent to the blog. That’s what its there for and is a lot cheaper than therapy. But, in the case of Mac’s weight gain (or lack of), PLEASE get another pediatrician’s opinion and don’t settle on this one. Mac has wonderful eating habits. I hope they stick with him.

    • Thanks Erica! Mac seems perfectly happy and healthy and if I become uncomfortable with our Pediatrician, I’ll not hesitate to seek alternative advice. I often write posts emphasizing a sarcastic or whiney tone because it amuses me. . .and hopefully, others so our interactions with our Doc have been edited. I didn’t miss-quote her or anything but I was intending to emphasize or isolate certain parts in an attempt at comedic banter. And guess what? I’ve been giving him small quantities of watermelon still! I’m such a rebel. LOL! I hope you have a great day!

  8. Pingback: We Finally Pulled One Over on the Pediatrician! | The Diary of a Reluctant Mother

  9. Pingback: This is the crap I have to put up with… | 4eyedblonde

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