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. 🙂