Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Bony Baby Complex

I have a confession to make. I have a serious complex about doctor appointments...Monica's doctor appointments that is. Since she was a few weeks old, Monica has been on watch for appropriate weight gain. I won't get into all the details, but she is a small fry, and this is the one span of time in human development when thunderthighs seem to be culturally preferable to a leaner, beanlike look. I say "seem to be" because, in reality, childhood obesity is a serious and growing issue in America and even infants can be obese. Yet, how many people do you know walk up to a skinny baby, pinch their skinny legs, and say, "Look at those precious bony legs! I just want to eat them up!"

Intellectually, I know that Monica is really healthy. She's on track in all areas of development; we are doing our best to give her extra calories in her still-milk-free diet, she eats regular meals, and we never refuse her food within reason. But when your last three well-child exams have included a handout about children who "fail to thrive," you may begin to second guess yourself and your kid.

Tomorrow is the big 18 month appointment and I've been giving myself pep talks for it by rehearsing what I will say if the failure to thrive info is handed to me again. As Kevin said, it's time to just tell the doc and nurse that we are doing our best and can't help our kid's genetics or the fact she can't have a lot of high calorie foods and that there are times when all she will eat is potato doused in ketchup. Lord help us; we do our best.

All of you parents out there with bony-legged toddlers, hats off to you. Even without the "yummy" thighs, your children are beautiful and precious.

Update: The doctor appointment went well! We did not receive any information on failure to thrive dietary recommendations nor any weight-related chastisement. And, we will soon try to start Monica on some whole milk yogurt. Kind of a big deal for this kiddo who has been milk-free for over a year! All in all, no Bony Baby worries were necessary.


Arwen said...

Andrea, you and I have already talked about this, but it's worth saying again: you and Kevin are awesome parents! And Monica is an awesome, healthy, THRIVING kid. A big phfffthbb to those docs and nurses who are too narrow-minded to see that.

I'll be praying for peace for you tomorrow!

Andrea B said...

Andrea, have you considered switching docs or at least requesting that you don't have the nurse who harasses you so much? Our doc was really laid back about the boys size and even when Daniel fell off the growth curve they didn't freak.