7.23.2007

D.W.A.

So my skinny little girl is officially my too-skinny little girl. At least according to Dr. S at Thalia's last well visit.

(When did check-ups become called well visits anyway? It sounds like the PC police got a hold of this one accidentally on a break from yelling at people who still say stewardess.)

I've mentioned my pediatric practice in the past as a team of docs somewhat lacking in bedside manner. I think of them as DWA - Doctors With Attitude. Instead of good cop/bad cop they're more like condescending cop/more condescending cop. Only they're not cops, they're doctors. And doctors are supposed to be nice and smiley and hold your hand and say "there, there" then give your children lollipops when they're done. That doctor from Little House on the Prairie? That's who I want. Although I'd settle for Doc on the Love Boat. Heck, I'd take Doc Severenson. If only my insurance covered him.

Instead I've got pediatricians who, while perfectly competent, like to start each session with some comment designed to make me feel far inferior to their masterful medicine-practicing selves.

"Well that's an interesting breastfeeding position," Dr S once said as she walked in on me nursing Sage in a position that I suppose deviated from the handbook.

Or another favorite from Sage's first visit: "That's quite a yellow baby you've got there. You didn't notice?" No, we didn't notice, terrible parents that we are. Terrible, unobservant, neglectful parents. She rushed my 5 day-old daughter out to look at her in the sunlight before admitting, without apology, that it was the light in the examining room that was discolored and not my daughter.

Got the picture?

So when she scrutinized the horizontal line on the weight chart and informed me that Thalia hadn't gained a pound in six months, I shouldn't have been surprised that she did so with an accusatory, "What's going on here?" Never mind that it might be a little upsetting to hear that my daughter is wasting away into nothingness with my profound neglect of her nutritional needs.

The retorts come to me later, as they always do. (Wait, so you mean we're supposed to be feeding her all this time? Damn.) Instead, I murmured something like She doesn't like to eat I mean eat a lot, it's not like she doesn't eat ever...she likes peas and she likes ice cream, but wait I didn't mean she only eats peas and ice cream because she likes rice especially with peas and WHY ARE YOU LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT?

You see, I have no bravado where the DWA are concerned. They just look at me with their fancy med school eyes and I melt into a quivering little puddle of ums and ers. It's only here that I can come back and sound all indignant and sarcastic. But in the moment? I'm like a schoolgirl being scolded while quietly looking down at my shoes.

You would have thought that I were the first patient ever to sit in front of Dr. S saying that I had a picky two-year old. That no, I couldn't mix ground beef into her mac n cheese because she will not eat mac n cheese in the first place, and if there was some way sneak meat into Dora cereal, then maybe we could talk strategy.

Each of my responses (No, she doesn't like fishsticks. No, she doesn't like French toast.) was met with disbelief. Sometimes eye rolling. But she continued making suggestions in that bored monotone of hers until finally shrugging me off and moving onto a hopefully more exciting patient in the next room. With any luck it was a kid with the Plague.

I was told to come back in three months for a weight check.

In my heart I know Thalia's fine. She's active, she's energetic, she's healthy. Nate was a string bean of a child growing up, and I didn't top 95 pounds until I got to college and discovered the all-carb-and-alcohol diet. Surely it's Thalia's genetic destiny to show off her rib cage under stretchy tank tops and wear pants that fit lengthwise, but that slip down to her knees as soon as she takes a step.

But still:

"Let's keep an eye on her."

I think my emotions about discovering my daughter is something short of a specimen of biological perfection are compounded by feeling like the mom who, two kids later, still doesn't know what she's doing--and the doctor knows it. Like I'm the parent who's feeding my kids nothing but Count Chocula and Kit Kat bars, then washing it down with Red Bull. Like I'm not the parent who sits in front of my daughter's high chair, begging her to finish that measly little quarter of a peanut butter sandwich every day.

All I wanted--needed--was for the doctor to say "She's healthy in every way, but you should start giving her an egg a day." Or "Wow, she's speaking in full sentences! Now just try to get some more protein into her." But nope. That's not what I got.

Not even close.

No parent ever wants to hear "let's keep an eye on her," not from any doctor, and not for any reason. Even one that you know in your heart is not really a major issue. (Even if you can come back to your blog later and get all passive-aggressive about it.) Is it so hard for some doctors to remember this fact when they're delivering the news?


Not too many pie-eating contest wins in her future, I'm afraid.

__

Every Monday, whatever I write here also miraculously appears over at Time Out NY/Kids. Funny how that works.
__

Edited to add: Thank you all so much for the much needed-support and suggestions for cramming protein down her throat surreptitiously. I suppose the cure for this supposed obesity epidemic in children has something to do with blogging, since all of you seem to have skinny little wisps of children too.

I just remembered something called to mind by Melizzard's comment. When my mother was worried about my brother's low weight as a kid, the pediatrician said something that calmed her down immensely: I've yet to lose a Jewish kid to starvation.


88 Comments:

Blogger slouching mom said...

Oh, sh*t. They never, ever get the picky eating thing. Is it possible that not one of them has parented a picky eater?

I used to tell our ped. that Ben ate only four items. And he'd inevitably say, "Well, I'm sure there are more than FOUR."

At which point I shut up. Because really? Where can you go from there?

7/22/07, 10:10 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

I mix flavored Spirutein powder into my son's milk to supplement his protein. He loves his Strawberry Milk, which is good because the only other thing he loves is popcorn. Not a whole lot nutritionally going on there!

7/22/07, 10:32 PM  
Anonymous Mona said...

I read you all the time and I just needed to chime in for the first time. Did she grow? Then she's fine. And the best thing I did a year ago was switch pediatricians - almost too good as my 3.5 year old now loves going to the doctor so much she fakes illness. But if you need to switch you need to switch. One of the motivating factors in our switch was a horrific period when my son was two days old and we kept being watched for jaundice for over a week based on the lighting in the exam room and a gut feeling by the doc. Do what you need to do.

7/22/07, 10:51 PM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

1.) Hang in there.

2.) Sneaky sources of protein:

-Whey powder added to milk (similar to katie's suggestion above, but perhaps slightly less noticeable)

-Pediasure snuck into a chocolate (or vanilla) shake with lots of ice cream

-Granola bars with peanut butter or almond butter in them (assuming you're not still avoiding all nuts due to allergy fears). Kashi makes some good granola bars with these ingredients.

-Shredded cheese (for some reason it seems some little ones like the shredded kind better)

-Hummus (not that my kid ever eats this, but given that yours seems to have epicurean tendencies, it's worth a shot)

Also remember that whole grain anything has more protein than non-whole grains.

Sneaky sources of fat:

-Cream or half and half poured into whole milk

-Heavily buttered bread (if she doesn't like the sliminess of butter, try folding the bread in half

-Corn chips or potato chips (Check the ingredients to make sure the oil used is polyunsaturated and the chips are low sodium. There are actually some pretty nutritious brands of chips out there if you look for them-- these can also be a good source of fiber, which can help with constipation, another major two-year-old issue).

BTW, eight ounces of whole cow's milk mixed with one tablespoon of chocolate syrup equals 200 calories. If you can get her to drink three cups of whole chocolate milk a day (or plain whole milk with some half and half added, instead), she'll be getting 600 calories right there, which is around half of what she should require at this age (1000-1200 calories per day).

3.) You're a good mom, and the doctor should thank her lucky stars she's obviously never had to deal with this problem herself.

(Way to bring me out of my internet lurking mood, Liz.)

7/22/07, 10:54 PM  
Blogger bubandpie said...

My Pie is turning two this week and she eats like a horse. She has a round, button-popping belly that defies the containment strategies of the 2T shorts we try to squeeze her into.

But she weighs exactly what she weighed six months ago at her check-up, and at that check-up she weighed the same as she had three months before that. They don't necessarily gain weight at this age - it's not like when they were newborns and you could assess the weight difference after each feeding.

7/22/07, 10:54 PM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

P.S. I take no responsiblity for my horrid punctuation as Blogger was throwing fits at me AND my husband wouldn't stop looking over my shoulder ;)

7/22/07, 10:56 PM  
Blogger Misguided Mommy said...

I'm so lucky that Brandon has an amazing pediatrician. In fact I have a teeny crush on him just based on how great he is to me and Brandon. Brandon has never gone about the third percentile in weight and my doctor made me laugh so hard with his solution to help him gain some weight, he said, "Basically just feed him anything that is bad for a woman on a diet!" How could you not laugh at that!

7/22/07, 11:26 PM  
Blogger Misguided Mommy said...

oh yeah, so a few of the things the doctor suggested that ended up working like a charm, a spoon and the tub of cream cheese, Brandon can eat that for hours. Butter with some bread as a plate. Serious, Brandon will just lick off all the butter and hand the bread back for more. I mix pediasure in with his milk, Brandon likes chocolate with bananas in it, or even just the chocolate and banana pediasure mixed together topped off with some milk. Also, Cheetons, the child is nuts about em. Jaelithe wasn't kidding, Brandon loves shredded cheese, and also string cheese cut into little bite size discs. Oh yeah, he loves avacado too!

7/22/07, 11:30 PM  
Anonymous colleen said...

God, it's not enough that parents judge each other. Now the doctors want in on the game? Shame on them. Their role is to guide and support us, not to get all judgy and mean.

My daughter is small for her age too and, like Thalia, she does eat (some things) and she's active. But she hardly ever puts on weight. I've heard that most toddlers only gain 2-4 pounds a year.

Like Mona mentioned, can you find a new doctor?

7/22/07, 11:52 PM  
Blogger Major Bedhead said...

I would be looking for a new pediatrician. That attitude drives me around the bend and, sad to say, brings out the snarky bitch in me.

My daughter, who is 2 years and 8 months old, weighs the same now as she did at her 2 year check up, if that's any help.

I liked the suggestions someone listed above for sneaking in calories. Excellent ideas.

7/22/07, 11:56 PM  
Blogger B said...

Doctors can be the worst. It is as if they feel that they aren't doing thier jobs if they don't provide some finger waging and some detailed list of things to "keep an eye on."

I went through a similar experience with my oldest daughter (now three) beginning at her 12 month well check. 20.6 lbs. 15 month check=20.6 lbs. 18 month check=20.6l lbs.! (Not once did the doc take into consideration that between 12 and 18 mos she grew 4 inches. Anyway, they made me feel like shit, I had to keep a food diary for her to prove that I was feeding her and I had to visit the state health whatever twice to have her evaluated. It sucked. I was pissed. Of course had there been some random other thing going on with her, I would be singing their over-educated praises.

The short of it is, I feel for you. Trust your gut, and try to not let it upset you in the mean time!

7/23/07, 12:23 AM  
Blogger Jenine said...

I have two girls that are extremely active and have good appetites but whether it be genetics or whatnot, they just are tiny. That's just the way they are.

We had an outstanding group of doctors though and when we were concerned over their growth our peditrician said to us, "Do you know where these growth charts are made? Minnesota. All the kids there are HUGE!" It made us laugh and set our minds at ease because every kid is different and it just helps to be reminded every now and then.

We've recently moved and I'm very saddened to not be able to find doctors like this in our new location. I'm still searching but good ones seem to be really rare.

My advice? Don't sweat it. You're your child's mom. They might have an M.D. to their name but it's YOU who know your child best.

7/23/07, 12:42 AM  
Blogger toyfoto said...

Oh, man! I so wish I could send you my doctor in the mail (i'm not trying to get rid of her, honestly because she is the BEST when it comes to this stuff. Annabel is a skinny mini, too and the doctor never sent up the alarm bells. Actually she told me to expect thin downs, especially at the toddler stage.

7/23/07, 1:19 AM  
Anonymous My Minivan Is Faster Than Yours said...

I double-loved this post! I wrote one (minus the impressive writing) but nonetheless clamoured on recently about well visits.

Although I'm such a whimp about these things I actually made my husband take our cats in recently for their annual shots because I didn't want to get yelled at for their inevitable weight gain.

This doctor stuff is definitely not for the feint of hear!

7/23/07, 1:48 AM  
Blogger Lady M said...

Keep an eye on her?

As if you would put her in a closet and ignore her if you weren't given that order? Judgey DocJudgerson.

7/23/07, 1:53 AM  
Blogger Mahlers On Safari said...

Girlfriend... you need a new pediatrician. Thalia is perfect.

I suffered through a high-risk OB practice with the same attitude. I could take it for 9 months... but longer than that... forgetaboutit!

7/23/07, 5:00 AM  
Anonymous Emma in Amsterdam said...

Thalia looks perfectly healthy to me, not skinny, but beautiful and slim.

I can't believe doctors actually think you should feed her mac-and-cheese or fish fingers. They are just fattening, no good nutrition in there.

You live in the fattest country in the world: Thalia will be extremely grateful to you for having a normal weight growing up. It's much much harder to lose weight as an adult when one has been a "big" child.

I was skinny as a child and even as a teenager, and then discovered the same crisps-chips-beer diet you found. But once I started working, I only had to shed a few pounds (which I lost easily), in stead of many many kilo's most of my 30-something friends still carry with them.

PS Why oh why can't be we ad rem and witty when the situation asks for it? I wish I could order some of that somewhere. Sigh.

7/23/07, 6:08 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

I've been lucky with two pedis in two cities -- neither made me feel badly about my son's size. He's small. I don't know why. The child eats. He's active. He's happy. But he's small.

The doctors have been great. "Don't worry. As long as he's growing, he's fine. That's what we want to see."

It's the other people, mothers, no less, who judge or say things.

"He's so tiny. My 18-month-old looks like a giant compared to him."

"Yeah, well my tiny 2-year-old could kick your mammoth baby's ass, so please shut up and don't add to my neuroses, thankyouverymuch."

So much emphasis on size, from the moment they arrive.

And then, suddenly, big is bad.

When I get too frustrated, I just imagine all those chubby, "healthy" babies as fat, sullen teenagers. Makes me feel better every time.

7/23/07, 6:23 AM  
Blogger ALI said...

my son is the same type, keeps getting taller while his pants fall down-we had to invest in suspenders and belts. or good old elastic waist! dresses would have been nice.

my doc had us do urine testing in the office to make sure nothing was wrong-that'll make a mom nuts. told me i let him drink too much cut back on his milk. (the one thing i can count on him to take) i started mixing carnation instant breakfast into his bedtime milk on particularly bad days.

i was a small child my husband was a tall but extremely thin child. he's healthy he eats when he wants too, i just offer him food 4 times a day and hope for the best!

7/23/07, 6:41 AM  
Blogger Motherhood Uncensored said...

I dread going to the doctor for just those reasons. My 6 month old is only about 5 lbs less than my 3 year old.

And she eats!

I used to sneak olive oil into her applesauce. And I fry all her veggies in it too.

But when it comes down to it, she's a little feather like her daddy.

Did I mention that doctors like that can suck? And then make me not want to go EVER?

7/23/07, 7:34 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

She doesn't look underweight by any means. What percentile is she in?

I would have said something snarky, like "Well, guess we'll hit McD's on the way home to fatten her up."

I get the same treatment from our pediatrician, only on the other end of the spectrum. They look at Cordy's growth charts and say, "Wow, look at that! She's a big kid, and that's a big head!" When I ask if that's a bad thing, they respond with, "Well, we should keep watching it. A large head circumference can be a sign of problems..." What problems??

So yeah, doctors suck. And I'll be going there today, too - it's Mira's two month check-up.

7/23/07, 8:27 AM  
Blogger Julee said...

My oldest son is a super sensing picky eater! The best book I read was Coping with a Picky Eater by Wilkopf (close to that). It really helped me understand my son better. I didn't want meal times to turn into power struggles especially having my own eating issues. The book really alleviated guilt...

Kids are kids -- my other two sons eat EVERYTHING! So, it's not ME doing something wrong. I like a lot of those food ideas from others. I'll add to the list -- pumpkin muffins with ground flaxseed, olive oil, and ground pecans. Morningstar veggie sausages.

I've learned he WANTS to eat normally but CANNOT do it. I roll my eyes (in my mind) when I hear other well intentioned (maybe) parents, drs. It will all be fine. But seriously get that book -- I still recall many great paragraphs and my son is almost seven -- it's like a mantra in my mind -- helping me understand and chill out...

7/23/07, 8:34 AM  
Blogger Magpie said...

It sounds to me like you need a new pediatrician. You're a good mom, your kid is fine, and your pediatrician should not be laying guilt trips on you.

I've used two peds in my kid's 3 1/2 years - the first was a lovely man, with no kids of his own. The only time he raised his eyebrows at me was when I confessed to co-sleeping. We left him when we were moving out of the city, and he said "it's always the ones I like who leave". (If you want, I can email you his name.) The current ped is great - totally low-key and with two kids of his own.

I like the above suggestion to feed her anything a dieting woman would avoid!

7/23/07, 9:00 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Oh I feel for you. Thankfully, my pediatrician is great!

He has never once told me anything but my girls are perfectly healthy (even though my 5 1/2 year old and 4 year old are almost the same height - the 5.5 year old weighing in at 37 pounds and the 4 year old 43 pounds).

Thalia looks perfect to me!

7/23/07, 9:06 AM  
Blogger Carrcakes said...

As Ava is in the 90th percentile for her height and 5th percentile for her weight, I can empathize.

Perhaps we should schedule a beer-bonging/fast-food play date for the pair?

7/23/07, 9:08 AM  
Blogger Misguided Mommy said...

oh yeah another thing that I'm not sure relates to your situation or not. My dr also told me that growth charts are based on the growth of formula fed babies. Since Brandon was nursed till 15 months (I know I know shush) he never grew on that chart. The dr said he really wished they would come up with a new chart that is for use on breast fed children!

7/23/07, 9:12 AM  
Blogger Tuesday Girl said...

I know that my kids gain about 1.5 lbs at the most a year for the past two years ( they are 4.5). They are skinny and are always in the 40th percentile for weight especially because they are tall.

I wouldn't worry unless she lost weight or stayed the same for over a year.

7/23/07, 9:16 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicken said...

The Poo eats three items on a regular basis: mac and cheese, grilled cheese and fries.

Breakfast is ALWAYS a waffle.

Sometimes she eats bananas. That's IT! Our problem is that our doc says she's too heavy.

It makes me crazy. But my doc DID say kids go through this, and sometimes it doesn't resolve until they are eight or nine, and not to worry about it too much because I can't control it.

Sorry your docs are such asshats!

7/23/07, 9:25 AM  
Blogger Marcia said...

She looks perfect to me! And cute as a button too.

Organising queen and
Take charge blogs

7/23/07, 9:38 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

First, you have a beautiful daughter that looks perfectly fine to me. However, I am no professional. And I love that dress.

I would recommend finding another ped if it is all possible. My children have never moved from the 5th percentile and my doctor was the first to say, "Well look at you 2. You are not big people." It put me at ease from the beginning. Even when there was a concern about my son not gaining any weight around month 7 of his life, I was not made to feel as if I was doing something wrong. He just wanted to monitor his weight for a month and that was it. And all was well with a few ounce gain. No recommendations of stuffing fat down my poor child's face or switching him to formula (which I did on my own at month 9).

Now, if you want to get passive aggressive then I will talk to you about the bitches that are his nurses. You cant have everything, right?

7/23/07, 9:44 AM  
Anonymous amy said...

I hate hate hate this crap from doctors. If she's happy, interactive and healthy, leave her alone!!! I was a string bean, still am! I never had my doctor say anything derogatory about my kids, and they're skin and bones (no duh! look at the parents morons!). They're proportionate, the're responsive and they're happy. 'Nuff said. I was 81 lbs in highschool.

I despise these charts and percentiles your doctors use, because I'd never heard of them before (my doctor doesn't use them, at least not in my presence).

Find a new doctor.

7/23/07, 10:07 AM  
Anonymous Miguelina AKA Reluctant Housewife said...

Can you switch pediatricians? Ours (who is unfortunately retiring - boo-hoo) calmed me down when I was worried that Sebastian was 90% for height and 50% in weight.

His words? "He's tall and skinny. Isn't that what we all want?"

7/23/07, 10:24 AM  
Blogger Allknowingjen said...

I have to agree with the "find a new doctor" sentiment. There is no reason that you need to put up with that condescending attitude. There is a way to convey the same information in a tactful way (my ped. does it all the time!)

7/23/07, 10:33 AM  
Anonymous binkytown said...

Sounds like your docs are off, really, what's the alternative- load her up with juice just so her growth line moves? They don't sound very helpful.

Your two year old sounds completely normal.

7/23/07, 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Jen said...

She looks great. Condescending doctors can suck my big butt!

7/23/07, 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Mary said...

"and I didn't top 95 pounds until I got to college and discovered the all-carb-and-alcohol diet"

My sister! I was just reminiscing how my high school diet (and not that sense of the word) consisted of mint chocolate chip ice cream cones, Ruffles and cream cheese dip, whole milk, and m&ms ,and yet, I looked almost anorexic....until I got to college. Good times.

I have two kids. The older one has been pretty consistently in the 50th percentile for weight since she was three months. At nine, I can tell that she hasn't inherited my too-skinny-until-you-care-about-it gene. The second kid, the baby, is a petite little thing, still only 23 pounds and in size three diapers at 25 months. She likes food, she does eat, just not a lot. And there are days when the only thing she wants to eat is watermelon. Which, as we know, if calorific.

Don't worry about it. She's healthy. And now for the unwanted advice. Don't fuss over those last few bites of sandwich. Don't make eating an issue. Leave food out, let her pick at stuff all day. She'll eat. And she'll be a petite little thing. Until she gets to college.

7/23/07, 10:59 AM  
Anonymous mojo said...

I can't get my 2 yo to eat protein either. No fish sticks, chicken nuggets and yes, she will only eat one type of mac n cheese and only occasionally, so why try to piss her off w/adding meat to it? She's low in iron so now we have to give her a supplement every morning in her Trader Joe's green juice (one of the only ways to get her to eat veggies) and subject her to blood draws to see if she has enough iron (talk about traumatic!). So don't feel bad at all -- Thalia doesn't look too thin to me in that adorable picture. Some toddlers will gobble up everything in sight (or at least a good mix of food types) and others only like a few certain things. I'm told she'll eventually like other stuff, so here's hoping Thalia and my stubborn-I-only-eat-dairy, carbs and fruit-Sydney will expand their food horizons soon. And your pediatrician sounds awful -- get a new one! :-)

7/23/07, 10:59 AM  
Blogger anniemom said...

Give me a break... we have the same sort of thing going on with our ped. although this last time at our visit she smiled that freaky no-smile-in-the-eyes smile and said, "Parents want things to work out perfectly according to their own plans for parenting, and if you're a Christian (!) you know that it's all part of His plan..." !!!!!!!! and !!!!!!!! I was stunned. Agree or not, I was shocked that she said this. Duuuuuh, shuffle, shoe-staring, duuuh, submission city. I bombed, as always, and thought of all the good stuff to say later. What's worse, I have break-up phobia, even when it comes to my ped, even when a change needs to be made. Yeesh.

Thalia looks, as always, beautifully healthy.

7/23/07, 11:16 AM  
Blogger DotMom said...

I think sometimes the peds (atleast the younger ones) feel compelled to arrive at *some* disgnosis. She looks just fine to me. I have seen a LOT worse. As long as she is happy and active, she is fine.

7/23/07, 12:45 PM  
Anonymous FishyGirl said...

I think your doctor is an asshat. Thalia looks beautiful to me. You know, Trout has always been teeny - she feel off the bottom of the weight charts for a while, and she's still a picky eater. At 7.5, she weighs 42 pounds or something. Pants are a nightmare, and have been since she was born.

But I have a wonderful pediatrician, who has never been overly concerned about her weight. When I expressed my concern once about her not being on the charts, she said "Well, you and your husband are not big people. She just isn't going to be big. And that's not bad." I weighed 85 pounds when I graduated from HS, 75 from college.

I'd say make sure she eats something, if she likes milk then give her a sippy cup of Carnation Instant Breakfast mixed with whole milk every day, and be done with it, especially if she's growing in height.

And if you want to come visit the DC burbs in Maryland, let me know and I'll set you up with one of the best pediatric practices in the country.

7/23/07, 12:57 PM  
Blogger Fraulein said...

Time to fire the pediatrician. He (she?) seems like an ass.

Another sneaking-in-the-protein trick: have you tried sunflower butter? Our nearly-3-year-old LOVES it.

7/23/07, 1:04 PM  
Blogger Anarchy in the OK said...

Wow, I didn't know my pediatrician was practicing in Oklahoma and Brooklyn - I swear we are seeing the same crazy, condescending person.

The topper for me was when some friends of ours had a first birthday party for their son and our pedi turned up (apparently friends of the family). Our friend handed my kid (15 months) a cupcake and the pedi turned to me and said, "SUGAR?! You're letting him eat SUGAR?!" Like I had just forced a tube down his throat and poured corn syrup down his gullet.

My suspicion that she privately hated kids was confirmed last month when she left her practice to run a medical spa. Yeah.

Now Ben is going to our family practice doctor who, while not specifically a pediatrician, has five kids of his own. Anybody who's raised five kids probably knows more about them than your average pediatrician anyway.

7/23/07, 1:18 PM  
Anonymous Melizzard said...

First off... she's utterly lovely and your Ped can just suck it.

The first thing I learned when my husband started medical school was they let all manner of idiots become doctors. Most of his med school class were bozos that I wouldn't let see my cat much less my child. Since that day I have had no trouble speaking my mind to the men in white coats.

That being said, we have a fantastic Ped so they are out there, keep looking.

Our 5 year old is also a non-eater and you'll see that it all comes in phases... someone once quoted a "my grandma always said" to me... "no child who's given food will actually ever starve just be patient."

In the mean time just keep buying jeans with the little elastic adjusters on the inside so she doesn't trip when they fall to her knees.. Thank You Children's Place.

7/23/07, 1:23 PM  
Blogger mothergoosemouse said...

Thank you for reminding me how much I love our practice.

Almost all doctors are really good at talking. Very few are really good at listening.

7/23/07, 1:27 PM  
Blogger Stephanie A. said...

Hugo is so small that he isn't even on the chart. At all. His height is in the 50th percentile and his head in the 90th. I tell you that to illustrate that we have one skinny dude.

Weight gain has always been a problem for H and our doctor never made us feel like we were at fault or as though it was a "problem". Maybe it helps that our doctor is about 5 feet tall and 85 lbs. But still, she is very kind with this sort of thing and we are thankful to have her.

Good luck and maybe a new, more compassionate doctor is in your future?

7/23/07, 1:52 PM  
Blogger appleseed said...

After being bullied into an "emergency" c-section with my first child, I learned to take everything with a grain of salt... it's not medical mandates, it's medical advice, and I brush it off now like the advice from my mother in law!

Thanks for the congrats on my new arrival. I thought the 4th trimester comment was funny, but it made my hubby nervous ("you mean you're not going back to normal for another 3 months?!?")Ha!

7/23/07, 1:56 PM  
Blogger Candace & Anna said...

My daughter has been "watched" since she was born. She was 4lbs 5 oz at birth she dropped down to just under 4. Now she is almost 2 and she is 22 lbs and I think 32 inches tall. She is still in the 10 percentile or some craziness. I have determined that the "chart" was created to make us all insane!!!

7/23/07, 2:11 PM  
Blogger CroutonBoy said...

I can tell you with confidence that it looks like you guys are doing everything right (except maybe for that couscous thing) and it might be time to switch peds.

Or, to put it more succinctly: fuck'em

7/23/07, 2:27 PM  
Blogger NG said...

I switched pediatricians when my daughter was 6 months old for this exact reason. Obviously, it's something to be concerned about and necessary to keep a watchful eye out for. But when I took my 25th percentile child to the new pediatrician, he said, "She's eating well? She's not crying an inordinate amount? No other problematic symptoms? Hmmm... neither you nor your husband are incredibly tall/big people. Maybe this is just who she is." Three years later, I see that he was absolutely right. I think maybe it's time for a second opinion.

7/23/07, 2:35 PM  
Blogger Phoenix said...

I'm sure it's all been said, but I figured I'd add my two cents in too.

First, find a new doctor. No really, find a new doctor. Second, Thailia seems fine. As long as she gets taller, I wouldn't worry. Kids eat when they're hungry. Third, my nieces are the same way. Skinny as all get out. Thier mother has heard it all. But they get taller and they are healthy and energitic and very verbal. And in reality, not all kids fit the mold.

So, try not to worry.

7/23/07, 3:41 PM  
Blogger PunditMom said...

She looks perfect to me. I hope PunditGirl didn't slip her an E-mail about avoiding the French toast or fish sticks. One of PG's doctors at about age 2 made a mistake while weighing her and it showed, mistakenly, that she was about 5 pounds overweight for her age. The very overweight Dr.'s comment? "Well, I guess she'll never be a ballerina."

We found a new doctor.

7/23/07, 3:55 PM  
Blogger Kyla said...

When I hear other parents post about their pediatricians...I knew I won some sort of lottery when finding our pediatrician. Sorry yours is unskilled in the bedside manner.

If the pediatrician is REALLY concerned, there is always Pediasure. Then Thalia can eat what she likes (and there doesn't become a power struggle between you two over it) and drink a fair amount of calories everyday.

7/23/07, 4:18 PM  
Blogger nomotherearth said...

The Boy only eats pasta, crackers and cheese with any regularity. I'm afraid he may get scurvy. If I tried to hide meat or veggies in the pasta, he would simply pick them out or refuse to eat altogether. You do what you can, right?

7/23/07, 4:42 PM  
Blogger Jesse said...

We sneak fruit into our 2.5 year old's waffles (blueberries and bananas cut up - take half and blend with some vanilla and a little milk and add to the other half - when you make the waffles, add it into the mixture and put it right down on the waffle iron) because she likes the IDEA of fruit but won't eat them.

We also make our own pasta and alfredo sauce and sneak in either asparagus or broccoli (cut up REALLY small) into that. She doesn't like normal mac and cheese, but will eat our homemade stuff.

She also breastfed until around 15 mos, and I'm not ashamed of that! She's only been sick ONCE and because she got it from her father!

Basically, if you can't change doctors, investigate what they'll check for on her visits and prepare yourself for any questions you might have, as well as concerns you might think they'll address. And be confident in knowing that kids slim down in their toddler years as they're running around (according to my mother, mom of 4!), and as long as she's healthy and not lethargic, you're doing well. Kids are picky eaters, and you can be proud so long as your are doing YOUR best by her - know that NOTHING is wrong with this picture aside from your doctor's rudeness. You DON'T have to take it, and can ask for another opinion if you have concerns.

7/23/07, 4:56 PM  
Anonymous Kristin said...

OMG, i just found your site today and I think i'll be a regular reader... My 3yr old son is a PICKY eater too and is way on the skinny side. I feel your pain about the doctors visits. And to agree with the previous comment. Pedi's never understand just HOW PICKY a kid can be. My son eats chicken nuggets and mandarin oranges for dinner every single freaking day. He WILL NOT try anything new. They act like I haven't even had the thought to try to get him to eat something else. Gee.. what a brilliant idea, I've never thought of that before... DUR....

7/23/07, 5:08 PM  
Blogger Lumpyheadsmom said...

We got the "let's keep an eye on him/come back in three months" speech for Lumpyhead (only I like our doctors). After twelve weeks of stressing out, on our return visit the doctor said, "eh, it's nice he's on the slight side. It's better than worrying about them being overweight at this age."

Lumpyhead is still wearing 6-12mo pants. His sister has begun wearing that size too. It's really only a matter of months before she outweighs him and starts pushing him around.

I'm now going back and reading all your comments for advice on how to sneak calories into a skinny kid who won't eat meat. (He won't eat meat. Not even bacon. "But it's made of bacon!" his father and I cry in disbelief. We just don't understand.)

7/23/07, 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would never stay with a doctor I didn't feel comfortable with. My pediatrician was so much help and aveme so much confidence when I needed it.

I have toddler grandaughter who burns off every calorie she eats. She is long and lean. Her waist size is a 12 month but her length demands almost a 24 month outfit. If you saw her, you would not believe how much she can eat! My daughter is letting her "graze" along with her daily meals and has added whole milk altho she is still nursing. Thin does not mean unhealthy!

7/23/07, 6:09 PM  
Blogger a witt said...

Actually, it's a biological fact that thin people make better competitive eaters. They can accommodate more in their stomachs. So don't give up on the pie-eating win. Someday she may pack it in like no one's business.

On a more serious note, do you like this doctor? I've only realized recently that if I don't like a doctor's attitude, I can, you know, go to another one. A friend of mine said, "Of COURSE you should like your doctor!!" And out I went. I'm glad I did!

Gina

7/23/07, 6:31 PM  
Blogger Ruth Dynamite said...

I'm certain a lot of doctors don't realize the weight of their words - let alone all the nonverbals.

I will now forward this to my favorite pediatrician (and sister). It's a great reminder.

7/23/07, 6:39 PM  
Anonymous Gurukarm said...

umm, yeah. Speaking of the childhood obesity epidemic. You are blessed with a child (two, probably) who won't ever have to face that spector - and your doctor's giving you a hard time??? Time for a new pediatric practice, sounds like to me...

(Not that I'm judgmental or anything! But I switched pediatricians w/DD when she ran a quite high fever once after being scratched a tiny bit by our cat, and instead of telling me to give her some tylenol and a cool bath and see what happened, he had us rush her off to the Children's Hospital emergency room where we sat ALL NIGHT - yes, really! - after which the doctors there gave her some tylenol and told us to take her home, she was fine. I didn't appreciate the alarmist approach.)

7/23/07, 6:45 PM  
Anonymous Heather said...

ok, how have I never happened upon your fantastic blog until tonight? This former NYer is for sure curious about who these drs are (had my own, thank you very much!) and thrilled to have found your blog. Pretty much, I love anyone who can make me laugh.

7/23/07, 7:51 PM  
Blogger b*babbler said...

Thought I'd add my voice to the chorus of support.

My daughter is only 9 months, but has remained firmly in the under 5 percentile since her birth (two months early). She, too, is tall and skinny (75 percentile for height), but we are fortunate enough to have a paediatrician who has determined that she is healthy and is not overly concerned about the weight gain. Perhaps time to change paediatricians to a more supportive doc, because that attitude is both ridiculous and unacceptable.

I'm sure many have made similar suggestions, but if you are really concerned, perhaps protein powder added to some meal or another that Thalia will eat? It might help a little bit. Other than that, without force feeding her (and creating negative associations with food) there's likely not much to do... She looks healthy and happy in her photo, and that should be enough for any good doctor.

Good luck at the next checkup! Perhaps you can re-read this post and the comments just before heading to the doc next time, and have your retorts at the ready. :)

7/23/07, 8:25 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

My doctor told me to do the high fat thing so my daughter would gain weight, but to me it just seemed like it would give her bad eating habits. And...how would I explain to my son (who is off the charts--4 years old and wearing little boys(not toddler) size 7) that he can't have what his sister is having. So I switched doctors and the new one said, if they are eating and active, they are fine. If no one was in the bottom 25 percentile, there wouldn't be a bottom 25 percentile. Go with your gut--she'll be fine! Oh and ps-what I wouldn't give for no more mac and cheese!

7/23/07, 8:34 PM  
Blogger Yelli said...

I don't have your problem. My son opens his mouth whenever he sees food. He eats everything: pancetta, lentils, eggplant, squash, etc... That is why I call him Baby Bird and he has a Baby Buddha Belly to prove it. On another note, I didn't know there was a 15 month old well child exam. I seem to remember asking and the Doc said they had to come in at 18 months. Well, I ran into some friends who go to the same Dr. and they are taking their son to his 15 month old well child exam! When I went to mine a month late, I was lectured about keeping up with exams! Sheesh...give us a break..we don't eat, sleep or have any time to ourselves and yet somehow we all manage to survive along with our poor children. :)

7/23/07, 8:51 PM  
Anonymous b said...

DR: How often does she eat? The nurse didn't write how often she nurses and how many times.

ME: Well, I nurse on demand, so it varies a lot. Some days it's almost every hour that she's awake. She doesn't take a paci, so on those days she's using me, I guess.

DR: You know, as a mom of 3 you really need to get her in a regular routine. It's important to her well being to know when it's appropriate to eat and she needs to learn you are not a pacifier.

ME: Look, we aren't going to have this kind of relationship okay? I'm her mother, and this works for us. She's a happy and growing baby, my other kids are happy too. I spend all of my time with them, I know what they need.

DR: You know what, you are right. (This is where my jaw hit the floor.) If you have questions you will ask, right?

ME: Right. Sorry I got all up in your face.

DR: It's cool.

Yeah, he said it's cool. And he's got me for life now.

7/23/07, 9:58 PM  
Blogger Rock the Cradle said...

Time for new pediatrician. Then you can let yours know EXACTLY why in a nice, polite *ahem* letter.

Thalia looks like a wonderful, thriving little girl. You're doing a GREAT job.

7/23/07, 10:17 PM  
Blogger Susan von Mueller said...

Please don't fret. I'm not out of the woods yet, but everything gets easier as they get older. My Ellie is almost 5, and has never been a good eater. Her pedatrician suggested that I add veggies to her pizza, which she will not eat with sauce or crust (only melted cheese) or spaghetti (which she won't eat at all). But seriously, she's gotten much better as she's gotten older. SURELY, it will get even better. :) Don't fret.

7/24/07, 12:19 AM  
Blogger Ginny said...

I wasn't a big eater & my went through that with me as well. I have some horror stories from the doctors as well with my 2 girls. I do hate when they treat you like that. I wouldn't worry, if she is active then she sounds fine. I was always on the small side & mom had to constantly defend me that I wasn't anorexic, etc. It is a pain, but you just can't let it bother you. Take care!

7/24/07, 12:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is my first time commenting although I've been reading you forever. Your post definitely struck a chord with me! My first suggestion is to get a new pediatrician, they are not all like that (even though MOST are) and switching was the best thing I did after having a doc ask me to come in every month for weight checks for my baby girl. My daughter is now 2.5 years old and weighs only 22 lbs. She has alawys hovered around the 4% percentile. She is a PICKY eater.
She also has a few food allergies. She is long and lean. Skinny but very very healthy and FULL OF ENERGY. This kid, like Thalia, has been speaking in full sentences forever and is most certainly not wasting away in any sense of the word. What I've done to deal with the pickiness: keep trying to introduce new foods, EVENTUALLY she will like *something*! Much to my surprise my daughter loves Vanilla Almond Milk (very rich in healthy protein and omegas and all that good stuff) and Trader Joe's tomato basil hummus which she will just eat straight out of the container, dipping her finger in it. Sometimes that's all she'll eat for lunch! Do NOT despair. Thalia is VERY healthy and doing just fine thankyouverymuch. Don't let them make you second guess yourself! :)
Pascale
www.pascalewowakphotoblog.com

7/24/07, 12:43 AM  
Blogger carrie said...

I am certain that some MD's chose to take that class, you know the one that teaches them to act like total jerks and have absolutely NO bedside manner, as an elective. So sorry you got one of those.

She looks perfect, to me. Then again, I'm not a doctor. But still, I think being a mom counts!

Carrie

7/24/07, 4:05 AM  
Blogger BOSSY said...

That's considered Good Bedside Manners if the bed is located in a high security prison.

7/24/07, 8:47 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

What is astounding to me is how vastly different the comments can be from one ped practice to another.

My nephew, from about 2 years of age to now, at almost 7, eats nothing more than french fries and cheese covered toast. And that is an improvement over just cheese-covered toast of the past. No fruit, no veggies, no meat, no fish, no chicken aside from the occasional nugget. His doctors insist this is all fine and normal, not to push the food issue, the child will not starve, and to offer Ensure as a supplement and give him a once-daily vitamin. This seems to me, a much more measured response to a picky eater than Thalia's MD. And I'm looking at Thalia's pic, seeing a beautiful girl who looks simply healthy and divine and joy-filled.

'Let's keep an eye on her' isn't even close to being warranted here.

7/24/07, 9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ick. Sorry your ped is a jackass.

My daughter is only 8 weeks old, so I obviously don't have too much experience on this front. However, my ped has already endeared himself to me.

My daughter lost 11% of her body weight the first week, which worried me, but not the doc. She wasn't gaining back like she "should."

Rather than making me even more anxious (first time mom, anyone?) he told us that he wasn't concerned about her weight really. We were "probably trying to put a square peg in a round hole" and that my daughter probably knew what she was doing better than any of us did.

All the same, (probably because of my worry) he had us bringing her in a few times those first couple weeks to make sure she did eventually start to gain weight.

I love having a non-alarmist for a ped! I hope you can find one like him!

7/24/07, 10:47 AM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

You need a new doctor. When I bring Hailey in my doctor is all "Is she still breathing?" Good. You pass.

PS. Try steamed chinese dumplings. It's the only protien Hailey eats. I was so relieved I almost cried when I discovered it.

7/24/07, 2:40 PM  
Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

My 3 year old is still really low on the weight chart. He had health issues as a baby, but he's still a really skinny kid. But our ped always tells me he'd rather see a child on the low end of the scale than off the high end of the scale.

I have encountered peds like that. Asshat.

I was going to suggest Carnation Instant Breakfast in her milk, but I see someone beat me to it!

7/24/07, 3:05 PM  
Blogger Mitzi Green said...

oh, f*ck them. i hate pediatricians, and here's why--when bob was 1 week old, the b*tch ped basically accused me of not feeding him because i was too tired to get up, and that's why he had lost a pound since birth. when he was 2 months old, i got read the riot act by ped #2 for letting him sleep in his swing (fastened, i might add). when he was 3 months old, ped #3 suggested bob's large head size could be hydroencephaly and suggested an MRI (nevermind bob was active and alert and showed no signs of anything wrong, and his father's head is the size of a prize watermelon). this same ped also suggested lazer surgery to remove the raspberry birthmark from bob's scrotum. (lazer surgery on a baby's junk for cosmetic purposes? are you kidding me?) ped #4 was concerned about bob's weight (or lack thereof) without taking into consideration his tall, skinny father or his mother who didn't top 100# til after college, and told me she didn't "believe in" kids under 5 having inhalent allergies.

bottom line--none of them know what the f they're talking about. but if they let YOU know that, you wouldn't be so eager to drop 50 bucks for a 10 minute office visit, would you?

7/24/07, 4:29 PM  
Blogger J at www.jellyjules.com said...

I'd switch doctors if I were you. Your daughter is obviously THRIVING (there's a word that goes with Well Visit, doesn't it?), and so what if she hasn't gained weight and/or grown in a few months. It's highly unlikely that she'll stay this size forever. My mom used to say it was her job to put healthy food in front of us at regular intervals, and her job ended there. We could eat or not. My daughter eats everything, so not so much of a problem, but there are days when she just isn't hungry. So what.

7/25/07, 10:57 AM  
Blogger J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Oh, and my daughter has always been on the big side. She eats healthy food, gets exercise, and is in the 75th-80th percentile, always. Now that she's getting close to teen, I was kind of expecting crap from my ped, and I was worried she might say something...hell, I have a niece with anorexia, and if the doctor said ANYTHING that made her feel like she might weigh too much, I'll strangle her. Nope. She said, "Oh, she's in the 80th percentile. That's normal for her." End of conversation. LOVE HER. You too can have a nice doctor, I swear. Just ask around.

7/25/07, 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

At a physical:
Nurse: What did you eat for breakfast today?
My daughter: donuts
Nurse: (in a condescending tone) "Hmmm.... I'm sure your mom knows that donuts aren't a healthy breakfast and you don't have them often..."
Me: (in my head, of course) "No, usually we have crack."
Me: (aloud) Ummmm... no usually we have fruit, and veggies, Oh, and whole grains and eggs, but not too many... (with all the stammering and apologeticalness I'm sure she's thinking "Yeah, right")

7/25/07, 12:13 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

Wow, I feel lucky to have the pediatrician we have (so cheerful! so encouraging! so loving!), even if her advice tends to stick to the conventional wisdom. I also feel lucky that she tells me that our 2.5 year-old is perfectly healthy in every way, and that there's absolutely no reason to worry that he's practically off the top of the weight chart. I play her voice in my head ("perfectly healthy in every way") when people exclaim, "good lord, what are you feeding that boy?"

[The answer, btw: pretty much whatever he wants, unless he chooses only ice cream and gummi bears. He likes nothing better than to open the fridge and say, "let's see what we have."]

7/25/07, 3:03 PM  
Blogger ephelba said...

Although I agree with everyone that you're doing just fine, I'm always game for "recipe" swapping when it comes to baby food, because sometimes somebody else thought of something I hadn't, and my kiddo ends up liking it...

My kiddo won't eat eggs or meat either- I sneak an extra egg (or just the yolk) into anything I can. An extra egg or two into muffins, an egg yolk into grits and cheese (you let this cool in a thin patty and it's like polenta with extra protein), mashed sweet potatoes with corn meal and maybe apples/applesauce/peaches to sweeten it further baked in the oven, sorta like a bread pudding
.
Smoothies in a rubbermaid juicebox for those times when she won't eat anything- plain wholemilk yogurt with a couple of bananas and a ton of frozen strawberries. You could probably get away with a mess of stuff in one of these.

Carr's wholewheat crackers- it's like graham crackers on steroids. Also that canned Brown bread, you can find it by the baked beans in my grocery store. Both are an excuse for cream cheese.

Falafel. With cucumber sauce. Really.

Feta dipped in hummus.

Broccoli with parmesian.

Ok, I'm out of ideas:)

7/25/07, 10:10 PM  
Anonymous dorothy said...

Liz, she's perfect. PERFECT. If she's not acting sick, then she's not sick. My kid is a little on the hefty side - I almost made myself vomit with anxiety over that for the first year of her life. And even if she is skinny? So what? Nobody in your family is going to die of skinny, because you would certainly not let them to do that.

This doc sounds like the Judgmental Pediatrician. I had to break up with her after she told me the little angel was too fat. I got the Benevolent Pediatrician after that, and I felt much, much better - because you're right - it's all in the delivery.

7/26/07, 4:42 PM  
Blogger Leann I Am said...

My kids are ALWAYS on the lower percentiles when it comes to weight. Luckily, my pediatrician is a little more 'lax' on stuff like that. She knows that kids go through phases where they eat next to nothing but Goldfish crackers and bread. When I question her, she tells me it's a phase, tells me what has worked for her and tells me not to WORRY about it too much.

I weighed 27 lbs the day I started kindergarten. My children are not destined to be much larger. I know it's hard to not be intimidated by a lab coat and all that med school under their belts, but you just can't. You know your daughter more than they do.

Plus, kids have an AMAZING margin for error!

7/26/07, 5:07 PM  
Anonymous Naomi (Urban Mummy) said...

Okay, I don't have any additional suggestions beyond what is already here. I just wanted to comment on this...

I've yet to lose a Jewish kid to starvation.

Bwaahahahahahah!!!

What is it about us Jews and food, anyway?

7/30/07, 3:39 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

You hit the nail on the head with the condescending doctors/More condescending doctors... I honestly wonder if they TEACH a class in "How to treat patients like they are complete morons."

I had a very picky eater too. Eventually they eat more than 3 foods. By 5 they go crazy and expand it to like 5 or something. :-)

7/30/07, 4:36 PM  
Blogger Swistle said...

Hi! I clicked over from Playgroups Are No Place For Children to read your post about ads, and I still seem to be reading half an hour later.

Those doctors--urg. One of our pediatricians said the same thing about my son's weight, and I knew absolutely that he was fine, and I just nodded and said I'd make the 3-month weight-check appointment--and then I didn't. Maybe I should have argued instead of taking the behind-the-back approach, but I don't find that arguing does any good.

8/1/07, 7:39 PM  
Blogger stefanierj said...

Okay, I almost never comment, I know, but this post reminds me of one Wood did about a year ago, and I remember feeling the same rage then that I do now. Doctors are supposed to be on our side!! Argh!

And holy moley, that little girl of yours sure looks well-fed and normal (if a little too grown up--I hate when they do that) to me.

8/3/07, 1:35 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

I totally know what you mean by that LOOK they give you. My kids see an ARMY doc (as their father is a soldier). The guy was trained to cauterize gaping wounds on the battlefield, but somehow got stucks in Peds instead and apparently it's my fault. My son is nearly three and still wears all 18 mos. sized clothes. He looks ridiculous in pants, or should I say "caprants" but that's another story. He's not even a picky eater. The kid's just little. Our doc diagnosed him with cystic fibrosis, crohn's disease, diabetes, celiac disease, and then insisted the specialists had done all the tests wrong when they all came back negative. Turns out he's just skinny. But somehow I'm still the retard and he's still the one with the med. degree.

7/24/08, 10:20 PM  

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