Kid Worries

Than­ks for point­ing me to the Hall­marks of Felin­i­ty, damiana_swan. I found the “That’s not a woman!” strips a hoot, too (my daugh­ter is devel­op­ing into one all too quick­ly for my taste).

We went to the pedi­a­tri­cian and G had her check­up. Now, I knew that we real­ly have to keep remind­ing her to eat, and I knew she has­n’t been grow­ing a lot. She’s the youngest and small­est and just isn’t grow­ing straight up like a weed as Katie and R are. But now I learn that she’s lost a sig­nif­i­cant amount of weight since March. She only weighs 57 pounds and she’s 4′6″ tall. The nurse said she’s gone from the 50th per­centile to the 5th per­centile in weight and is around the 50th per­centile in height. She’s way underweight.

The doc­tor sug­gest­ed giv­ing her milkshakes—the old-fash­ioned whole milk and ice cream stuff with lots of fat—every night before bed. That should put on some weight quick­ly, but I also checked out sev­er­al books about child/adolescent nutri­tion at the library. I’m a lit­tle wor­ried about that much dairy intake lead­ing to con­ges­tion and maybe a recur­rence of the ear infec­tions she used to live with constantly.

My broth­er is a fit­ness nazi. Becom­ing a doc­tor (he’s in the third year of his res­i­den­cy) has only made him more stri­dent. For years he’s been telling me that my daugh­ter (and now my and Sam’s kids) will def­i­nite­ly get fat because I’m fat. And Sam’s not a lit­tle per­son by any mea­sure. And obvi­ous­ly (as far as broth­er is con­cerned), fat only hap­pens because we’re glut­tons, so we must be teach­ing our chil­dren ter­ri­ble eat­ing habits.

The fact that Sam reg­u­lar­ly has to remind me to eat ANYTHING AT ALL isn’t one that broth­er wants to hear. R is a long, lanky boy, though I’m not sure of his exact height and weight so I can’t fig­ure out per­centiles (and we don’t keep a scale in the house). Katie is in the 96th per­centile for height and 50th for weight—another string bean. Geni is under­weight. Oh—G and R’s bio­moth­er is big­ger than I am. Katie’s father spent most of his life bat­tling a ten­den­cy to chub­bi­ness. They all get the nature/nurture wham­my from both sides, too. If fat parents=fat kids, why don’t we have even one fat kid?

I admit that I’m prob­a­bly par­tic­u­lar­ly annoyed about that atti­tude right now because 1) I’ve recent­ly had a MAJOR falling out with my broth­er, and I am not talk­ing to him or allow­ing him to com­mu­ni­cate with my daugh­ter in any way, and 2) I got an email this morn­ing that is almost cer­tain­ly from stalk­er creep quot­ing a Bible verse that says glut­tons should cut their throats.

And I’m at a par­tic­u­lar­ly low point in my own self-esteem lev­el, so I’m not tak­ing any of that crap as well as I usu­al­ly would.

But this was sup­posed to be about G. And yes, I’m wor­ried about her. She’s on two dif­fer­ent drugs (Adder­all and Wel­butrin) that depress appetite. She’s nev­er been a big eater any­way, and now it’s par­tic­u­lar­ly dif­fi­cult to get her inter­est­ed in any­thing. But by the end of the school year, she was also being decep­tive about whether or not she had eat­en at times, espe­cial­ly about break­fast. That gives me cause to won­der about incip­i­ent eat­ing dis­or­ders because peo­ple who just don’t feel like eat­ing sel­dom both­er to try to hide the fact that they aren’t eating.

I had real­ly wor­ried more about Katie and eat­ing dis­or­ders, because 1) her father and step­moth­er were con­stant­ly harp­ing about every­body’s weight, and 2) she’s a dancer. Eat­ing dis­or­ders are just about de rigeur in that whole sub­cul­ture. She was under­weight for a while, but she’s doing bet­ter now and has a rea­son­able appetite.

The doc­tor tried to find some­thing that would inter­est G—some kind of sport or phys­i­cal activ­i­ty, because she was a lit­tle wor­ried about her lack of ener­gy, too. Noth­ing. None. Not a sport in the world that the child wants to try. She does­n’t want to play soc­cer again. She does­n’t like rid­ing a bike or skat­ing. Dance lessons? Not inter­est­ed. Gym­nas­tics? Nope. Swim­ming? It’s fun (said in a monot­o­ne voice). Guess we need to get a Y mem­ber­ship again and go to the pool dai­ly or some­thing. Out of all the many var­ied activ­i­ties offered at Girl Scout camp, she’s only inter­est­ed in sewing (which she does at home) and pot­tery. That’s it. None of the oth­ers, nope, no way, no how. She’ll have to take swim­ming lessons there because it’s stan­dard for all first-time GS camp atten­dees, but she would­n’t take them if she had a choice not to do so.

I brought home sev­er­al videos from the library, too. Two are Pilates-based work­outs for dancers, one is called the “Wom­en’s War­rior Work­out.” Since G showed zero inter­est in any of them, but she has a fol­low­er per­son­al­i­ty, I delib­er­ate­ly chose things that Katie would be inter­est­ed in try­ing. Because if Katie does them, G will want to do them with her. Yes, find­ing some­thing G want­ed to do would be bet­ter, but she would­n’t even look at the selection.

I take any­thing that’s “wrong” with the kids per­son­al­ly. Even though two of them aren’t “mine” legal­ly or bio­log­i­cal­ly, and indeed I did­n’t even know them a lit­tle over four years ago. I just feel like a fail­ure if they aren’t doing well. I have to work on not com­mu­ni­cat­ing that to them, though, because it’s my crap, not theirs.

Cur­rent Mood: 😡aggra­vat­ed
Cur­rent Music: Kit­ty col­lars jin­gling and the foun­tain burbling
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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