Since most of my readers are my friends, it's probably known that not only do I have a little boy, I have a little girl, too. Paige. And when I say little, I don't mean just little in age. They are both little in size. Isaac has always been low on the growth charts, right now he's in the 2% category for his height and weight. And although I've always adored my little petite girl, it seems that she's not just petite in my eyes, she's also petite when compared to the nation's little girls her age. She's in the 1% for height and weight.
I don't worry about their size on a day to day basis. I feed them CONSTANTLY. Sometimes I feel like that's all I ever do. I am a Mama bird, always planning their next meal. Isaac is picky, as my faithful readers know, but what he does eat, he eats in decent amounts. He can put down many slices of bacon in a single sitting. And Paige, she's an extraordinary eater. I've found that she's not super fond of avocados, and that's it. Everything else I've given her, she's eaten. Amazing! I've felt so blessed to have a good eater. Green beans, carrots, broccoli, artichokes, chili, corn, beans....she'll eat it all! Only lately I've noticed that the mozarella cheese she once loved, she has been pushing away and pursing her lips at. That should have been my first clue. It is true (as was told to me by a doctor) that sometimes when a kid doesn't like something, it's because they're body doesn't like it, which I've recently discovered is probably the case for Paige and milk products.
I only start to worry about their weight when I take them to the doctor. I started her on whole milk after I took her to the doctor for her 9 month well baby visit. The nurse weighed her and then measured her height. She looked puzzled, left the room for a minute, and then came back with "the board." The board is used for a more accurate height measurement on little ones. I laid Paige on the board, and the number was the same as when the nurse has measured her the usual way. When the doctor came in he told me that he didn't believe the nurse at first, because Paige was measuring so small.
Small. Here we go again. Isaac has been "small" his whole life. I have been questioned thoroughly about what he eats, referred to a nutritionist, urged to try whole milk, whole yogurt, things slathered with butter and cream cheese and anything loaded with calories to try and get his weight up. He has had blood drawn and allergy tests done. Even now they look at his growth chart and then look at me, slightly sideways, with a furrowed brow. Nothing like a visit to the doctor with my "small" children to make me feel like crap.
If the doctor followed me home and observed my day to day with my kids, he would see that I'm constantly in the kitchen making them food. When we go to the park I make sure I pack enough food. With Isaac, although he's 3 now, I sometimes still spoon feed him when he's too distracted to eat. I beg, plead, play, try eating outside and inside, make games out of it....do whatever I can to get my kids to eat. And so they do.
I feel guilty about nothing, essentially, when I hear that Paige is small and that I need to try to get her weight up. I feel guilty when they tell me she needs to come in for a weight check in 4 weeks. I like my doctor, I do. But is there another chart he can show me that measures how content, how cared for, how loved, how doted upon a child is? Because when I look at the height and weight chart, I just feel guilty. And I feel like a bad mom.
But I know I'm not. I'm trying my best. Paige and Isaac eat LOTS of food. They are just not as big as the rest of the kids in this country. I wonder how they would measure up to kids in other countries? And I just wish, for once, the doctor would tell me that because my kids are otherwise healthy - even with Isaac's asthma, at least it's under control now! - it's not such a big deal that they are "small."
So I gave Paige whole milk thinking that maybe it would help plump her up. She's still breast feeding multiple times a day and once at night. I gave her the whole milk for probably 3 days in a row. She didn't drink much of it, as she's still just learning how to drink from a sippy cup, I'd say maybe 6 ounces total, over the course of 3 days. During that time I noticed that she was constipated, and that her eyes were puffy. I was stumped about the puffy eyes until I realized that the only thing I had changed was giving her milk. I looked it up, and every article I found said that puffy eyes could be the sign of a milk sensitivity. Sigh. I stopped the milk.
I'm not surprised, really. Her dad is lactose and gluten intolerant. Isaac, as you know, has lots of food issues, and I've been told before that gluten isn't the best thing for me. There it is. Another kid with a possible food sensitivity. At least I found out early, and at least the reaction wasn't hideous. That might explain why she's been refusing cheese. Maybe she just knows, "it makes my tummy hurt!"