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Fattening Up

By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Soren is a small boy. He's always been in the low percentile since birth. But he is growing at his own rate, usually two or three pounds at each visit. My mom said that I was a small baby too. My grandmother had to make clothes for me because I was so petite. Because of this I haven't been too worried about his size. He has started to eat three squares and at least one snack not to mention his daily allowance of nursing. Soren copy.jpg Still, he didn't gain any weight in the last eight weeks and grew nearly an inch. That dropped him down a couple of percentage points on the growth chart. His doctor said she would like to see him gain some weight so that he doesn't "fall behind." Those two words set bells and huge red waving flags ringing and flapping in my head. What? "Fall Behind?" I don't want to ever hear those words in regards to my kid, not from his teacher and certainly not from his doctor! The Sipowitz type grilling began: "Should I be worried?" "Are YOU worried?" "What should I do? He eats a lot I swear!" "Do you think he needs formula?" "Is there something wrong with my breastmilk?" Of course I never gave her a chance to answer any of those questions as I berated her nonstop for a full twenty seconds. "You could try adding butter," she said. "Uh...okay." She explained that she wasn't too worried but I needed to make sure that he ate solid meals and snacks throughout the day and I should fatten those up by adding butter and other oils. Of course, I became frustrated by that answer in that I am not home with him in the day to monitor his calorie intake. I already begin every conversation upon arriving home with: "Did he poop today?" "Did he have a snack?" "How did he nap?" all in a deperate attempt to keep track of what is going on with my kid while I'm gone. "Falling behind" makes me want to quit my job so that I can maintain total control over my household's eating habits. Of course that's not practical. I guess I'll just add the question: "Did Soren eat some butter today?" and hope for the best.