Wednesday, January 12, 2011

He's on the charts, and I don't care

For the last year, I've been trying to fatten Max up. OK, not make him a porker or anything; it's actually good for a kid with cerebral palsy to be light on his feet. And because I still have to pick him up on occasion—to help him up stairs, or to change him—it's a good thing for me, too. Max still has the pinchable cheeks he's had since he was a baby, but he'd gotten so scrawny that I'd cringe at the sight of his ribs poking out when I'd give him a bath. The doctor wasn't concerned, but still.

Evaporated milk in his cereal, olive oil on his spaghetti and an indecent amount of chocolate ice-cream seem to have helped; Max has been looking more filled out. We went for his annual appointment recently. Max weighs in at 45 pounds—a nine-pound gain from last year.

"He's on the charts again!" the doctor said to me.

"What?" I said, distracted by my excitement over the weight gain.

"His weight had fallen off the charts for the last few years, but now he's back on—he's in the fifth percentile," the doc told me.

"Interesting," I said.

In all honesty, I have little interest in any chart that compares Max to other kids. It's a defense muscle I've built up over the years, and it's pretty strong now. Max is healthy in his own right; that's all that matters to me. I don't really care how he ranks.

Although I do wonder whether his crazy mop of hair accounts for any of the weight gain.

23 comments:

  1. As I finished reading your post, I started processing it, comparing it to our life, etc., etc., I caught myself gazing at that too fabulous picture of Max. And what was my thought as I was staring at him? "I love Max." Perhaps you have something going with your blog name...

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  2. Sadie.. at age 4.. just hit 25 lbs. I soooo wish we could gain.. just ounces here and there!

    Excited to see you at Blissdom...

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  3. I don't care at all about the charts either. When they try to show them to me I am uninterested. Charlie doesn't use his legs--how could he possibly weigh the same as a kid who can actually bear weight? Craziness. For the record, we sit at the bottom of the charts for weight, but never make it for height. No tall genes at this house.

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  4. Sam: You have excellent taste. :)

    Megan: Max weighed under 30 at age 4, too. He didn't really gain anything significant till this past year. I know how you feel. We will talk at Blissdom.

    Katy: Max isn't on the charts for height, either. S'OK.

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  5. That's fantastic, Oatie loves his "milkshake" which is a soy protein shake, I've noticed he's got a better appetite and seems to stronger. Sending hugs to Max xxx

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  6. Ohh and I know what you mean, about carrying the little guys, light does have it's advantages lol. X

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  7. My daughter just made the charts for the first time since she was born at the 3rd percentile; I was so excited. She is three years at 24 pounds. Her good eating days make us so happy! Food and calories is always a struggle in our house. The doctor has contributed her lean and low weight stature to her cp and chronic lung disease. But we don't try not to think of it too much. We are just thankful she is a happy sweet girl, that also loves ice cream!

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  8. My Olivia is almost 10 and weighs 48 lbs...I was so excited the last time we were at the doctor b/c she had gained 3 lbs!!! I contribute most of it to her hair also!!

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  9. I'd love to see more of Max's cheery face again - the mop of hair covers so much of it! Just wish I had hair that thick!

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  10. My low birth weight daughter is 4 3/4 and weighs 28.5 pounds and the 2 1/2 year old girl with CP and MCADD weighs 25.5 pounds (minus one for the virus we just got over) so at my house both girls are underweight but the child with CP is the only one to ever make the charts (5th percentile weight is our highest ever, 20th for height) One thing I've always enjoyed about our pediatrician is that he has never given me grief about my elder daughter's weight or position on charts, never has mentioned growth hormones because of her being IUGR, he always just compliments me on their intelligence, successes and sparkling personalities. Othewise I'd have to poke someone's eyes out.

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  11. Hell, I've been "off the charts" for several years now, since I carry around an unwanted package of flab, much of it on my ass! Wish I could donate it, like blood, to people who could use a little more padding, and feel I was doing a good deed!!

    I have one horse and one sparrow--so long as they have good appetites and are healthy, I'm not getting guilted over or worrying about "charts." Life's too frigging short to adhere to some arbitrary jerk's paradigm.

    200 years ago, the "experts" said that the "healthy" people were the FAT ones...go figure!!!! Just because someone says it with a loud and authoritative voice does NOT make it true!

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  12. Last physical I had the NP told me I wasn't where I should be. I guess it matters for adults too, but it's a wheel looking thing instead of a chart. She told me I should gain 10 more pounds. I asked her where I should put it. Unless a specialist tells me something, like a PM&R, I just smile and nod.

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  13. Charts shmarts... I don't pay any attention to them either anymore.

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  14. I LOVE his hair!!! And yeah, Jack is off the charts, too. Unfortunately, we've had no weight gain in the past year, despite me feeding him any amount of indecent junk food. Off to the docs!

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  15. My 2 year old is almost 30lbs, part of the reason I wish he would take off and walk, he's heavy to carry around!

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  16. Way to grow, Max!

    I wonder... if I start using more olive oil and eating crazy amounts of chocolate ice cream, will my hair grow that fast and be that thick and luxurious?? Please let it be yes.

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  17. I don't think you can honestly say you REALLY don't care though. There will probably always be a part of you that cares whether or not he's on the charts. And that's okay as long as you don't overvalue it, but I think to completely DENY that you could care and do do.... is kind of doing it a disservice.

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  18. Ginger: Your pediatrician sounds awesome. Ours is great overall, too, and always compliments Max's progress. That, I can never hear enough of.

    Felicia, "one horse and one sparrow" reminded me of a friend who had twins of very different sizes; the guy at her grocery story used to call them "Spaghetti and Meatball."

    Sarah: "I asked her where I should put it" made me smile.

    Brenda: That has been our story in past years, although this year we really did bulk up the calories. Maybe Max's body was just ready to fill out.

    Jennifer: I am here to inform you that, sadly, no, if you eat lots of food with olive oil and down ridiculous amounts of chocolate ice-cream, your hair will not necessarily look as thick and glossy as Max's. I know this because who do you think was downing all that food along with him?

    And Anon Y Mous (do I know you?) I meant what I said: I really do not care about the charts, a sentiment echoed by other parents here. I am happy he's healthy. I've got plenty of other stuff to worry about besides weight charts.

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  19. my son was off the charts for a long time ( 18 month clothes were baggy at almost 3 years old) but he's grown 3 1/2 inches in the past year! 8 slims are baggy but barely long enough, how do you find pants for tiny waists with long legs? I need to learn to sew i guess

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  20. Ashley's 5 and a half and weighs 60 pounds. Like (most of) you guys we don't pay too much attention to charts. He's always been big but he's solid as a brick and you can actually see his shoulder muscles ripple! Height is a nonsense as he doesn't stand straight and their measurements actually go up and down!
    As long as they're healthy who gives a stuff?
    Max is a handsome lad, isn't he?

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  21. This is exactly what I needed to hear as we went to the doctor this week and one of the first things I said was, "Am I in trouble about his weight yet?" Fortunately we have a great doc who said, "You're never in trouble and he'd doing fine as long as he's keeps doing his own thing." Or like Mo said, Charts shmarts.

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  22. found your site on del.icio.us today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later

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  23. Although I do wonder whether his crazy mop of hair accounts for any of the weight gain- I can say that isnt true, its something to do with the metabolism.

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Thanks for sharing!



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