Today is another installment on my recent theme: parenting gets easier and you’re a good mom. YES your kid will eventually eat a vegetable. YES he will survive even on Goldfish and cheese slices. YES your kid will probably be fine even if he hates bottles and you can’t ever leave him for more than 2 hours at a time and you feel like you’ll be breastfeeding until he’s 12.
Evan had his four year well-child visit on Tuesday. The visit itself was kind of awful, with two children sobbing about their shots (despite the fact that only one child even GOT shots) but the information from the visit was great. Evan is 40.5 pounds and 41 inches tall, which puts him just below the 75th percentile and right on the curve he’s been on since his 2-year check up. They also calculated his BMI at 16, which a) does a 4 year old really need to know their BMI? and b) obviously doesn’t mean the same thing for a kid, since 16 falls in the “significantly underweight” category for adults and my kid is clearly not underweight. He’s as healthy as can be and impressed the pediatrician by saying his favorite food was apples. SO MANY APPLES.
It was a good check-up. As the doctor asked her questions I felt an overwhelming sense of “I got this. ” Despite the fact that it’s been almost three years since Evan fell of the growth curve I used to still get nervous when they pulled out the charts. Finally I feel like I can own our choices and our mistakes – when the doctor asked if I thought Evan’s speech was a little unclear I said it was probably because we relied on a sippy cup for too long but we had already switched to straws and I wasn’t worried. Then the doctor started asking ME for advice, since she has a 2 year old she’s struggling to get off sippy cups because he has been so reluctant to give up bottles and they finally found a sippy he liked and she doesn’t want him to stop drinking milk and she wasn’t sure what to do and did I like the take’n’toss cups as an alternative? (Yes.)
There’s nothing like seeing your pediatrician as just another mom struggling against the whim and will of a toddler to make you realize we’re all just doing the best we can as parents and things will be OK. Of course, telling you things will be OK is not going to make you believe they will be OK, but try to hold that knowledge deep inside. If you think there is something wrong, there might be something wrong and getting it checked out is the right choice. Always. But don’t feel guilty over every less-than-ideal-nutrition bite that crosses your kid’s lips. I wish I could go back and hug my previous self who thought she was doing everything wrong when it came to feeding my kid and show her 4 year old, 75th percentile Evan. He’s doing great, which means I am too.