A glimpse into our family – the good, the bad, and, of course, the funny

My son’s new label. I’m mad. June 16, 2012

I’m a little peeved.  I’ve tried to get over it, shake it off, but I can’t.  Not many things bother me this much.  Most of the time when I get mad about something, it’s short-lived.  But I just can’t get this off my mind.  I’m trying hard to keep myself in check – not to overreact – but it’s proving very difficult.

The pediatrician called my son fat.

Well, I guess she didn’t say fat, but in my mind, overweight is the same thing.

here’s the paperwork I have to give to the school to register my son for kindergarten. he’ll start school with a label.

She suggested that I should watch what he eats and make sure he exercises.  Make sure he exercises!!

My son who just beat his older sister in the one-mile mud run,

who’s number one!?

plays outside hours a day,

he spent this day catching frogs

loves camping, swimming, canoeing, climbing, building, running, riding his bicycle, working with his animals, jumping on the trampoline, playing American Ninja Warrior, and going on adventures….

hmm…I just don’t see it…

…is overweight.


I felt like telling the doctor all of this.  I felt like telling her she was wrong!  Max is healthy, strong, athletic, vibrant, and perfect just the way he is.  He eats well.  He exercises more than adequately.  He is active.  He is NOT FAT!!  I felt like arguing with her until she got the point!

But, the numbers don’t leave room for negotiation.  She calculated Max’s BMI, and the answer to the equation equaled fat kid.

he’s been big ever since he was born

I’m mad that I’m even sitting here defending my son against such a ridiculous claim.  This country is filled with obese people, we all know that.  And we all know what they look like.  And we all know what habits and lifestyles lead to it.  My son is not obese, overweight, or fat.

I will not change his diet, try to make him exercise more, or in any other way try to manipulate his weight.  And I’ll never tell him what the doctor said.

don’t mess with a mom about her kid!

Oh, that doctor!  She expected me to be defensive, so talking to her was impossible.  I was speaking perfectly calmly and matter-of-factly, but no matter what I said, she acted like she was talking me down.  It was so frustrating!

Then, to top it off, she said he’s obviously just a big kid.  “After all,” she looked at me and said, “you’re rather big, too.”

Wow, Doc.  Thanks a lot.  That really made things a lot better.  Yep.  Thanks.

here’s a good one of us lounging on the couch watching television while eating a tub of cheese balls. oh, wait. wrong picture. oh yeah, we were exercising in this one. oops.


22 Responses to “My son’s new label. I’m mad.”

  1. sherbear64 Says:

    How rude, on all sorts of levels! I’m glad that doctor didn’t see me or she would of said it’s hereditary!

  2. mitman64 Says:

    No worries. The doctor is just a government- controlled and manipulated health care provider. With a name like Max would you really want some statistically normal kid!? He perfect just the way he is.

  3. lorajbanks Says:

    It really bothers me that in every other service industry, customer service is stressed as important more than anything else. As soon as people NEED the service, it’s like the customer is allowed to be treated as an annoyance and an idiot. What an a-hole. They need to come up with the midwife equivalent for the family doctor.

    Also, I can relate to that conversation. None of my kids are vaccinated. That makes for some fun conversations let me tell you. First it’s assumed that I don’t care about my kids, and second that I’m some bumkin who’s never heard of the Department of Health. The truth of the matter is that I know more about vaccines than any other mother in my circle of friends, because I DO care enough to research it. I’m in NO WAY not saying that if you vaccinate your kids you don’t care, I just mean that when you’re injecting your 3-month-old baby with ANYTHING, I think you should be encouraged to find out more about it, not be treated like a moron for doing so.

    For what it’s worth…Max is absolutely NOT overweight, fat or any such thing. My daughter is the same way. She’s totally lean, but it’s like she’s made out of lead or something. I’m sure we’ll be having the same conversation with my doctor soon. Hang in there.

    • mandyholbert Says:

      I know exactly what you mean about the customer service thing. It would be so refreshing to be treated with proper respect and consideration in all service industries, not just retail and food service. And thanks for the encouraging words about Max! I think he must be made of lead, too, like your daughter!

  4. Overweight??!! No way? I thought a good BMI was anywhere between 18-24? So it seems like he’s spot on. How rude! I can really see why you’re pee’d off with this. Such a stupid thing to say, if she said it to an older child you can see why they end up with eating disorders. Well out of order. It seems doctors can at times have great knowledge but zero social/communication skills.

    • mandyholbert Says:

      That’s exactly why I won’t tell him about what the doctor said or try to manipulate his weight in any way. It could be so damaging to his long-term self image. He’s perfect just the way he is! And, even if he were overweight, I just don’t really see where it is the school system’s business.

  5. betsyk1 Says:

    This is not the first time I’ve heard a story such as this. Your child is overweight. Your child is underweight. Too tall. Too short. You know what? Your kid looks perfectly fine and normal to me! I get so tired of these doctors saying all kids should fit into cookie cutter graphs of what is the “norm.” Every kid is different. Your son is totally fine and healthy. Ignore the doctor!

    • mandyholbert Says:

      They rate everything now! The whole system they use for reading levels blows my mind. Every aspect of a child is ranked. I don’t think it’s healthy. We should just let kids be kids. They’ll have enough nonsense to deal with as they grow up. Why complicate things by making them feel inadequate or self-conscious? And thanks for the encouragement!

  6. Jocellyn Says:

    Eeek! He looks perfectly fine. BMI is a really poor way to judge someone’s weight. Yes, there are lots of overweight kids out there, but your boy is definitely not one of them.

    • mandyholbert Says:

      Thanks. I agree with you. And I agree that BMI is not always the best way to gauge someone’s weight, and it definitely doesn’t reflect the healthy habits of a healthy lifestyle.

  7. Oster's Mom Says:

    Your son’s ped clearly didn’t ask you about his day-to-day actives AND what types of food he eats. Every body is different. I think it’s awful how professionals base their judgment solely on a chart. Maybe use the chart as a basis, but not the #1 resource. I’ve seen overweight children and yours is definitely not overweight.

    • mandyholbert Says:

      Thank you! I’m so glad that most logical parents agree with me on this. I really don’t know how my kids could be more active, short of putting them on a specific exercise routine (but that would interrupt their normal play time). Maybe I could make my five-year-old son train for a marathon! Haha! Thanks again!

  8. Jessie Clemence Says:

    Hhhhmm. How many other doctors do you have in town? It might be time to get a new one!

    • mandyholbert Says:

      I know what you mean. But, no matter who calculates his BMI, it’s going to be the same answer. Other than this one situation, I’ve been really pleased with this doctor’s office. I feel very loyal to the practice because one of the doctors saved Max’s life when he was born.

  9. My BMI is pretty high too, but F it! If you are eating well and moving around then just let nature take it’s course! What a jerk that doctor is. J.E.R.K.

    • mandyholbert Says:

      I think the fact that we have to categorize every aspect of a kid is what really stinks. Who cares what his BMI is or what percentile his height is or how he compares in intelligence and motor skills in white boys in his age bracket? I sure don’t!!

      • Nope. If his skin isn’t rolling over itself or he doesn’t have a disease which needs to carefully monitor his weight then WHO CARES. His body is doing what it needs to, to insure that he grows properly. There’s a chance he’s going to be a tall boy who needs to build up the extra muscle and calories now – but by NO MEANS does your son look fat. No even one little bit. Your doctor is sick for not just poo-pooing the whole BMI system. It doesn’t take enough factors into effect and kids should never be judged by it.

      • mandyholbert Says:

        Amen, sister!!

  10. Tabi Says:

    Oh. My. Goodness. Your kids are so very healthy looking its absurd! I have come to the conclusion though that doctors really don’t know crap. My husband’s cousin was a very small baby. VERY small. Her growth was a couple years behind those in her age group. She ate fine, ran around, but she was a very petite person. When taken in for a checkup, the doctor told her parents she wasn’t big enough, and to put butter on ALL her food. Even ice cream. As in, don’t cook with butter, Add extra to EVERYTHING.

    They ignored him completely. and their little girl is starting to catch up to her age group. She’s happy, healthy, and a beautiful little girl. Just like your little boy is perfect just the way he is.

    • mandyholbert Says:

      I figure he’ll fall back into the normal weight category as he gets taller. That seems like common sense. I just wish the doctors would look at it that way, too. Thanks for reading!

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