Check

We took Alden to his 15-month checkup today.

It occurs to me that most couples probably don’t both go to every doctor appointment. But I can’t imagine not going. I look forward to Alden’s pediatrician’s visits. Yes, the shots make me sad. But he takes them really well. The tears stop as soon as the needle comes out. So to me, the doctor’s office is the place I can go where three adults focus solely on Alden and I have license to talk about him without restraint. No one will call me obnoxious.

We had already met the office staff and today we met the doctor. He was everything we’d hoped and, considering the disastrous experience we’d had with our first Knox pediatrician, there was a lot of emotion riding on that hope. He listened respectfully to everything we said, asked our opinions about how we should handle vaccinations this year, and provided advice based on our kid and our situation rather than trying cram a set agenda down our throats. Charmingly, he also leaned comfortably against the exam table and spent all kinds of time playing with Alden and listening to our stories. At one point I actually began to wonder how the appointment was supposed to end, since he didn’t seem inclined to go anywhere. But ultimately he did, after ensuring we had discussed every last point of concern or curiosity.

His office staff told me about this, by way of warning, when I made the first appointment. She said something along the lines of, “The doctor believes strongly that it’s important to spend time with each patient. He gives all the children and families all the time he thinks they need.” And I said, “Great!” and she said, “But you have to know that means you could sit in the waiting room for a while. Sometimes a long while.” True dat. On our first visit we waited more than an hour. Totally worth it. This time there was no wait at all. Bonus!

Interestingly (she says in a decidedly neutral voice), Alden hasn’t gained weight in nearly five months. We don’t know about his height because they forgot to write it down last time. I do think he’s gotten taller, as judging by his pants. He’s performed a graceful glide down the charts and has gone from being My Big Fat Italian Baby (in the 90+ percentile for all measurements) to a peanut hovering around 15% for all. That’s okay. It really is. I was not only always the smallest kid in my class, I was dramatically the smallest. Neither Damon nor I are particularly big now. Still. I’m ready to see the trend arrested. Because if he hits single digits I will probably be less sanguine. Tonight I made Alden tomato bisque (Which he wouldn’t eat even though I KNOW he loves it.) and cheese crackers and applesauce. He is my blade of grass and I am whispering “Grow. Grow.”

I should say about the above that the doctor was reassuring. He pointed out that babies still breastfeeding at this age are often lighter, but that breast milk is still a perfect food and should be offered when possible. He also pointed out that the averages include a lot of toddlers who are eating too much fast/junk food and that we don’t want weight for weight’s sake.

It does seem to me that it’s possible Alden isn’t getting enough fat. We don’t eat meat, so that’s a big chunk out of the diet. He absolutely will not drink milk, which kills me because I love it and drink a ton daily. He absolutely will not eat yogurt, which I understand because I hate yogurt too. We’ve got avocados and cheese in our corner. I’m going to start hitting the butter a little harder and cooking with whole milk, or even cream occasionally. If anyone has any other suggestions about fatting up the babes I’d be happy to hear them.

And finally, an update on the night weaning project. Short update: It’s off. Longer update: We had one hard night and then a series of very easy nights. And then it all went to hell and Alden lost his voice two days in a row from screaming all night. He’s getting two molars and we all agreed today that he needs the comfort right now. So when I see my new doctor I’ll ask her to check my prolactin and see where we are. I’m relieved that the doctor recommended we go back to night nursing. Two nights of serious crying left me feeling that we were off track. I’ll keep trying to distract him when he asks (demands) to nurse, but if that doesn’t work then nurse him I will.

I know this blog has been the Alden show lately. But it’s been the Alden show in my head lately, so this is what happens. I figure it has to be at least as interesting as blogging about work, and no one ever feels like they need to put that behind a cut or filter.

Actually, I would at least lock down work posts. So if y’all ever want to talk design behind the Friends filter we can do that too.

Here, for those who haven’t seen it yet (and those who have but would enjoy seeing it again), is my current favorite photo of the boy. NYE.

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56 responses to this post.

  1. Donovan hit a point where he nearly stopped gaining, too. He was 20 pounds by 4 months, but didn’t break 25 by a year and is 31 pounds fully dressed at 2.5.

    Reply

  2. Donovan hit a point where he nearly stopped gaining, too. He was 20 pounds by 4 months, but didn’t break 25 by a year and is 31 pounds fully dressed at 2.5.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Anonymous on January 13, 2009 at 5:00 am

    Pedes
    I’m really glad you found a good Knoxville pediatrician, and sorry the first one didn’t work out….
    Barry Wallace

    Reply

  4. Posted by Anonymous on January 13, 2009 at 5:00 am

    Pedes
    I’m really glad you found a good Knoxville pediatrician, and sorry the first one didn’t work out….
    Barry Wallace

    Reply

  5. When I was little, I used to love cream cheese and jelly. Maybe that could give him a little heft. Don’t fatten him up too much though cause y’know, dingoes and all.

    Reply

  6. When I was little, I used to love cream cheese and jelly. Maybe that could give him a little heft. Don’t fatten him up too much though cause y’know, dingoes and all.

    Reply

  7. The only thing that got Ezra to drink cow milk at first was a spoonful of Ovaltine. It’s not sugary; it’s all vitamins! 🙂 Now he’ll drink it without, but he still demands his morning cup of “O-tine.”
    Sounds like you have a great pediatrician! And don’t panic about the weight. Lots of kids level off at this age. He’s more active, and the second year growth slows pretty dramatically anyway. Remember that percentiles are not a grade: people brag about being in the 95th, but when the kid is 3 they start calling that “overweight.” Look at the kid, not the chart. That said, there’s nothing wrong with getting some more good fats into his diet.

    Reply

  8. The only thing that got Ezra to drink cow milk at first was a spoonful of Ovaltine. It’s not sugary; it’s all vitamins! 🙂 Now he’ll drink it without, but he still demands his morning cup of “O-tine.”
    Sounds like you have a great pediatrician! And don’t panic about the weight. Lots of kids level off at this age. He’s more active, and the second year growth slows pretty dramatically anyway. Remember that percentiles are not a grade: people brag about being in the 95th, but when the kid is 3 they start calling that “overweight.” Look at the kid, not the chart. That said, there’s nothing wrong with getting some more good fats into his diet.

    Reply

    • That’s a fantastic recommendation. Thanks! Ovaltine is on the grocery list.
      Good point about the fat, too. All things considered, I’d rather be on a fattening project now than a slim-down project in a few years.

      Reply

  9. ha ha ha ha!

    Reply

  10. At what age are kids allowed nuts? I was going to suggest a nut butter if it was appropriate.

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  11. At what age are kids allowed nuts? I was going to suggest a nut butter if it was appropriate.

    Reply

    • Nut butter is a very good idea. He’s not allowed until he’s 2, but that will be upon us before we know it.

      Reply

      • We’ve already taken the leap to peanut butter; it was tough to get enough protein into Bonzo, so the ped actually recommended it for us at the 15 month checkup.
        To give you another data point, Bonzo’s currently 19 months and just scraping 23 pounds. I think he didn’t move an ounce between 10 months and 15 months. He’s always been kind of small but I was beginning to get worried. He’s picking up now, but in sideways toddler fashion: ravenous for a week, then shuns all food for three or four days. It’s frustrating.
        I love your “little blade of grass” image. Exactly.

      • It sounds like our boys are similar. If I didn’t have a history of allergies I would put him on peanut butter now too.

  12. Sabrina had a weight plateau. I don’t think it was five months long, but it was at least three. I was very worried about it and my doctor asked me if she was acting happy/active. She was. He therefore tactfully suggested that I not worry about it because she was just growing her own way. If she started acting passive or “sick”, I should let him know.
    I miss that doctor.
    I’m really impressed that you can get Alden to eat avocadoes. My children will not touch them! And they are so-o good!

    Reply

  13. Sabrina had a weight plateau. I don’t think it was five months long, but it was at least three. I was very worried about it and my doctor asked me if she was acting happy/active. She was. He therefore tactfully suggested that I not worry about it because she was just growing her own way. If she started acting passive or “sick”, I should let him know.
    I miss that doctor.
    I’m really impressed that you can get Alden to eat avocadoes. My children will not touch them! And they are so-o good!

    Reply

    • Smart doctor. I think “don’t worry” is probably the most frequently-given good advice.
      Alden will eat:
      — onions
      — pickled ginger
      — tofu curry
      — mushrooms
      — crab stick sushi
      — cat food
      — whatever you’re eating (as long as it’s not milk or yogurt)
      It’s bizarre.

      Reply

  14. Its very rare that b or i skip a doc appt with our kids. it was handy to be in the habit when we started having two girls getting shots on the same day.

    Reply

  15. Its very rare that b or i skip a doc appt with our kids. it was handy to be in the habit when we started having two girls getting shots on the same day.

    Reply

  16. I was just reading a discussion elsewhere, and several moms said their breastfed babies were total porkers in the first year, then slimmed down dramatically in the second. Purely anecdotal, but there you go. Certainly can’t hurt to get more good fats in his diet, since his brain can use it. He’s still awesomely adorable, and I hope you’re nibbling on that belly every chance you get, because there’s nothing better than little boy bellies.

    Reply

  17. I was just reading a discussion elsewhere, and several moms said their breastfed babies were total porkers in the first year, then slimmed down dramatically in the second. Purely anecdotal, but there you go. Certainly can’t hurt to get more good fats in his diet, since his brain can use it. He’s still awesomely adorable, and I hope you’re nibbling on that belly every chance you get, because there’s nothing better than little boy bellies.

    Reply

  18. I would say (and have said) to anyone who ever complains about how they’re not interested in what someone has to say in their LiveJournal that it is a Journal not a Blog.
    So, write write write about The Boy. You will thank yourself later.
    In fact, I think I hear your future self thanking you now.
    I believe you gave me this same advice, and I can testify that you were right.
    Also, Lyle Lovett says that fat babies have no pride.

    Reply

  19. I would say (and have said) to anyone who ever complains about how they’re not interested in what someone has to say in their LiveJournal that it is a Journal not a Blog.
    So, write write write about The Boy. You will thank yourself later.
    In fact, I think I hear your future self thanking you now.
    I believe you gave me this same advice, and I can testify that you were right.
    Also, Lyle Lovett says that fat babies have no pride.

    Reply

    • Amen about Lyle Lovett.
      Also, that picture of Alden is totally adorable. So expressive! O!

      Reply

    • I love a man who knows the difference between a journal and a blog. Thank you, too, for your perspective. You’re right, of course.
      I don’t know how long it will be before I can read that Lyle Lovett line without chuckling.

      Reply

  20. Amen about Lyle Lovett.
    Also, that picture of Alden is totally adorable. So expressive! O!

    Reply

  21. Love that expression! He’s all, like, whoa, this is so. damn. cool!
    And I like the Alden blog part of things, as much as I like the Not Alden part of things. It’s all good.

    Reply

  22. Love that expression! He’s all, like, whoa, this is so. damn. cool!
    And I like the Alden blog part of things, as much as I like the Not Alden part of things. It’s all good.

    Reply

    • That is exactly what he is like.
      And thank you. Still, I admire your wide ranging focus and would seek to emulate that. But possibly I will just keep writing “OMG My baby is soooo cute!”

      Reply

  23. As I recall, Donovan has the world title for baby chunkarifficness.
    Alden’s 15 months and 21 pounds. I would like to see him hit 25 as he approaches 2.

    Reply

  24. Re: Pedes
    Thanks much!

    Reply

  25. Excellent idea. Did you eat it as a sandwich? On crackers? Lick it directly off the plate?
    Alden already has a Dingo Snack t-shirt, courtesy of so we should probably not tempt fate further.

    Reply

  26. That’s a fantastic recommendation. Thanks! Ovaltine is on the grocery list.
    Good point about the fat, too. All things considered, I’d rather be on a fattening project now than a slim-down project in a few years.

    Reply

  27. Nut butter is a very good idea. He’s not allowed until he’s 2, but that will be upon us before we know it.

    Reply

  28. I don’t think D will ever break 32 pounds. Liam weighed one pound per inch of height for years, was always something like 95th+ percentile for height and >25th percentile for weight.

    Reply

  29. Smart doctor. I think “don’t worry” is probably the most frequently-given good advice.
    Alden will eat:
    — onions
    — pickled ginger
    — tofu curry
    — mushrooms
    — crab stick sushi
    — cat food
    — whatever you’re eating (as long as it’s not milk or yogurt)
    It’s bizarre.

    Reply

  30. I’ll bet. I still remember the first time he got shots, we were both having nervous breakdowns.

    Reply

  31. I run on anecdotal.
    I love, love the belly. And the double chin. Oh that chin.

    Reply

  32. I love a man who knows the difference between a journal and a blog. Thank you, too, for your perspective. You’re right, of course.
    I don’t know how long it will be before I can read that Lyle Lovett line without chuckling.

    Reply

  33. That is exactly what he is like.
    And thank you. Still, I admire your wide ranging focus and would seek to emulate that. But possibly I will just keep writing “OMG My baby is soooo cute!”

    Reply

  34. I didn’t break 50 pounds until I was 8 years old.

    Reply

  35. I’m not totally sure Liam has broken 50 pounds yet. If so, it’s only barely and it’s mostly head, hair, and glasses.

    Reply

  36. cream cheese and jelly sammiches!

    Reply

  37. We’ve already taken the leap to peanut butter; it was tough to get enough protein into Bonzo, so the ped actually recommended it for us at the 15 month checkup.
    To give you another data point, Bonzo’s currently 19 months and just scraping 23 pounds. I think he didn’t move an ounce between 10 months and 15 months. He’s always been kind of small but I was beginning to get worried. He’s picking up now, but in sideways toddler fashion: ravenous for a week, then shuns all food for three or four days. It’s frustrating.
    I love your “little blade of grass” image. Exactly.

    Reply

  38. It sounds like our boys are similar. If I didn’t have a history of allergies I would put him on peanut butter now too.

    Reply

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