Monday, June 23, 2008

A few years ago one of my girlfriends told me that she had long ago absolved herself of any sexually themed guilt. I’m so impressed with that. I consider guilt to be one of the things I’m naturally good at. My biological parents were 16 years old, Catholic (her), and Mormon (him). They had a lot to feel guilty about. It’s in my DNA. (Although, babymommy was off the hook for the birth control thing, obviously…)

Inspired, for a while I thought I’d throw off the shackles as well. I could start small. Release myself from the bonds of disposable diaper guilt. Maybe work my way up to online file sharing guilt and carbon footprint guilt. I was only moderately successful. We still use disposable diapers, but I’ve taken to cleaning my house with dried edamame hulls and rainwater. And we’ve already discussed my crushing SUV guilt.

Le sigh. It’s how I roll.

So today’s theme is more Mommy Guilt. I hope I’m not becoming too predictable. It’s equal opportunity today. I can’t seem to parent either of my children without emotional turmoil.

Sweet Pea’s comes in the form of “what have they been feeding you?” If you’ve met her you know she’s really small. Petit, we like to say. She’s 4 years old and weighs about 26 lbs. She’s not short, per se. I mean, she’s not towering over the other 4 year olds. But when people comment on her size they don’t usually mean her height. And people ALWAYS comment on her size. I tell her she’ll love it when she’s 25.

Yesterday we were at the pool, and Mr. G was talking with a new golf buddy who happens to also be a doctor. He’s some kind of specialist – originally I thought Proctologist. But maybe a Gastroenterologist. (Which, incidentally, makes him more likeable…?) Anyway, he has a daughter the same age as Sweet Pea who seems to be built a little taller and stockier than average. Which is only to say that our two girls, when standing side by side - in swimmysuits no less, represent opposite ends of the growth spectrum. It seems like that’s always how it goes too. And for some reason the child who is in the 90th percentile always looks “normal” and “healthy” and my little wisp elicits a barrage of questions about her eating habits and genealogy. Which is precisely what happened yesterday. And as luck would have it, my niece, of the “she’s built just like her cousin” reference was there too. All we needed was Mr. G’s four foot, nine inch grandmother in a two piece and we’d have had our genetic rationalization right there to illustrate why we don’t sweat being small. Because really, we just don’t sweat it. I was small-ish. She eats. She’s healthy.

So GolferDoctor asks Mr. G if we’ve ever had her tested for a wheat allergy. (Nope.) And goes on to say that Celiac Sprue is very common, and often undiagnosed because some kids will have no symptoms. But one of the big tells in kids is weightloss and/or “growth failure”. Which I totally dismissed until this morning when she got dressed for school in toddler panties and a size 18 month skort that fit perfectly, but only because it has TUCKS SEWN IN THE WAIST. Erm. Did I mention that she’s really petit?

Just now I have been reading about Celiac Sprue on the interweb, and have learned that kids who are diagnosed early – with a simple bloodtest – will often have a big growth spurt if they go on a Gluten free diet.

So now what? Do I take her to the doctor and get her finger pricked based on an offhand comment by my husbands golf buddy? Does that make me all crazy and paranoid? He is a doctor. If I DON’T get her tested am I running the risk that she will have an increased chance of osteoporosis, cancer, thyroid diseases, abdominal distress, etc. etc. etc. etc. ETC.? She is really not going to like getting her finger pricked.


The Sweet William guilt trip is all about how we quit nursing on Wednesday. But that’s stupid guilt, because he could care less. As long as there is food coming at him in some form he is not terribly concerned with the vessel. I think I’m just sad because I wasn’t ready yet. He’s my last baby and all that. But it was getting to be really painful, and I was supplementing with formula anyway – he doesn’t share his sisters small size, or small appetite.

So waaah. She’ll have 3 months of superior breast-milk-enhanced brain development on him, but he’ll go to Notre Dame on a football scholarship. So is that win/win or lose/lose?

I’ll donate some $$ to wind power to make up for all the energy I consumed while selfishly typing all this nonsense. Or maybe I’ll just eat a cookie. Wracked with guilt and voluptuous go hand in hand.



Beege said...

Listen to your gut. Or ask your pediatrician about it. Sweet Pea has always been small--she was born tiny. If getting her tested is going to make you feel better: get it done. If you're always going to wonder if you should have done it, but didn't: get it done. If you're pretty confident that genetics is playing into her size, and don't ultimately worry too much about it, and the fuss she'll put up over a finger prick isn't worth your peace of mind: don't do it.

We've talked about how weird it is to have tiny kids (our firsts) and regular/large kids (our seconds). And having an average/larger kid makes the small kid look even smaller (Sarah is already shoulder height to her sister. 14 months vs. 4 years. It's a little weird looking.). So you have to do what is best for you, and not worry about the guilt.

Clover said...

Good advice.

I think I'm going to take her in this week to talk about seasonal allergies. (Is it a cold? Is it allergies? I can never tell.) I will ask her doc about it then. He's pretty conservative though. So sometimes I wonder if I need to press an issue or just let it go. We'll see!

SaraSoup said...

I concur. When I had to take Austin in, intially because of his asthma, the agony of watching them do a complete allergy test was horrific. (I cried with him the entire time) So dude....peace of mind, gut feeling, and all of that....go with it.

Anonymous said...

I wish you could talk to my nutritionist Beve (pronounced Bev but how can I not call her Beav) about this because she is so smart about these things and helps me translate tests and give me the right questions to ask. Is there a Beav in Boise? But I concur that Sweet Pea is shiny and healthy. What is it with people who think it is okay to comment on anyone's size, btw? Rudeness.
Aunty M.

Clover said...


I'm sure I could find a nutritionist here. I just can't decide how much time and effort to invest.

And yes, rudeness. She's going to have to get used to it though. Because it happens about 12 times a day, so it's probably not going to stop.

Sara - did he do the whole skin test thing? Shudder...

Slacker Mama said...

Ah...guilt. I am so with you on that! In fact, I just posted about a mommy guilt moment myself.

Anyhoo...if you are worried about her and you think there might be a legit chance that she *is* allergic, you might as well pass it by your ped.

I'm pretty sure that your "a friend of my husband who is a doctor mentioned it and after researching it more Sweet Pea does seem to fit the profile" hunch wouldn't even make it into the top million of weird things parents have brought up to them.

scarlett said...

Bring it up at your next visit. I would and I am the mom of the other tiny one. It will make you feel better. If someone had mentioned it to me I probably would have looked into it. Now she has caught up with her peers though. You just never know. Don't let them do a skin test no, no, no...they can run over 400 allergins off a simple vial of blood and yes I had to push it with the little man. We got'er done and now have the allergies under control!

Tales from the Crib said...

Honestly, I have a wee-pea in my youngest (who nursed 14 months) and is below the charts for everything just about. But his dr is not concerned. He grows, his chart increases - albeit at his own pace, he just doesn't fit the old-school vision of "healthy." He looks like a 12 month old (20 months now), and wears some of his 6 month clothes. I stressed it a long while but I've come to a sense of peace with it. I feel lucky my pedi has been so good about it. We get regular growth checks to make sure he is at least increasing, and we used to give him pediasure regularly, but at the end of the day he's happy, healthy and "wee." As my pedi puts it, if he's hungry he'll eat. At least we aren't worrying about heart disease and obesity in our yung'ns, right?! I do agree, follow your gut. If you are worried, check with your pedi - it is what we pay them for! :-)