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Fifteen month check-up.

2009-09-15 - 12:30 p.m.

This weekend I had to keep a food diary for Biscuit for 3 days running. It’s for the dietician he has an appointment with later this month but I’ve found it enlightening already. For instance, it became clear to me that Biscuit eats better when we eat at home and plan his food in advance. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to lose sight of this obvious fact when we’re used to rushing around and being able to feed ourselves with a catch-as-catch-can approach. Even at dinner at my mom’s, where I’ve assumed that Biscuit eats well because my mom’s a fantastic cook who’s a vegetarian and into growing her own organic produce and J and I are always over-stuffed, it seems that he’s relegated to mostly bread (lovely, home-baked bread, but still) and Yop. The issue there, in our defence, is that mom’s food might be too complex and exotic for him. He’s presented with lots of healthy options but most of it doesn’t even make it into his mouth. Plus she has her own free-range chickens so she adds eggs to things he might otherwise eat so we can’t give it to him even when he points and asks (Dat? Dat? Dat?).

And yes, it is kind of heartbreaking to have to deny a dish to a kid who’s underweight and rarely shows interest in any particular food.

So yeah, every time we go out somewhere we have an arsenal of stuff we know Biscuit will eat but it’s limited to Yop and food we keep permanently in the diaper bag, like Cheerios and crackers, so “meals” outside of home tended to read like: 200 mLs Yop, 2 Breton crackers, small handful Goldfish cheddar crackers, 3 french fries. And this brings me to another conundrum I found myself facing, to wit: how do I communicate that he was also offered bits of chicken and cucumber and grilled zucchini at the above meal, but refused to actually eat any of it? In other words, how do I not look like the worst mother in the world for letting her baby survive on yogurt and salty carbs? Particularly when I know he’s probably allergic to the yogurt?

Bah.

At the moment we’re trying to transition him off his beloved Yop and onto hypoallergenic formula and enriched soy milk (either alone or in combination). It’s not an easy sell because he’s not too keen on either and, I have to admit, the hypoallergenic formula smells and tastes disgusting to me so I can hardly blame the boy.

Biscuit had his 15-month well-baby visit to the doctor’s yesterday and got two more shots (Prevnar and chicken pox). His weight was up to 8.51 kg which seems to be holding steady somewhere near the 3rd percentile on the World Health Organization’s chart for breast-fed boys, but is, alas, still off the bottom of my doctor’s chart. His height is back up to 50th percentile though (it had dropped to 25th) and his head circumference is 75th. Perhaps once the dietician has given her input we’ll be able to hit that elusive 20-lb mark!

Despite the continuing low weight, his doctor was encouraged that he’s being seen by the right people, and that they have suggestions for going forward (continue the Prevacid, decrease his dairy, consult a dietician, etc.). She does, however, think we may want to get his speech – or lack thereof – evaluated, since he still doesn’t really use any words consistently, forget putting them together in combinations. J isn’t inclined to worry about it, and while I’m with him on the “don’t worry” front, I do think it wouldn’t hurt to at least do some research into whether it’s weird that he doesn’t call me by name when he wants me. I mean, he does sometimes greet me with a “Mama!” – and the most beautiful sound in the world it is too – but he doesn’t ever call it out when he actually wants me but can’t see me. By this time I’m pretty sure Grommet was way, way ahead of him. And I know boys are ostensibly slower at this, but it’s just so odd not to hear him say much recognizable when his sister had such precise enunciation of each new word she claimed as her own. I guess I never got used to “baby talk”.

Any way, all the doctor has suggested was that we take Biscuit to one of the free First Words clinics here in Ottawa. I think we’ll give him a couple of months and then maybe look into it if we don’t see him improving the way we think he should be. I suspect this is just one of those situations that we can just chalk up to “everybody’s different”, but, at the same time, it'd be foolish to miss an easy, free opportunity to make life better for our child.

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