Monday, August 20, 2012

Healthy Competition

In case you were not aware, I must tell you that my 9yo is a little on the small side as far as 9yos go. When he was 5, we took him to a specialist at Riley Children’s Hospital and they ran the gamut of tests to determine why he was still tiny. The bone-age scan, for example, showed that my 5yo was the size of a “2-years and 8-months” old. But all the blood work came back fine. He simply appeared to be a late-bloomer.

The only recommendation made by the doctor was for him to switch back to whole milk. He said sometimes an increase in calories can help boost a child’s growth.  And I do remember the doctor cautioning us as well, “You don’t need to make the switch too…just him. That would be a lot of fat and calories to add to your diet unnecessarily.” I’m going to guess that was experience talking…that some set of parents along the way switched themselves to whole milk as well and when they packed on a few pounds could not understand why.

So we switched him back to whole milk from skim (while the rest of us kept with the skim, just for the record…in case anyone’s asking). Three to four glasses of whole milk per day this kiddo was consuming. And we sat back to watch the miracle growth occur. Which it did not. And though he has continued to grow steadily, he’s still on the smaller side. In an effort to keep his calorie consumption up (he’s still a skinny little thing), he’s still on whole milk. Three to four glasses a day.

At first, it was easy-breezy lemon-squeezy to get him to drink that thick, rich stuff. I can’t imagine how good it tasted to him, especially compared to the skim he had been drinking. Just visually the skim looks gross, with its milky, blue-ish watery hue. I myself am not big on milk…any kind of milk. I’m never one to think, “Hey, I’m thirsty. You know what would quench my thirst like nothing else? A big glass of milk!” Gag…milk is only good for three things in my opinion: pouring over cereal, washing down a piece of cake or a cookie, or putting in a milk shake. But I digress…

So here we are, four years down the road, and sometimes it is almost a chore to get him to drink the milk. He likes it but I can only imagine that it sits pretty heavy in his stomach, especially with a meal in there too. In an effort to get him to finish his glass at breakfast, I often appeal to his competitive spirit.

“I bet I can finish my coffee before you can finish that milk.”

And then it is on. He picks up that glass and begins to chug like it is an Olympic sport. I tip my mug up, as though I am greedily gulping, but I am actually taking tiny sips. He hasn’t quite figured out that 1) hot coffee is not something you chug, and 2) I really don’t want to win. I ENJOY drinking my coffee and am often a little sad when I see the bottom of the mug.

Always with a hint of smugness, he slams his empty cup down on the counter, with a thunk that only an empty plastic cup can make. “Done!” he calls out, as he saunters over to the dishwasher to put away his dirty dishes. Then he comes up to peer into my mug, and shakes his head with disappointment to see that I have not even come close to defeating him. “Maybe next time, Mom. Maybe next time.” Sometimes I even get a patronizing pat on the arm to accompany the comment.
I will confess that the gloating does niggle at me sometimes. I, too, love to win, and I kind of hate it that I let him win each time. “Yes, darling. Maybe next time.”

Perhaps I should toss a win in there for myself, just to keep him on his toes.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! Our pediatrician had me take our youngest off of whole milk when he was 18 mos. And I don't know how we can be friends anymore. I drink at least two glasses of milk every day, and i love it! Crave it even.