This following is a repost from last July.
I was reminded of it after I brought the Tornado to her four year check-up with a *new* pediatrician.
Suffice it to say there was nary a mention of her size beyond compliments on how big and STRONG she’d become.
The doctor even asked her to stand on one foot which allowed the Tornado to display her tree-pose prowess (something which delighted her to no end).
Our previous doctor visit had not been so delightful.
I feel the need to preface this post with the fact that I’m a pretty damn mellow mother.
I’m the one in the family who will potentially let something go TOO LONG (oops & hello double ear infection!) because I’m laid back & not a rushquicktothephysician-type.
I dont even have a preferred pediatrician in our rather large practice because we’ve been blessed not to have a special needs child & Im quite confident *any* pediatrician in the group can address a need our daughter might have.
And then there was yesterday.
And then there was one pediatrician I’ll be damn sure never to see again.
After a fun & fantastic time at the BlogHer conference (including lots of time spent talking body image on and off panel) I returned home to a daughter with a double ear/sinus infection.
I did my typical call to the practice (agreeing to see anyone) & fortunately got an appointment the next morning.
We were called back.
She was weighed and measured.
The doctor came, diagnosed & it was time to write the ’script.
“WAIT.” The doctor said & did that ‘movie double take’ while reading his clipboard. “How old is she?!“
“Three and a half.” I answered having no clue where he was headed.
“Oh wow. She weighs what now? Huh. WOW. Ok. Well I guess she can have a lot more medicine then.”
(long pause as my daughter and I stare at him & his double-take engendering clipboard)
“She’s really big now. Really big.”
(There’s no note needed on a blog which addresses body image, but I shall add one anyway. This wasnt “she’s really big” like it was a good thing & she’s bound to be the next!big!supermodel. This was a she’s really big said with…not so much disdain but lets say sans-admiration.)
I watched my daughter’s face as the doctor made the last comment and it was clear–while she might not have entirely understood what he meant—–she, too, knew it wasnt a compliment.
“She’s three and a half,” I said. “She’s not deaf.”
Later, when we were at the pharmacy picking up her meds, I snatched her in my arms and hoisted her onto my hip.
“Im heavy.” She said. “Im very heavy.”
“You’re strong,” I responded. “You have bigbiggrande muscles just like yer mama.” (this is a running joke between the two of us.)
I’ll never know if the pediatrician’s comment sparked her IM HEAVY remark later.
All I know is she’d never made a statement remotely like that before and, I hope, never will again.
Which all leads me back to the question at the beginning:
PEDIATRICIANS, are you listening to the potentially harmful words which are coming from your mouths?