My daughter is now 27 months old. At her two year appointment, our pediatrician informed us that she was still "off the chart," which apparently means she weighs less than the entire charted population of American babies. Okay, so I exaggerate, but only a little. Then she busts out with the worst statement I've ever heard. I've heard a lot of bad statements -- "I don't love you anymore," "I don't believe you," "you will not be able to have kids," "she may have trisome 13," "you can't live here anymore," "your father is dead," and the previous title holder: "your mother will live."
So what were these dreaded words? "Failure to thrive."
That's right, folks. the peanut fits the technical definition of "failure to thrive," which basically means she has weighed too little for too long. One possible remedy? Tube feeding while she sleeps. You did read that correctly. They stick a tube down her throat while she sleeps and pump food into her belly. Seriously, can this get worse?
Yes, oh yes, it can. The genetic tests have all come back negative so far, and the main contributer to FTT -- go ahead, you'll never guess. Parental neglect. My 2 year old child -- the one who never ate baby food from a jar, the one who slept in my room until she was 8 months old, the one who was breastfed for a year even though it took seven specialists to teach us how, the one who can count to 50 in English and 10 in Spanish, speaks in 4 to 5 word sentences, recognizes all her letters in print, reads 4 sight words and can really, truly count to 4, -- is possibly neglected? I'm feeling dizzy at this point.
So, what do you do when your precious baby is given this label? We celebrated with nuggets and fries from McDonalds.