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The Howe To Blog

Parenting Advice from the Unqualified

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Howe To…Convince the Pediatrician You’re an Excellent Parent

Don't tell Dr. Novom please.
Don’t tell Dr. Novom please.

Today was Hailey’s 9-month “well baby” pediatrician visit. These are the visits in which parents and doctor discuss gross things as if they are mundane. Topics include poop (“amount” and “texture” are often described in detail), mucus, ear wax, and other delightful substances that can also be found on every surface of our once tastefully decorated, but now shabby, home.

During these visits, nothing inspires more sighs of relief than hearing that your baby is “average.” Normally, we Howes aim for slightly above average, but at well baby visits, you want average–height = average (phew, no freakishly tall children for us), weight = average  (phew, she didn’t inherit my slow metabolism), head size = average (let’s face it, peanut head is just not a good look). Next, you get to dazzle your doctor with your über mom encyclopedic knowledge of all baby-related developmental , dietary, and behavioral information. You do this by saying, “Yep, I know that,” every time the doctor makes a statement. They especially like it when you cut them off mid-sentence; this makes you look informed AND confident. Lastly, the doctor runs through a list of foods Hailey should avoid for the time being, and this is how that conversation goes:

Doc: “No cow’s milk.”

Me: “No, sir.”

Doc: “Absolutely no honey.”

Me: “Well, who doesn’t know that!?”

Doc: “No berries or fish.”

Me: “Never. No way. I’m on it.”

OK, so I may have crossed the line between good parenting and obnoxious parenting. I might as well have responded, “duh” to this sweet, helpful doctor. What’s worse is that I have a shameful secret: while Hailey doesn’t eat any of the allergy-inducing foods the doctor listed, she has been known to enjoy the occasional Thin Mint and other cookies of the Girl Scout variety. In my defense, they aren’t on the doc’s no-no list.

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