10 Lessons from the Eight-Year-Old Well-Child Appointment

  1. I like well-child appointments. I know some people feel they’re a gimmick to get your money or let other people stick their noses in your lives. I am not one of those people. I like talking with someone about how my kid is doing and making sure everything seems all hunky-dory. I judge not if you feel differently! But I will continue to follow the recommended schedule. :)
  2. My kid knows way too much about blood pressure cuffs. That child has had his blood pressure taken no fewer than fifty times in the past six months. It’s crazy. “It just feels like an arm hug,” he says. “I’m hoping it’ll be close to 100 over 60. That’s my goal. It’ll give me some cushion from having a vaso-vagal response.” I mean… what kid needs to know that???
  3. He is tall. We knew this already, but it was again confirmed.
  4. Our practice is WAY concerned about childhood obesity. Seriously. Nationwide, Connecticut has one of the lowest percentages of overweight/obese people, but our pediatricians are ON it, let me tell you. Our kid is in the 75th percentile for weight. While that sounds high, he’s actually really lean because he’s so tall. So– all good. (And no obnoxious “talks” from the docs.)
  5. Despite their focus on childhood obesity, our pediatricians are smart enough to not place the blame for it on whole milk– yay! There’s been a very good shift from “skim or 1% only!” to “fewer junky foods!” Excellent news. I do NOT believe skim milk makes anyone fat. I also don’t think whole milk makes people fat. I don’t think milk is making people fat, period. I think soda, cheetos, and oreos all deserve more of the blame, quite frankly.
  6. My child is very, very honest. When asked if he’s good about brushing his teeth, he replied, “Yes. Well, sometimes I rush a little. I should spend more time. I’ll work on that.” The pediatrician thought that was a riot.
  7. Apparently, most eight-year-old boys don’t cite “salmon, with a side of watermelon with feta” as a “dream meal.” But mine does. Ha!
  8. I am one of those apparently rare moms who kept my kid in a booster seat LONGER than he needed to be. Word on the street is far more people ditch the seats too early. Ah, well. Neither of us is scarred from it and I’m definitely in the “better safe than sorry” camp.*
  9. This is the easiest appointment of ALL. Seriously. Babies and toddlers need to be wrangled, they cry through shots (assuming you get them; do NOT open that can of worms here, people– please), and you have to answer nine gazillion questions. Eight-year-olds? Can follow directions, answer questions, and require no shots. We’re not even to the age where they bring up that Gardasil jazz yet. (You can ask my opinion about that one NEXT year, ‘k?)
  10. Eight-year-olds, even boys, still like stickers. They’re just super chill and non-chalant about it. Like, “Oh, is that the amazing Spiderman? Well, since it’s CLASSIC Spiderman, I guess it’d be cool.”

I love this age. I love them all. But having an eight-year-old is truly super fun.

*When I mentioned this on Facebook, it spiralled into a whole “you know doctors and police and everyone else in the world can be WRONG and you might be putting your kid in harm’s way” discussion. That was never my intention. (I seem really bad at predicting what will get people fired up on FB– my apologies for that.) I assure you that we are very, very cautious people who, quite literally, measure where belts hit and where feet fall before making any changes. I appreciate diligence in such matters and I can say with confidence that our children are properly and safely secured. :)


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11 comments to 10 Lessons from the Eight-Year-Old Well-Child Appointment

  • Kellyn

    I love my kids well child visits. My middle is at the point where she loves going, it’s the only time she sees her Pedi. My youngest isn’t too sure, but he does so much better each visit.

    I am like you, I like being able to ask questions and get info about how my kids are doing as a whole.

  • mlearley

    I enjoy them as well. We are still in the shots at almost every visit for our baby, so that part isn’t fun but I love making sure they are developing “normally”.

    Funny story: I’ve always heard that some babies start crying as soon as they are taken to the exam room and here that paper on the table. Well I never experienced that until this last trip. We were actually going for my 4 yr old and were waiting to be called back. As soon as the nurse came out the door, the baby started screaming. Luckily my husband was along so he decided to take the oldest back so that the baby could relax in the waiting room. YEAH RIGHT! A few minutes later a nurse came out to straighten up (it was 5pm) and my daughter screamed the entire time she was out there. She must recognize the scrubs!! Also, every time a nurse came out to call another child back, she’d start screaming again. It was actually pretty funny!

  • M

    In case you or your readers are interested, a great resource for everything car seat related is The Car Seat Lady. She’s a guru (knows pretty much all car sears and cars) and doctor. She has a Facebook page and blog/website. Here is some info specific to boosters: (ESP see 5 step test) http://www.thecarseatlady.com/booster_seats/booster_seats.html

  • Susan

    FYI, my son is so skinny that he was in a booster seat until the first day of 6th grade (when he begged me to get rid of it.) In California, they want kids in a booster seat until they weigh 80 pounds or are 4 feet, 10 inches tall. There are still at least 3 kids in his 6th grade class who are small and are still using booster seats.

    I hope you are feeling better. I love your blog and hope nothing I’ve said has caused you to feel bad.

    • Thanks, Susan. I feel better for having shared what’s going on with me! I always enjoy reading your comments– you haven’t made me feel bad! :) I just need to take a break from feeling like I have to have a rebuttal to every statement anyone makes that doesn’t agree completely with me. Letting go of that will allow me to breathe more easily. Does that make sense? It does in my head but, well, things sometimes don’t translate well on screen, I know.

  • I would’ve needed a booster until high school had my generation actually had safety standards for the car! Ha ha!

    • We tease C. that she’ll need one ’til she gets her license! ;)

      • Carol Bond

        Hey, not for nothing, but haven’t you ever heard of the little old ladies that have to sit on phone books to see out the windshield? :) Luckily I won’t be one of those but my great-grand mother and all her sisters probably could have used the booster seats in their 70′s! Poor things!

        I enjoyed the well child visits with my oldest daughter (now almost 19) and have so far even more with the newest addition. Absolutely adore our pediatrician now! She totally listens to us and doesn’t make me stress that I’m screwing it all up. Plus I agree with you about talking over how their are progressing and asking questions just to get a feel for what you are doing right and what you maybe need to watch out for (although I like to double check stuff sometimes too; never hurts to educate yourself, too, right? I like that our doc encourages that, too!)

  • “I don’t think milk is making people fat, period. I think soda, cheetos, and oreos all deserve more of the blame, quite frankly.”

    I know this post didn’t wrap around that one sentence, but it’s still my favorite. ;) YES!

    • It really irks me when people try to blame obesity on things like that– I get the science behind how different milk fat percentages affect us but, really. White milk (of any variety) is not the villain here. ;)

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