For a solid year, I adored our pediatrician. He was Clara's favorite mustachioed man. He was there when Clara was born and the one person that I liked in the delivery room (Mario was not there). And I genuinely like the guy.
But as soon as Clara turned a year old, I've felt that his childrearing advice has turned shady.
When she was little he pounded home the message that I needed to nurse her. It's the best thing for her. "You're nursing her, right?"
"Yes, sir. This kid is getting nothing but booby." He always seemed a bit taken aback that I was actually following his advice.
When we came for her 12-month checkup he asked again, "You still nursing her?"
Very proudly, I answered, "You bet!"
"You need to stop now."
While I didn't initially have plans to keep nursing her past a year, it happened. And lots of childrearing books say that's just fine. Not our pediatrician, though. We just went back for her 15-month checkup (yeah, she's almost 17 months). He was much more adamant. I'm just blowing him off.
Furthermore, at the 12-month checkup, he was already concerned that Clara wasn't walking. I assured him that she would most likely not walk for quite some time, given our family history. Despite the fact that babies that walk at 12-months are early walkers, he was convinced that she needed to be walking into her next doctor's appointment.
Obviously that didn't happen. And if it doesn't happen for another two months, she's still well within the range of normal. Not according to the doctor. Seriously--do I know more about child development than my pediatrician?!?
Final straw: Clara weighed in at 9 kilos exactly. (I'm quite sure she was a good 300 grams heavier when she got vaccinated the last time, but the IMSS scale tends to run heavier than the doctor's scale . . . now I'm convinced that his scale is miscalibrated.) Anyway, being nearly 17 months old and weighing only 9 kilos officially places her off the standard height/weight curve chart. Keep in mind, she has been hovering around the 10th percentile her entire life, so falling off the curve doesn't take much doing. The doctor was very, very grave about this.
He prescribed her medicine to increase her appetite. Mario and I would rather give her as little medicine as possible, so a regimen of appetite inducers three times a day sounded like a terrible idea. Like a good Mexican (or Hobbit), I am now introducing "second breakfast" (or almuerzo) to her eating schedule. I'm betting that this will put her solidly back onto that 10th percentile.
Appetite inducers . . . por favor. Let's be reasonable, doctor.
Having blown off all our doctor's advice, we basically just went to get her weighed and measured. We can do that at the IMSS. For free. One more visit full of crummy advice and we'll may just start making our taxes work for us.
And that could turn out to be the second time that I've preferred treatment from the IMSS than from a private doctor.