Dear Jack Henry,

at the zoo last month

Today, I took you and your brothers to my endocrinology appointment. Just an annual checkup, I figured it would be quick and painless, and because I didn’t want to spend one second of the day without you pay a sitter, I just took you all along.

Just so you know, this is only the second time I’ve met this doctor, and I really liked her the first time. Which is saying something, since this is the THIRD endocrinology office I’ve been to in the past 8 years, dropping the other two because of their incredibly horrible staff and/or bedside manner. This doc was very personable and actually listened to me. So today, I wasn’t too worried. (Note to self: how could you forget that you have to talk about menstrual cycles and worse with your endocrinologist? In front of your kids? Gross. Next time, get a sitter.)

When she came in the room, she commented on how quiet it was with 3 boys in there (she’d been alerted by the nurse), and complimented you three. Then, she noticed Luke and Bennett, who were sitting side-by-side, and commented on how much they looked alike. Then she looked at you, and looked at me, and she said, “Wow, they really all 3 look alike, except this one is chubby. But he’s the youngest; he’ll probably thin out like his brothers.”

Enter me, fumbling for words, hoping you weren’t listening.

Because buddy, people DO comment on your size, and I don’t usually have a problem with it, because they’re usually so tactful. You’re pretty substantial for a 3 1/2 year old. You are built differently than your brothers; there’s no denying that. You’ve been outpacing them size-wise for a long time now. You’re very, ahem, sturdy. And delightfully round in the belly.

But I know what you eat, and I’m not concerned. I know that God built you this way for a reason…your dad says you look like a fullback when you run the bases in baseball, so maybe you have a future in football (God help me). Your 6’4″ Uncle Jake spent his first 4 years or so as a bigger-than-average kid, then stretched out very tall and skinny, so maybe you’re just destined for height. Who knows.

Really, none of that matters. I hope you’ll turn a deaf ear to insensitive comments that kids and, unfortunately, adults make. Because I think you’re perfect.


15 responses to “Insensitive.

  1. Keep up the good work J.H. It’s not what’s on the outside that matters and we all know about your sweet heart.
    From the proud mama of a chunky girl!

  2. What in the world? Can’t believe a doctor would say something like that to a 3 year old. Urgh.
    Do you still like the endocrinologist – even after today? I think I need to find a new one – or at least get a second opinion. Mine wants me to get this radioactive iodine treatment done – which would destroy my thyroid, but would involve me sleeping in a separate bed and not hugging/holding/touching anyone around me for 2 weeks due to the radioactivity that I would be emitting. Doesn’t sound too safe if you ask me.

  3. I almost cried when I read this. I can’t tell you how many times people have referred to Grace as a “big girl” (and not age-wise) right in front of her, which is crazy. While I just smile and nod, trying not to make a big deal and hoping she didn’t notice the comment, I am raging inside. I don’t need my little girl to have a complex about her body, because like you said, she is perfect and beautiful. She knows how to eat healthy,…she probably eats healthier than the average kid. But she’s just not built like the typical teeny tiny girl. I try not to let it get to me, but it hurts my heart to know that it won’t get any better as she gets older. She will become aware of what society tells her she should look like, and I can only hope I’m instilling enough self-pride in her that she can see all the beauty she possesses. And next time someone says something like that (which will inevitably happen because there are too many insensitive people in the world), I am going to resist the urge to respond, “Yes. And you have quite a set of ears on you, don’t you?”

  4. Ppl make comments about Hunter, even the nurse practioner at our Dr.’s office had a whole discussion about how I need to monitor what he eats and he needs more exercise. I brought this up to his DR and she said.. both of you are built the same.. you both have more muscle mass. And I believe her. I have been somewhat skinny and I am not “fat” now but I have always weighed more than others.. even when I was a size 2. Hunter already makes comments to me about if he should eat this or that and if he is fat. Breaks my heart and he is definitely NOT overweight! He is built with muscle and different.

  5. This is outrageous. There isn’t a single thing chubby about that sweet boy. The doctor should be ashamed of herself. As someone who overcame an eating disorder it outrages me when people feel the need to comment in any way to child’s size. My favorite song to get over body image anxiety is “A More Beautiful You” by Jonny Diaz.

    There could never be a more beautiful you
    Don’t buy the lies, disguises and hoops they make you jump through
    You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
    So there could never be a more beautiful you

    God has a purpose for Jack Henry and is laying the groundwork for it with every pound and inch that he grows. God Bless You JH.
    (Sorry, this topic (plus the hormone surge) got me a little fired up.)

  6. That breaks my heart. I don’t know what I would say if someone said something like that to Sawyer.

    And for the record, I’ve never thought Jack Henry looks big. Maybe I have no concept of size, but I haven’t even thought he looked sturdy. He just looks like one really happy kid!

  7. Grrrr. Seriously. He’s perfect. Perfectly adorable.

  8. That’s just crazy! Kolten’s pediatrician made a comment at his kindergarten physical about him being overweight (in the 93rd %). I couldn’t believe it. He was chunky when he was younger, but has really slimmed down. The dr. then looked at his height and said, “Disreguard my former comment, I notice he is off the charts for his height.” It’s amazing that people so highly educated haven’t learned to think before they speak.

  9. Really??? Really??? I thought you were going to say that JH was going to say something crazy to the doctor to embarrass you or something. . . but it was the GROWN WOMAN acting like a three year old. That’ just crazy to me.

  10. This is a good point. Size is something we ALWAYS comment on when babies are first born. There comes a time when we need to know that’s it’s no longer appropriate to “label.” Especailly in front of them. Something tells me Jack will never be phased by such talk. And for a doctor to even USE the word “chubby” is ludicras! As a mother of an equally stocky boy, let me just say – I LOVE it.

  11. That’s so annoying.

    You should have said, “I’ll bet people told you the same thing when you were a kid.” 🙂

  12. That is terrible of her to say something like that. I know we have never met, but I have never thought of him as chubby. Like the other people said he looks like a happy healthy cute little boy:) I feel for you though…I have a doctor in the family that has made rude comments about my children. I often wonder why don’t they teach some tact in all of that medical school? She has her own baby now, so I hope she will keep her comments to herself and maybe realize how hurtful she has been at times. Sorry I just started to vent…thanks for listening 🙂

  13. You’re dropping that doc like a hot potato, aren’t you? JH is perfect and beautiful. What a crazy thing for a doctor to say. She wouldn’t say that about an adult in front of an adult. What makes it okay to say that about a child in front of a child? Vote with your $$, Nicole, and kick her to the curb. There’s got to be more than one good endocrinologist in St. Louis…

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