Sixteen Squared.

Sometimes, my husband and I forget how tiny our little Bronx really is.

Until we do something silly, like this:


And then we realize how crazy it is to still be able to bathe a kid who is almost one and a half in the sink.

But he still fits. Which is why his pediatrician is sending him off now to an array of specialists.

Last week we had to take him to a Children’s Hospital to meet with a pediatric gastrointestinal specialist. A few days before the visit, I got a call from the hospital’s billing department to let me know that we would be getting four different bills after the visit.

One for the gastrointestinal specialist, and then one for a nutritionist, a occupational therapist, and a speech therapist.

I was beyond confused. I know that Bronx doesn’t have any feeding issues, so the appointment with the G.I. doctor alone was a bit of a stretch for me. The pediatrician insisted it was necessary, just to make sure that we were ruling everything out. I still wasn’t completely on board, but because I can’t explain why he is so far behind in growth and why his urine tests keep coming back strange, I decided that the doctor probably knows better than I do and I agreed.

You’d think I would have figured out by now that a fancy medical degree doesn’t necessarily mean that you know everything.

But the gastrointestinal specialist was one thing. The nutritionist, occupational and speech therapists were a whole different ballgame.

I asked the billing lady why we would be seeing any of those people during our visit.

She explained that our appointment was part of a feeding clinic and that when you see the doctor, you also see the other professionals so they can evaluate the child all at once.

I argued that it wasn’t necessary, and told her that I needed to call Bronx’s pediatrician. At that point, I was pretty positive that there was some sort of mix-up. There was no way that our doctor ordered all that extra nonsense.

Except that he did.

So even though Bronx has no other issues besides being really small and having two unusual urine samples, the doctor still wanted him to meet with all these people.

Talk about overkill.

It got even worse once we arrived at the hospital. The lady at the front desk made me sign a stack of forms and some of them were rather creepy.

Like the one that gave the hospital permission to use any tissues or photographs taken during any procedures for teaching purposes. With the promise that the patient would remain anonymous at all times.

I started getting nervous that maybe tissue “show-and-tell” was common practice there and my mind started racing with all the possibilities.

No one was taking any tissue from my baby. Not without a damn good reason first.

Then I had to sign forms for the pediatric psychologist. That’s when I found out that not only would Bronx be meeting with all those people I mentioned above, but now he would be seeing a head shrink as well.

I couldn’t fathom what a baby like Bronx would possibly need to see a psychologist for.

The visit only got more ridiculous when the lady at the front desk gave me a clipboard with another stack of papers to fill out in the waiting room.

It was a questionnaire about Bronx’s feeding habits that we were supposed to have gotten in the mail before the visit, but (surprise!) we didn’t.

That packet showed up at our house three days after.

How convenient.

It was when I started filling out that monster of a survey that I confirmed we were definitely in the wrong place.

The forms had questions about feeding tubes, refusals to eat, and bizarre feeding rituals.

Bronx eats normally. He has no feeding issues whatsoever. In fact, he eats more than his three year-old brother does.

The kid has a healthy appetite.

The paperwork was a giant waste of time. And when we did finally get to meet the doctor and the nutritionist, they were just as confused about why we were there.

They were shocked that he could walk (which was weird, because don’t most kids start walking between 1 and 1 ½?) and when we told them that he was fine developmentally and there were no feeding issues, they gave us a puzzled look and stepped out into the hall.

We never met with any of the other people. The doctor deemed it wasn’t necessary.


I was a little taken aback about how interested the doctor seemed in my pregnancy though. He asked right away how far along I was.

Then he played connect-the-dots with my pregnancy timeline and discovered that I had still been breastfeeding Bronx during my first few months of pregnancy.

He tried to use that as a valid explanation as to why Bronx is so small. That when he was being breastfed during my pregnancy, he just wasn’t getting enough calories.

In actuality, I nursed Bronx on demand for the entire first year of his life. Of those twelve months, I was only pregnant for the last two.

His growth has been behind since before birth. Not just for the two months that I was pulling double baby resource duty.

I was actually a little offended. The way he said it implied that Bronx’s growth issue was all my fault. That I was causing him to be malnourished because I had selfishly gotten knocked up while breastfeeding.

My kid may be small, but he was never malnourished.

The doctor went on to add that once the new baby arrives, someone won’t be getting fed because my house will be chaos.

It’s true. There will be chaos, but if someone doesn’t get to eat because of it, it won’t be the kids.

It’ll be me.

At the end of the appointment, we weren’t any closer to finding out what could be going on and all the doctor could gave us in the absence of any real answers was an order to get Bronx tested at our local hospital for cystic fibrosis.

The medical professionals my son sees are always saying that they are just trying to rule out all the possibilities, but I think they are just trying to send me into a paranoid frenzy.

First it was kidney disease, now it’s cystic fibrosis. I can’t wait for summer to get here so we can find out what the urologist wants to test him for.

That should be interesting. And terrifying.

The only definitive information we actually left the visit with was an official weight. They put him on the scale completely naked, so this was the most accurate weigh-in he’s ever had.

At 16 months, he weighs exactly 16 pounds.

A little under the average weight of a six month-old.

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