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Monday, June 2nd, 2008...9:10 pm

#37: Growth Charts


The Best Parent Ever is better than you because their child is in the 95th percentile.  “The 95th percentile of what?” you ask.  Whatever the pediatrician says!  Height?  Weight?  Intelligence?  Body hair?  It doesn’t matter.  Just as long as their child is at the top.

This is because, for the Best Parent Ever, Pediatric Growth Charts are a competitive sport.  They are the highly-anticipated weekly box scores or quarterly results that let the Best Parent Ever know just how much better they and their brood are than everyone else.

Of course, “medical care” is not what it used to be, and sometimes measurements are “misinterpreted,” the way unreported income or backdated stock options are sometimes “misunderstood.”  But the Best Parent Ever is prepared.  Pediatric scales are “never” calibrated correctly.  Tape measures often have “misprints.”  And, when all else fails, the HMOs are to blame — even if the Best Parent Ever has never even belonged to an HMO.  “That’s the problem with this country!” proclaims the Best Parent Ever, without further explanation.

Why all the fuss?  Because, for the Best Parent Ever, the Pediatric Growth Chart is one of their child’s first official documents in a lifelong Scripture of Betterness.  It is the preamble to a paper trail coursing through over-inflated report cards, Ivy League legacy diplomas, inexplicably-bloated stock porfolio ledgers, and, finally, a glowing obituary of at least a half page or more in the New York Times or Washington Post.

So take that, underweight loser child, who is only in the 80th percentile.  You are doomed for a lifetime of underachievement and failure.  You’ll be lucky if your obituary rates a few lines in the Pennysaver, which, by the way, the Best Parent Ever NEVER reads.  You’d know that too if your child was in the 95th percentile.

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  • Lol…So TAKE THAT! I love that part every time.

    I was measuring some kids on a growth chart the other day…Parents get so worried if their child is a little behind. I don’t blame them tho

  • I’m even better than the best parents ever! 2 of mine were off the charts for height and weight as they were so big.

    Actually that’s not true. The best parents out there let me know that they will never have to worry about their children being obese someday and that their families are naturally thin. We’re all built like linebackers which is apparently declasse.

  • maddie&livysmommie
    June 3rd, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    Both of mine are always in the 95th percentile…all the time. I secretly cringe as I hear other parents report “failure to thrive.” I just keep shoving the avacado, blueberries and hummus dip into their snack packs for preschool!
    As long as everything is 95th%ile, I’m fine, the minute something is off, I’ll br seeing a nutritionist because we would never accept unproportioned children.

  • Amused Onlooker
    June 4th, 2008 at 10:14 am

    I should be reported to CPS, because I’m the worst parent ever. My daughter is in the 10th percentile for height, and less than 5th for weight. Nevermind the fact that I’m Korean and “vertically challenged.” My pediatrician wants all kinds of testing for growth problems. Um, it’s called being Asian. ROFL

  • i’ve been lamenting this phenomenon for a quite a while now, as every parent of a boy i know claims his son is in the 95th percentile, which, almost by definition, means they are wrong.

  • All of my kids have never been any higher than the 5-20th percentiles. I suck as a parent.

    Could it be that both me and DH are SHORT and tiny??!!! HELLLOOOO!!

  • Polska Kielbasa
    June 4th, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Someone with more free time than me could look up the exact stats, but as I recall the charts are based on only white people, and date to the 1950s or 60s. Even if they have been updated somewhat, they are just a set of statistics and don’t account for the diversity of today’s US residents.

  • Both my biological son AND my adopted son were in the 5th percentile for weight. So I must really suck as a parent, if I can trump nature.

  • parent group leader
    June 11th, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    um, the percentiles don’t meean much, you’re just supposed to try and be in the same ballpark for height and weight
    5th percentile in both is exactly as healthy as 95th it’s an issue if your kids in the 5th for weight and 95th for height (majorly underweight) or 5th for height and 95th for weight (majorly overweight)

  • I’m obviously the Best Parent Ever because my 1st was off the charts for height, weight, and head size (ouch, the memories…). Oh, but wait – I’m also the Worst Parent Ever because my second child was scrawny and has never had any body fat. Does the law of averages then turn me into a mediocre parent? Or maybe (just maybe) they are those builds because of body type rather than my parenting skills? But shhh, don’t tell the other Best Moms Ever – I like to show off my big older son, and hide my skinny younger one under a blanket in the stroller!

  • I love all the bragging on the 95th percentile, it’s like saying “my child only has 5 more percentiles to go until they reach the obese category – yeah!”. It’s a range, so some kids are lower than 50% and some are over 50%. Honestly, I like that my DD’s are down in the 25th percentile range, especially since DH and I are not tall or large people. I’d be worried if they were 95th!

  • I agree. I know a woman who made a huuuge deal about their being a new growth chart, and that her baby was NOT below-average-thank-you-very-much, and it was ridiculous. Who the hell cares? Her baby is the same size, whether its on one chart or another.

  • Will these same BPEs be bragging about their fat-ass teenagers ranking in the 95-99% percentiles? I doubt it.

    My other favorite comment…my husband’s cousin who woefully tries to be a BPE recently proclaimed that her infant was in the 120th%. CLEARLY she’s not BPE material with those splendid math skills. I look down upon her with pity and disgrace.