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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Got an extremely annoying letter in the post this afternoon. It reads :

To the parents of Emily A

Dear Parent or Guardian

Each school year, children in specified grades are measured for height and weight to monitor their physical growth and development. As part of the State of Florida Healthy School Initiative, we are calculating Body Mass Index (BMI) in grades 1, 3, and 6. The Center for Disease Control has determined the people outside the normal BMI range are at risk for certain chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart problems etc. BMI is based upon a child's age and gender, calculated using a child's weight and height. BMI Index rates your child's percentile placement with other children his or her age. The BMI screening results for your child are indicated below :

BMI : 14.7
BMI Index : 4%

Considered underweight. Medical assessment may be necessary.

No kidding. Thanks, gosh, I hadn't noticed, but yes, now that you point it out, I suppose she is a bit on the small side.

Turn over the sheet, and there are a bunch of useful tips for us, including "Turn off the TV and computer" and "Limit soda and juice" and "Focus on feeling better and being more energetic". They also have a section of "helpful" links, including one to (is that ethical, the health department touting a commercial enterprise like Weight Watchers?) and another link to the delightfully named Yes, I'm sure that a chubby child would definitely feel inspired to get in shape after someone's suggested that they're blubbery. Way to go on the self-esteem thing, guys.

It would have been nice if they'd made even the smallest effort to tailor the form to us. How about adding in something like "Remember to offer your child food during the course of any given day." After all, that was the advice I got from doctor after doctor before Em failed those damn stim tests.

The irony is, they seem to be focusing far more on weight than height, and Em actually doesn't look or feel underweight. Undersized in general, yes. But she's perfectly proportioned, and extremely strong and muscular.


My folks are safely home. They called at midday our time, 5pm their time, having just got in. That's about 48 hours in transit. Shudder. It's cold and slushy there, they say, and they already miss the sun and blue sky here. But I'm sure right now they must be very happy to be washed and changed and finally tucked up in their own bed.

In other news, it's technically Bobby's birthday today. But we're leaving the celebration till Friday, as (a) he can't take off work today and (b) and we have a can't-get-out-of-it church thing on tonight, so the day would have been a bit of a wash. Also, we don't have any money right now, since work screwed up on the paycheck thing. Hopefully, that will be resolved tomorrow (she said, an element of tension in her voice). So we'll be celebrating his birthday on Friday, and tomorrow I'll be buying him a present. Not sure what. It's tricky. He loves birthdays, and he loves getting gifts, but he seems to have pretty much all the things he wants, so I'm kind of stuck. I want him to have a really nice day on Friday ... Wish we could have gone camping, but the kids have a climbing comp. on Saturday so we can't go too far afield.

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