Skip to content

An Apple A Day

April 4, 2013

When I was small I used to have a recurring dream that was disturbing, but telling. In it, my father would be arrested, tried, convicted and then bound and gagged by the entire simian cast of The Planet of the Apes. Understanding his guilty verdict, and ignoring my impassioned pleas for his release, they would nod grimly before hoisting him up on their shoulders and carrying him toward a hole in the floor where they were swallowed up by a large curtain of sulfuric smoke. Afterward, I would tearfully turn to my mother, who had been doing a thousand sit ups on our chaise lounge, and ask “Why didn’t you DO anything?” to which she would calmly reply, “I need my exercise. I don’t want to get chubby!” Then she’d skip off with a smile and washboard abs.

Now, what this says about my psychological state as a seven-year-old is one thing. The other part that always got me was that I knew getting “chubby” was something to be avoided at all costs — especially If you were going to have to sit down and concoct a serious plan to help your father escape from intelligent apes who have taken over the world.

So imagine my immediate and visceral reaction yesterday when our family doctor (who is a mix between Woody Allen and Lenny Bruce) grabbed my eight-years-old’s ample but healthy stomach and declared “this shouldn’t be here!”

I don't want to hear one complaint. I just got out of the pool so I'm not dolled up like Liz Taylor okay? A couple of years ago- but my son is still basically built the same..

I don’t want to hear one complaint. I just got out of the pool so I’m not dolled up like Liz Taylor okay? A couple of years ago, but my son is still basically built the same.

Now, this is a guy with New York sensibilities and no filter. He’s old school with a dose of “why the hell am I subjecting myself to this again?” But despite his gloves-off delivery (and the fact that the only thing that would make him less politically correct is an unfiltered Camel hanging out of his mouth while he takes your blood pressure), he has pulled out all the stops for our family when things really counted, like life-saving diagnoses and moving mountains to make sure we got whatever we needed in the ways of specialists and testing.

Most people find little insults like this unforgivable, including my own son, who after the exam noted that the description of him as chubby was “a little bit of a dick move.” Yes, most people would move right on, but I didn’t. Most people would also probably make a mental note to send their child to reform school for foul language but I didn’t do that either.

I accepted this critique as something we’d just have to swallow in the big picture. Everyone I told was aghast when I recalled the incident, except for me.

Keep in mind, this is the same guy who, when confronted with my older daughter’s anxiety issues, looked her straight in the eye and dead-panned, “You know what anxiety is? Rightful worry. You know what worrying does? It keeps you alive! You SHOULD be worried!”

I spit out my Snapple while he adjusted his thick black glasses and for a moment I swore that I heard a distant drummer hit a rimshot.

Honestly, my young son is completely healthy and active, but I will confess to momentarily having a flash of his sad future face as he learns to dislike his body enough to fight it for the rest of his life.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2013 12:20 pm

    How are you able to hide behind that tiny child? Is your body collapsable? Do you fit in the overhead bins of airplanes?


    • dufmanno permalink
      April 4, 2013 12:24 pm

      I’ve never told you about my talents as a contortionist or my ability to get really small when hiding behind something. I seriously have no idea how this worked except the camera angle was weird and i had him thrust a foot out in front of me while I crouched. Every other photo we’ve ever taken has me spreading very healthily out behind him like a curtain, don’t worry.

  2. April 4, 2013 3:26 pm

    “…a little bit of a dick move” is absolutely accurate, and your son should be praised for his excellent diction*.

    *”Diction” means “word choice,” not “elocution.” I learned me that in talk-good school.

  3. fatology101 permalink
    April 4, 2013 4:31 pm

    You would think a Dr would understand kids need fat on them for their growth spurts, especially boys.

  4. April 5, 2013 1:45 am

    There’s “no-bullshit” and there’s “asshole.” Anxiety is not “rightful worry” and an eight year old having a little bit of pudge is not a federal case. That doctor would have lost my business ages ago.

  5. Elizabeth permalink
    April 5, 2013 1:45 pm

    I think I understand your remaining with the doctor, but how about dishing it right back to him? You could have asked him where in hell your son’s tummy should be if not on your son!

    CC is so so so right that anxiety is not rightful worry; I live with someone extremely anxious, especially during nursing school, and it is so beyond worry it is not in the least funny.

  6. Dizzyd permalink
    April 7, 2013 6:32 pm

    Kell, don’t you mean “dick-tion”? LOL I couldn’t resist! Seriously, I’m waiting for the follow-up to this blog when dufmanno comes on and says she had the dream again, but this time instead of her father, it was the doctor who was getting thrown in by the ape-people (they ARE intelligent, you know). And when somebody looks to her and says “Aren’t you going to say something?” she goes “Nope” and walks off to get a hot fudge sundae.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: