Chocolate Milk and Growth Hormones

My son and I went to see the Avengers last night (fun movie, not relevant to the subject at hand, but two armoured thumbs up) and he was feeling generous enough on the way home to carry on a conversation with me through various topics.

At one point, talk turned to how I had to take him suit shopping shortly.  Grade 8 graduation happens in June and he can’t wear one of my suits.  Sure, he’s very nearly as tall, but I’m thicker around the middle and broader across the chest, so nothing I have will come near fitting properly.  If we choose wisely, we’ll have something he can probably wear for a couple of years to weddings and other important events even if there needs to be a bit of tailoring.  I threw out the off-hand comment that he’d fill out over the next couple of years and be bigger than I am soon enough.

He said that a couple of his friends were growing past him again (Really? My kid is 5’10” and not even 13 ½ years old. What kind of giants are we breeding?) so he probably should start hitting the chocolate milk harder again to get more growth hormones.

“Really?”

“Yeah, I don’t want to fall behind.”

“You’ll grow when you grow.  Relax.”

Fall behind.  Like it’s an arms race.  We have to get taller before the Russians do.

In fairness, we used to joke that all the chocolate milk he was drinking made him grow faster.  Hormones supposedly pumped into dairy cattle to increase milk production were obviously to blame, right?  How else could he have gotten so big?  Newsflash: my son has always been big for his age and for a time when he was eight or nine actually introduced himself as Monster Boy.  He’s recently been accused of being seventeen.

On the subject of milk, he’s been drinking a lot less of it for the last few months and has for some reason connected that with growing slower than a couple of his friends.  Growth hormones again, right?  Except we live in Canada and it’s only legal to use growth hormones for beef cattle here, not for dairy cattle.  There aren’t any extra hormones in the milk he guzzles.

“I know, but the milk helps.  I can taste the growth hormone.”

Really, I didn’t say, the ones that aren’t actually there.  Instead, I steered the conversation back to high school because they had an orientation day this week.

Now some of you might be thinking that I missed a prime educational opportunity here to discuss the use of hormones and antibiotics in food production and how he has a slightly skewed view of the world when it comes to them.  You’re absolutely right, but I had two reasons for not having that talk:

  1. Not every conversation has to be educational, especially not on the heels of a superhero movie.
  2. I want the kid to keep drinking milk.  It’s good for him and if he’ll do it on his own it’s one more eating/drinking habit I won’t have to worry about.

To paraphrase Sun Tzu: he will triumph who knows when to parent and when not to parent.

Be well.

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