Mary Renee - posted on 04/22/2012 ( 10 moms have responded )
An experience happened today at a birthday party that really stuck with me and now I can't shake it.
My daughter is only one, although she'll be turning two in about a month. We were at the birthday party of a three year old when the conversation turned to size. This is fairly normal - when my daughter was a baby everyone talked about birth weight and percentiles.
But suddenly they were talking about her tummy. Like more than one mom mentioned it. I joked "Yes! She could eat 24 hours a day probably! Such a good little eater." I'm Italian. When I was little, being a good eater as a toddler was a thing deserving of praise. Yes, she has the whole poked out tummy that (I thought) was typical of her age group. But suddenly I felt the subtle and well-meaning sympathies from other moms like "Oh, she's chubby but she's not fat" and other things in this vein.
What?! I wasn't looking for sympathy. And maybe I'm being to sensitive but WHAT? "Fat" never crossed my mind and "Chubby" would only cross my mind as a term of endearment. She's not even two and already there's this expectation that toddlers are either fat or skinny and it's something we need to be consoled about.
I went home suddenly like, "Wait, should I be worried about her weight?" But no, it's ridiculous. First of all, she isn't fat or unhealthy. If anything, she's uber-healthy and when I say she can eat 24-7 it's mostly things like grapes and apple slices. The girl runs circles around the playground and can swim and do a pull-up already.
I understand that childhood obesity is on the rise but is this a thing now? Are we really going to get this crazy weight thing going on in girl's heads as young as 2 or even 1?
I was just shocked. I also remember sending hula outfit gifts to my nieces. It was a flower print halter top and a grass skirt. They sent me a photo of the older one wearing the outfit in front of the Christmas tree, but said the three year old didn't want her photo taken because her tummy sticks out.
WHAT!? She's three! Where are they getting these ideas from?
What do you ladies think? Do you see this sort of thing to? Why are our toddlers thinking about their weight? Why are we thinking about it, as long as they're healthy?
BTW, I LOVE my daughter's belly. It's a thing of beauty really, it's the most adorably kissable tummy I've ever seen.
And I know there are children that are actually unhealthily overweight, some have health issues and others unfortunately have either uneducated parents who are unaware of better nutritional choices, or poverty stricken and unable to afford healthier food. But I'm not talking about extreme cases. I'm talking about two year old's with their lovely round bellies.