January 30, 2007

Startling revelation!

Today, while scooping ice cream into my five year old's bowl for desert, Daugther, who now, thanks to Nana, has discovered ice cream, screamed for some "cake." At first I paused and thought, she doesn't need any ice cream, but then I said, what the heck, let her have some. But then, I only gave her a tiny little scoop. On the other hand, I gave Son, 2 whopping scoops AND a little bit of sprinkles and asked if he wanted chocolate syrup to top it off. (No, I normally don't allow him to indulge like this but he doesn't get desert every night and if so, it's never this good.)

Well, four spoons later, daughter was looking at Son and looking at me like what the h@ll is going on? No fair. So she says, "Mommy, want cake!" And I say, "no, you've had enough." Then I start to thinking why she can't have more and I reason it's because I don't want to start bad habits because she should be careful of what she eats- and I felt guilty and ashamed. I never would do this to Son because he's a boy and it's okay, I suppose, for him to be a little chunky (even though right now he is rail thin). But for Daughter, I want her to have good eating habits so that she grows up to be skinny. Sure I want them both to be healthy, and I do my best to make sure they have their "five a day." But, I can't believe I'm worrying or even thinking about this when Daugther is two!! So I have vowed, not to treat them different and also, to do my best to make sure that daughter has a positive self image no matter what size she is! Hopefully this incident hasn't scarred her for life.


Justice Fergie said...

oooo! That's deep, Jones!

You are right in that you should definitely not treat them differently -- it's things like that that little girls pick up on and end up being obsessed with their weight as they get older. Did your parents treat you and your brother differently?

She's only 2 for Pete's sake! Unfortunately, she'll have plenty of time to fret over looks and weight when she's a pre-teen and older.

Let her enjoy the innocence of her youth. At that age, their metabolism is high and she will surely burn off the calories of a little cake and ice cream. Instead of rationing her portions, just make it a point to teach your kids about healthy eating habits, whether they are male or female. And I am a big advocate of children being active. Growing up I took dance lessons, figure skating lessons, played volleyball, basketball, field hockey -- you get the picture. So weight wasn't an issue until I left college (where I was in a dance troupe) and went to law school and became the sad, sedentary soul that I am today. So keep them actively playing and involved in physical activities.

Sorry for the ramble, but my point is that a little girl's (or boy's) psyche is SO fragile and you have to be extra-careful as to what messages you are sending.

Let her eat cake!!

Justice Jones said...

Yeah, I know this. It's really deep. That's why I was so ashamed. It was just ice cream and not cake* but I like your ending :) Actually now that I even think about it, it was Light Ice-Cream!! It's absurd that I'm even thinking about her weight. SHAME! I blame the media.

*Her word for any dessert is Cake because onetime Nana gave her a HUGE plate of cake and icecream and she gobbled it all up and so she associates anything desserty as cake.

SJ said...

Thank you, Madame Justices for the link to my potty mouthed blog. I shall reciprocate shortly.

Oh, and I have no doubt I have instilled eating disorders of all kinds into my daughters. Upset? Let's have marshmallows and brownies, yeah!!

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