Friday, April 04, 2008

Keep It To Yourself

If you are a parent, grandparent or anything that brings children into your life on a regular basis, please, please PLEASE think about the little ears around you and keep your neuroses to yourself!

I am annoyed. Son asked me last night if he was fat because he's 64 pounds.

"What?!" I breathed. "Who told you you were fat?"

"I weighed myself on Nana's scale."

He did this because over Easter, my SIL didn't want to eat too much because she's in the midst of losing weight - or trying to. She doesn't seem too happy with how it's going. So MIL brought out her new scale and they weighed themselves...on dinner. And SIL actually did it before eating and after eating and then was upset because she had gained! "Woman, you just ate! What do you expect?"


The kids saw this as a new toy so they hopped on too. No harm done - I thought. I wasn't thinking I would have to tell Son not to obsess over that scale. But I do. He says he wants to eat healthy. "Maybe I shouldn't eat," he said. What? What?! My goodness. All I could do was bite my tongue because I was truly getting mad (still am) but I know he wouldn't understand why I was angry. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe I can use this to my advantage prefacing everything with, "remember how you said you want to eat healthy? Well, broccoli is good for you! Try 'em!" Of course, we've already gone this route only to run into a dead end but maybe he's ready to try again.

Still, I was mad last night that he even asked me if he was fat. Weight is certainly an issue for Mr. T's mom and 2 sisters. They mention is A LOT. Weight is a big issue in my family too since most of us start out small but the females tend to gain with childbirth. Only my mother and I don't take too kindly to reminders about it. It's other family members - mainly Southerners - who find this to be an appropriate topic of conversation. (Uh uh uh. Don't even say it. I was born in D.C. which is SOUTH and my both sides of my family are Southerners and I will always be one at heart even if my birthplace really has me straddling the Mason-Dixon line.)

"How's the family? How's the job? How much DO you weigh now?"

Everybody. Please. SHUT UP! I'm beyond sick of it.

Whatever my issues with weight, I deliberately chose to go the opposite way with my kids and either not mention weight to them directly or simply to tell them how good they look no matter what. I even try to curb my tongue about myself lest either one of them take it and run. But they talk the talk anyway and sometimes it's good, sometimes I'm not so sure.

"Daddy, how big are you? You must be 400 pounds!" OK, that IS funny. The kids like to compare us. Mr. T is 6' 3" and weighs, well, probably a little more than he should but his job requires him to be physically fit so he can't be too bad and I'm happy so who cares? When they compare me to him, though, I always come out tiny. Or he's big, I'm medium and they're small and extra small. We listen. We laugh. We don't indulge the talk but so far because I know how it can go.

I do hate to hear the fat talk. I do hate to hear the concern about their health as if they were living on the edge of death at all times. I do watch them quietly because I want to keep their weight and food in check for diabetes reasons. I tell them they look good or I tell them what they are wearing ain't working anymore. Time for something new. I try NOT to inflict my issues on them. It's not fair to them. They will develop issues of their own soon enough. We encourage them to do whatever they have an interest in in order to get out of the house because we don't live in the world I grew up in where kids could go out to play all day and come back home safe and sound. It's not safe enough to do that anymore, as far as I am concerned.

I just want my kids to be the happy, silly, inquisitive people they are but life refuses to let that happen I see. The bad stuff gets all mixed up in there and they come to me with concerns I'm not ready for them to have. I never considered myself to be an overprotective mother but maybe I should just lock them in their rooms and save myself the future agita. Other people just are not cooperating. They keep saying things, not thinking, forgetting my kids are around. Hmm. Maybe I should lock up the other people and make the world a safe place for the innocents once again. Now there's an idea.

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