This morning my darling daughter (DD) walked up to me and said “Mum, I need to put on something else”. This in itself would not be a huge issue... except my daughter is two and that this is a daily occurrence.
‘So she has a strong sense of being’, I hear you thinking.
That is quite possibly true as well, however I am scared that she has seen me do the dress-around each morning for so long that she thinks that it is normal to get dressed, wander around for 30mins and then decide that no, this is not the outfit that I will be wearing today. Is it just me? I don’t think it is, but maybe others are better at hiding it from their children.
This of course had me wondering what else she is watching quietly, storing away and going to create a disorder of sorts at some point. Well, ok, a disorder is definitely an exaggeration but you know what I mean. Diet and weight is one thing that has always been a concern for me for both of my children. From birth I was conscious of the importance of what they were fed and of healthy growth. Even trying to do the right thing by what goes in their mouths, there seems to be minefields to walk through. How do you explain the impact of eating too much to a small child? How do you discourage eating something that tastes great? (And why is mummy allowed a chocolate and DD or DS not – and mummy has swum for an hour this morning and done an RPM class really does not cut it with two and five year olds – and yes I know, I simply should not do it around them).
And now that my DD has diabetes, I am even more conscious that her weight will be an issue throughout life – as for everyone, people will judge her because of her weight, but because of her diabetes and the ignorance about the cause, people will judge her more harshly if she is ever even slightly overweight. (Unless of course there is a huge change in focus of the current type 2 diabetes “education” campaigns – but that is another long story).
So almost every day, I talk with my kids about good foods and bad food, get into arguments when they want chocolate, try really hard to not say, “they will make you fat”. But, I am only human, so do slip up (well that is my excuse and I am sticking to it). I also try to add that your brain won’t grow properly...
I try really hard to ensure that when we eat chocolate or ice cream, it is for special occasions. A birthday party, because we climbed Mt Coolum or walked the return trip of Buderim Forest Park. But I know the example I set is more important than what I say or even what I let them do. Do they understand that I get up before 5am most mornings to exercise? And even if they do, what does this mean to them.So what am I worrying about? I guess what most parents worry about... am I doing a good job? Am I doing the best job I can do.
I just have to have the self belief - yes I am! And when I look at my two happy, healthy kids having fun together, it makes it easy to believe.