Thursday, January 19, 2012

To Eat or Not To Eat

I have never been nor will I ever be a perfect parent. I know there isn't such a thing. Two areas that we have been lucky in with our kids are sleeping and eating. I say lucky because we don't have any magic skills or powers. For the most part, our kids are good sleepers and eaters. Our problems arise when they are awake and not eating. I see my friends struggle to get their kids to eat, to gain weight and grow. I feel their pain. Worrying about our kids and their development is scary and stressful. Sara will try almost any food, especially if someone else is eating it. She is known in our family as "the mooch". Christian is slightly pickier but we have found if we ignore it or threaten to take away his plate, he changes his tune. Our attitude is to let them try whatever they want. Sara started snacking off my dad's plate as soon as she could sit up. She ate his coleslaw (with her hands), his soup, etc. She got over her blind hatred of pickles and tomatoes when she saw him eat them. My fondest memories are of our weekly lunches with my dad and watching the 2 of them discuss and negotiate what he would order. Guess who won? Sadly, she has inherited his fetish for salt and pepper. We have to dole out her salt judiciously so she isn't the only 3rd grader with a pace maker. My kids love going to Sam's Club, Costco and the supermarket because they pass out food constantly. Sara even asked the butcher if he had any samples. Ironically, she eats like a frat boy bulking up for spring training but is a stick with arms. So, we give her Pediasure and let her order milkshakes at restaurants. Only my kid could justify a milkshake as medically necessary. I get angry when random strangers comment on how skinny she is. Really? She is 8. Do we want her to have a negative self-image? They don't know how much she eats. All they see is a skinny kid. But Sara hears the comments and asks me about them. I tell her the only opinions that matter are hers, ours and her doctor's. Then I swipe the cherry out of her milkshake. Told you, I am not perfect mom.

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