Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Baby Ain't Got Back

I bought a vat of butter. It was huge. Eight boxes of butter stacked neatly on top of one another. Very tall, very yellow, very churned. They came up about waist high. My butter tower really was one of the 7 wonders of my world. I buckled it in the back seat as we drove it home from BJ’s to ensure its safety. And once we got home I stared at it for a long time, almost inappropriately admiring its vastness.

This was 2 weeks ago. My butter tower is now a butter hut. There is barely enough left to make a butterball. I look at the remnants of my once proud butter erection and feel an emptiness in the pit of my stomach. Sad. So sad.

Well it’s sad not only because my butter was so fun to look at and brag about to friends, but also because all that butter did not serve its intended purpose. Some of it went into cookies for friends. Some in a nice alfredo sauce I made. But most of its buttery goodness was supposed to go into my daughter’s tummy…and hopefully onto her cute, yet not-as-pinchable-as-one-would-hope tushy.

She is itsy bitsy teeny weeny. Not unhealthy. Just a petite svelteness that makes her extra adorable. She is not going to grow to be 6 feet tall due to her DNA but I’ll be damned if I can’t get her to reach 22lbs at 2½ due to not eating.

To be fair she does eat, but she’d rather eat apple chunks than peanut butter crackers. She will pick out only the sprinkles from an ice cream sundae. She really loves frozen peas but won’t eat a chicken finger to save her soul. And even though I try to stick butter in absolutely everything she eats, she just doesn’t eat enough of it to add on those pinchable cheekies pounds.

It’s something about the fat. It’s like she has fat-dar or something. Millions of mommies and doctors have told me I am doing nothing wrong. Children will eat what they will eat. Yet I see her run with the big kids in her class, the ones who fit snuggly in their 2T clothes, the ones who could face forward in their seats BEFORE 27 months, and I feel like it’s all on me. The guilt is bad not only because I am a mommy-but a JEWISH mommy. Oy.

Cooking is my thing. It’s the one thing I do that I know I do well. But I can’t get the one person I want to impress most to enjoy my wares. So when I see I am failing at something I guess my gut reaction is to try try try. Never accept failure. Throw in MORE butter. Splash in a little olive oil. Sprinkle on extra cheese. She must like what I make and I must succeed in my Fat Mission by any means necessary.

I can’t think like that. She is doing what works well for her and as her mommy I need to be proud of that. She is healthy and happy and I KNOW I’ve already impressed her. I can play the piano with my toes. I can play a mean game of hide and seek. I can make her laugh louder than anyone else in the universe. If I can’t make her gain weight, well one out of 1 million's not bad. So I will focus on the upside-she is smart, beautiful and thin. If she wasn’t my daughter, I would have to hate her.


Michelle Nevada ( said...


Same here, but with my son. He just turned three, and he is 24 lbs.

I feed him everything I can imagine--but he won't eat much. Meanwhile he runs around the house like crazy, climbs everything, can throw a ball across the room and hit one pitched to him.

Thank G-d we have a great pediatrician who said, "If he has energy, he's fine. Don't worry. The biggest worry today is not kids who are too skinny, it's kids who are too fat. Maybe we needed different growth charts ten years ago."

I felt better.

Maya said...

Don't worry, your daughter's fine. I was 18 lbs at 1 year and 20 lbs at 2 and 23 lbs at 3 years. So far my daughter has replicated my baby weight to the ounce. My mother (who has 7 healthy children) and my grandmother (who had 8) say that children eat what they need to. There's nothing to worry about if they're not ill. Sounds like your daughter will have great eating habits if she's into fruits and isn't into fats. My daughter is crazy about tofu and tempe; have you tried those, if you're worried about protein?

mamalady said...

My son is also a non-eater very frequently. Recently he seems to be turning a corner and eating. This seems to have cooresponded with his first growth spurt in a year.

When I get nervous about his eating I try to step back and marvel at how amazing it is that he eats what his body actually needs. Imagine if we could all do more diets, no obesity problem in this country, we'd all be healthy. When I focus on this my goal becomes to not interfere with this amazing talent my son has and instead try to keep him this aware of his needs as long as possible.

Mahotma Mama said...

Thanks guys-I always love hearing stories about other wonderful and perfect yet slender children. =) I need the extra happy nowadays because she is deep in the heat of her 2 year oldness so things she once LOVED (like tofu) are just shoved aside. She is VERY picky, it's SO frustrating. ACK! But she has to be getting enough calories and protein-that little girl runs me ragged!

Anonymous said...

Mahotma Mama-
You should know that my younger sister was like your daughter at her age. I don't remember the numbers but she had her own growth chart under the one at the doctor's office. She was so TINY for so long, though she was relatively average with height. You turned her sideways and she would practically disappear. IY"H she is getting married this summer a healthy young woman. Fast metabolism, picky eater, small appetite. But she made it through her chid and teen years just fine. Let your daughter be, and as long as her doctor doesn't think anything is wrong, you shouldn't either. Sister was a dancer for several years, her size helped tremendously (the leaps were higher than anyone else). Enjoy your skinny little girl!

Abbi said...

Waving over here with another picky 2.5 year old, who's not even into sweets. (She wouldn't even finish a mini chocolate pudding!).

It's frustrating, but I'm also trying to tell myself, as long as she's healthy and plays, that's what's most important.