Monday, May 16, 2011

Of Tears and Ice Cream

[Are we back?  Is blogger happy again?  Sure?  Good.]

Are you guys more emotional now post-kids?  I've turned into a big ol' softy.  Don't tell anyone as it'll ruin my street cred - after all, I have a reputation as a stoic soulless paper pushing bureaucrat to uphold - but the J&J commercials of sleeping babies that play during the holidays?  The throat tightens.  The humane society ads with the Sarah McLachlan song?  Little pangs (though I'm not tempted - even I'll admit three dogs is a little much).  And this ad breaks my heart.  Everytime.
We actually went thru MetDesk to set up my daughter's (special needs) trust, and I love them, but they're not in the middle of a waterworks-triggering ad campaign. 

The recent kicker was a couple days after Mother's Day, when I heard Melissa Etheridge's I run for life.  Big squished up ugly cry face.  [I'd link but couldn't find a great clip on youtube].  In case you don't know the song, it's actually about breast cancer.  I hope I don't offend anyone by adopting a broader view.
I run for your mother your sister your wife
I run for you and me my friend
I run for life

I don't think the history of my scale would make for interesting reading - I've never been skinny, but I've always stayed in the "regular" sizes.  I had three babies in four years, and in the middle of that process added a 2 hour daily commute to my life.  Factoring in the resulting small children to tend to, the reduced time to exercise, the fatigue of working-whilst-caring-for-small-children, on top of the fact I'm married to a bean pole with a junk food habit, and let's just say I've had "Range".  One that I've variously been at peace with, complacent about, and despondent over.   Not as despondent as I was in junior high when I flirted with but managed to avoid a full blown eating disorder, but there have still been more mornings than there should have been when my mood was tweaked by what the numbers were.

That said, I'm generally comfortable with myself, moreso when I'm exercising, and mostly because of the multiple decades I've had to get used to the hand I was dealt (think pears).  But it has taken decades

My daughter is 2.75 years old and is wearing a 3T.  Not all 3Ts fit her tummy but almost all are too long on her.  She is still in that delectable chunky toddler stage so settle down, I'm not calling my baby girl fat.  Her brother was a little chunk too, but he'd started to shoot up around this age and is turning into a tall skinny beanpole like his daddy.  But kids with DS have a slower metabolism and lower muscle tone.  It is going to be harder for her.  Also.... she eats like a starving feral baby at every meal.  I do NOT want to be that mom, monitoring her girl's weight.  But we can barely keep up with her brother's caloric needs and I've no problem giving the kid ice cream.  My daughter probably doesn't need it.  Or at least not as big a bowl.  How do you manage that?  She might be non-verbal but there's no question she knows when her brother is getting something she isn't.  How do I manage two distinctly different sets of needs without triggering a slew of food and body image issues?

I'm personally & painfully aware of all the crap, pressure, and unhealthy standards out there in the big bad world.  I'm not talking about being skinny - I'm talking about being healthy and strong.  I think the best we can do for her is set a good example.  I want her to see her mom eating her veggies (that should crack my family up--it would be something new), and exercising.  I want it to be completely normal and expected that mom is going to go for a jog and, hey, want to come with?  I want to be healthy enough to be here for her in 40 years.  I don't want it to take 40 years for her to be comfortable with her hips.  I want her to feel the same sense of satisfaction I've felt the last couple weeks when I've hit previously undreamt of mileage.  I want her to kick ass

So yes, I'm running for my daughter. 
And, yes, I'm absolutely adding that song to my playlist.


  1. oh I hear you, I struggle with that for Fudge too, I want him to be healthy and happy and not have body issues but he would eat a leg off a running cow if he could catch it. It is such a huge issue and I wish there were some easy answers.

  2. "eat a leg off a running cow"... hysterical. But sadly accurate.

  3. I've got absolutely nothing for you here. Since Maybelle's a picky eater, the starving feral baby phenomenon tends to reside in one food at a time (i.e. I will eat four cups of yogurt a day! Okay, now I will eat nothing but waffles! Give me waffles, dammit! Okay, now it's Cheerios!). And we don't have another sibling's dietary interests to factor in.

    I do think that modeling is probably the best thing, though, right? If you're doing healthy things, she'll see that and emulate it at least a bit. I get that this is far easier said than done (I, too, rarely eat a vegetable).