Every day I’m convinced I’m going to give my 16 month old an eating disorder.
Which is stupid, really, because it’s not just one thing that causes one – but the fact that I’m recovered from one ups the ante a little bit.
Let me give you an example:
Every week, my daughter has her play group and like one week out of the month we stop to get Dunkin’ Donuts right before (me: iced french vanilla with cream, you know it, and her: one or two munchkins ((crazy baby doesn’t seem to care either way for them. WHAT??)) This morning, as I narrated her life, as I do maniacally every day, I said absentmindedly, “So we’ll get in the car and we’ll stop at Dunkin Donuts.”
She halted. Her head swiveled and her eyes lit up.
I guess she cared more about those sprinkles-encrusted balls of goodness than I previously thought.
And my head went into a mindspin. Is this why she’s in the 90th percentile? She’s going to get bombarded by obesity comments at the doctor’s in a couple of years. I’m so bad for giving her sugar, at all? I’m going to parent hell! I might as well be Honey Boo Boo’s mom! I might as well set up camp at McDonald’s. I’m ruining my daughter’s future!!!!!!
And then I stop, take a pretend Xanax, and reality-check myself.
First, I try to remember my therapist’s words (“It’d be pretty hard to force food to a baby, Amanda”). Then, I remember that I feed my baby quinoa on a regular basis.
(You should have seen it when I tried to explain what it was to my mother. She kept going, Kinney? Quinna? Finally I had to tell her to remember Joaquin Phoenix but backwards.)
(Some might even call me a “Quinoa Mom” – horrors)
And I mix spinach into her sweet potato so my fruit-lover will get some much-needed vegetables as well. And I buy those overpriced organic pouches so she’ll eat SOMETHING nutritious on a day when all she wants is cheese in 1/2 inch squares only. And, I don’t keep juice in the house. And over my dead body will she have soda.
I think my downfall is comparing myself to those gluten-free-paleo-vegan-vegetarian-GMO free mothers who don’t let a drop of sugar pass into their kids’ sacred bodies. But that’s kind of redonk, because a. I’m never going to be that kind of mother and b. I don’t, personally, think that’s healthy. Do I think kids should snack on Happy Meals regularly? No way. But do I think they should enjoy the occasional bowl of ice cream that you can get messy in and smash all over your face? Absolutely. That’s part of being a kid.
And lastly, I try to remember the work I did on myself that brought me to the place where I don’t attach moral value to food, and the valuable lesson I will pass on to her.
So, I think I’m doing ok. In spite of the neuroticism.