Here it is, the question I have been dreading.....way worse than "Mommy, how are babies made?". It happened last night......
Emma: mom, do you think I am overweight?
Me (calm outside, internally freaking): No. Not even a little. Why do you ask?
Emma: I dont know.....
Me: did somebody say you were overweight?
Emma: no, but.......alot of kids in my class weigh in the 40's or 50's and I weigh 75.
Me: well, you are taller than most of the kids in your class, so you would weigh more. Your weight is normal for your height. Plus, you are pretty muscular, and muscle weighs more.
Emma:but, you know how when I saw Dr. Paschen for my leg and they weighed me an it said 75?
Emma: but the last time I was there it was like 74. So I gained weight.
Me: Well, you are growing. You will keep on growing and it will be normal for you to keep gaining weight and getting taller until you get to your adult size. That's how it works. Its ok.
Then the conversation was pretty much over and we talked about other stuff. I like to think that I satisfied her questions, but I worry that she is still thinking about it. I have forseen this because Emma seems to be developing ahead of her class; she is a head taller than most of the girls and wears clothing sized for kids a few years older than her. I also know that she gets alot of "education" about eating healthy and not being overweight and stuff (thank you Michelle Obama). I had lunch at my daughter's school the other day and heard Emma's little friends talk about which foods they weren't eating because they were fattening. Incidently, this conversation started because Emma and I were eating cheese. I seized the opportunity to tell the girls that it is ok to eat fat because fat is a vital nutrient and we need it to survive. I also told them that no one food would make them fat and that you can eat all foods as long as you eat a variety and not the same foods all the time. I think I blew their little minds.
I was thinking about myself at Emma's age. By nine, I had a really bad body image and felt like I looked different and my body was dfferent that other kids in my class. It was a sort of difference that felt bad. But it wasnt until later that I connected it to my weight. I dont even think that I knew my weight at that age. I didn't know anything about dieting either. My mom didn't diet or buy diet foods. We didn't watch alot of TV and didnt have women's magazines around. I didnt understand what calories were or how they related to my body or shape.
This is why I felt a knot in my stomache, thinking about this conversation with Emma. Not only has she noticed her weight, the number, but she has noticed a one pound weight gain enough to be concerned about it. I swear, the window of innocence in getting smaller and smaller. I wish she wasnt thinking about these things. Well who knows, maybe she is not thinking about them as much as I think she is and I am just spazzing out. What do you all think?
BTW, if you are my friend on FB, I posted a link to a news story about Sketcher's new Shape-ups shoes for girls as young as age 7! Notice they don't make them for boys *ahem*.
5 months ago