February 13, 2010

Make the way.

Alright. I have received an extensive feedback on the post below. There was a particular comment from this reader, that I wanted to post, because I cannot get it off my mind:

"Wow, ain't that the truth! It's so sad and aggravating. Recently, in my local news there was a young mother who was starving her baby b/c she thought it was getting too fat. She wanted the baby to be under the 50th percentile and didn't want the child to experience the same weight issues as she and her husband. I can't even begin to wrap my brain around that logic. The baby was taken away - I just hope he/she is able to grow up with a healty outlook and that the parents themselves get some help. A messed up world we live in. Thanks to you and your friend Tiffany for sharing powerful messages."

This comment brought chill to my heart. Not only because of the actions of that mother, not only because of the twisted thinking from the comments on the article, but because CHILDREN are getting hurt by something that someone thinks is GOOD for them. The scary thing is that it is continuing to happen, EVERY DAY. The proof is this comment, a few comments on the article from Vitamin G, and ... someone's comments on my own BABY...

For one, I had a baby that was beating every ends and odds of growing : she was in 90th percentile for hight, 75th for weight, and, having a little daughter before her, that NEVER made the charts ( even now, although she is perfectly healthy. Just turned out to be small. I do have a theory on that , and wonder how true it is... I'll post about it later, see what you think) , so having had a TINY baby before, and CONSTANTLY worrying about her growing properly , testing in EVERY possible area, I was just oozing excitement to see my little baby grow so fast and so well. And then one day someone at the beach made a comment ( when my baby was chewing down a second half of the banana ) :
"You really SHOULDN'T be giving it to her. I've been watching her for the last week ( we made it every day to the beach for a couple of weeks in august), and she is getting fatter by the day. You feed her TOO MUCH. She will be fat and ugly when she grows up, and will hate you for not caring about her."

Now, the mentality of out society that we currently live in really needs help. I am not sure where the the core of the problem lies, there are many roots to it, but the fact of us leaving it the way it is cannot be. There are extremes in every area you look : there are parents that let their kids shovel down chips , cookies and plastic dinners. There are parents that put their kids on slim fast. Those "healthy" ones that stick their kids in every physical activity there is by overbooking the child and never letting them experience the simple joy of childhood play, but load them an overbooked schedule of "developmental and necessary classes" to the point of child's exhaustion. There are those that keep their kids "vegan only" because they believe in "not hurting animals". And then the extremes of "raw food only", where children are completely undernourished. And then there are the " doctor , my baby sneezed, give a prescription!". Then there are those that "do not believe in medicine. Doctors are evil " kind. And then , and then, and then... the list can go on.

The truth is - that ALL those extremes have a good seed, but the end product is astounding. While yes, a part of the problem lies within the family, there is a far greater issue that is at the root of all. After living in this country for many years, I learned to not pay attention anymore to what shocked me at my first glance. I learned to be different, and let the "shockers" just go by my side, as many foreigners I know do. And maybe we shouldn't. There are issues that , as it appears, MUST be addressed.

Many parents know nothing about proper child developing. Many have no idea about child's nutrition needs. All the "developmental books" ... Some are good, but many are ... just like those "diet books", where authors have NO idea what they are writing about. Sadly, but here one can publish near-insanity and be a "new york best seller", for as long as there are enough fools to buy the idea ( that being said, there are plenty of wonderful resources. One just must be educated enough to see that) . Hospital "birth preparation classes" at some hospitals are based on and around simple statements : "when it hurts, get epidural, and don't push the button too much, because you won't be able to push the baby out", " don't lift anything heavier then your baby for 6 weeks if you had a c-section", and " call the doctor if you are thinking suicide" with the grand total " don't worry about anything during the pregnancy, that is why you go to the doctor".

Where is the childbirth education here?! Where is the " let us support you in YOUR PREPARATION to be a PARENT. Starting NOW that you are CARRYING A LIFE within you?!

If more parents were TAUGHT CONCEPTION PLANNING classes ( where women learn not only about their body's natural fertility , but also about the sacredness AND responsibility of the approaching task of CARRYING and BRINGING the CHILD into this world), but also a series FUTURE PARENT classes , where BOTH men and women learn about their unborn child , the needs and CARE it ALREADY requires, and then taught NEW PARENT classes , where there is support , q/a , etc from a PROFESSIONAL, not a neighbor with 10 kids or a MIL with 5 kids, because having an N number of kids MAY make one be experienced in SOME things, but by NO MEANS makes one be an expert.

The sad thing is that while there is a significant shortage, but there are some resources available currently, but only a low percentage of parents know about them, and even then... It appears that one must live... umm... a"granola" life-style to benefit from it completely. A cloth diapered baby ties to a hippy green mama in one's imagination. A mother , breast feeding a toddler, does not go well with the image of a successful professional. A wise and knowledgeable pair that is preparing for a child gives an image of future parents past 35... etc.

And the stereotypes are created by no one else but us, people. WE support the media. WE agree to craziness of the world. WE close our eyes on something, we know we shouldn't.

Stereotypes must be broken. People must be educated. And just like in election, every voice counts. You can be the one to make a difference. I challenge all - parents or not - to not be silent. To educate one self , and stand firm on your believe. For the sake of our children. They are all we've got. Love them. There is nothing happier then a child's smile. There is nothing warmer , then little arm's hugs. There is nothing sweeter then a slobbery kiss. They deserve to be happy. Let them. Make the way.

PS If you are wondering what happened to that person that commented on my baby... Let's just say that after a ...10 ( or was it 15?)minute VERY educational lecture, they were putting their beach mat FAR away from us, and it appeared that they became very interested in the magazines and news papers over other people's babies.


  1. I couldn't agree more with everything you wrote in this post. I know first hand how it feels to have others tell you that you are not doing something right with your child. Kara is very petite and I have had family (and strangers) express their "concern" about what I should and should not be feeding her. I wrote about my feelings on my blog after we went for Kara's 6 month wellness visit. THAT visit was a wake-up call. I allowed myself to get all caught up with what was "normal" and not focus on what was normal for my child. I struggled with nursing her for the entire 12 months that I did but I wasn't going to allow anyone tell me that I SHOULDN'T be doing it because that must be the reason she is so small. At 20 months she is only 20lbs (5th percentile) but healthy (except for the little cold she is fighting right now).

    I sadly do not listen to the media these days (ugh, don't get me started on FOX news!). I am beginning to hate (yes, HATE) the expression "well, I grew up doing or eating these things and I turned out ok." Just because your parents did it DOES not make it ok or right. Educate yourselves people.

  2. I can't BELIEVE someone said that to you about your baby!!! 2 out of my 3 babies so far have been in the high 90's%, if not OVER the 100%. My oldest is now extremely tall and THIN. The other is still solid but you can't even see any fat on him, he's just solid. People have different body types and, I'm sorry, but you DON'T GET FAT from eating a banana!!!

    I totally agree with you with everything you have said. Totally, 100%.

  3. Wow. I can't believe the stories I'm hearing about this- it is so so sad. I can't even believe begin to comment on how wrong people are and how much damage they are doing. Thank you for sharing because I think sometimes people brush off things like that when really they should be addressed.

  4. Thank you for your comments! It is SO GOOD to hear that there are voices that support the NORMAL life. Thank you!

    Bobbi - my Nadya is the same! at 2 years barely 20 lbs, even now... 25! But she is making a PERFECT curve for your growth. It just does not belong to the chart.
    I ALSO wonder if one can determine a child's size by the baby's foot size : Nadya was born with TINY feet although large , weight and hight for her gestational developmental age. She is tiny. Yeva was born on time, 6 lbs, 6 oz, HUGE feet. SHe's been growing like a mushroom after rain. She and Nadya are ONE size apart in clothing and shoes. (and almost 3 years in age) BOTH are super smart.

    Lori-ann : you won't believe the comments I get :) I also had even a pediatritian ( that we swiftly changed) comment on my son ( when he was a baby) , saying " he really doesn't miss his dinners, does he? Mom, watch what you feed him". THe baby was 4 MONTHS OLD! and breastfed only at that time! Needless to say, we never came back to that doctor. Now my son is as skinny as can be, although he eats a ton, and fats, carbs, nuts and good cheeses are the staple for him. Yeva started to thin out as she started walking - she is tall and going to be thin.

    Tiff - yeah , it's unbelievable, isn't it? I am SO GLAD you didn't swallow the comment and rose the issue up. Every voice counts. And = you never know when and how - but more people will come to their senses. Because until we talk about it... we think that we are the ONLY ones that it happens to.

    Thank you all!

  5. Wow. I am floored and appalled. I can't believe someone said that to you about your baby. And made other inappropriate comments. I've been fortunate with my son so far as he is on the "thin" side but you know, he's just right really. He wears the appropriate size clothes but just so happens to rank in the 10th % at his last checkup. You're right that most intentions start off on the right foot but somehow take a turn and go to extremes. My husband recently posted a link to Shazzie's blog about an article she wrote directed at raw foodists (http://www.shazzie.com/life/articles/raw_vegan_children.shtml). Interesting read. Our son gets to experiment with so many wonderful foods and eat as much as he wants. Anyway, thanks for your passion on the subject. I hope people start to wake up. Loved everything you wrote and agree 100%. Now, I'm off to eat a banana. :)

  6. wowzers! I'm glad you put that person in their place! a banana is going to make the baby fat and hate life? are you kidding me!!! yikes! What is the world coming to!

    Thanks for your words, they motivate me to be better and keep learning more and more about life and what is best for my family!


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