Why My Daughter is a Better Person Than I Am

One of my friends recently posted this bit of hilarity on their Facebook feed:

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Is it completely inappropriate and mean spirited?  Absolutely.  Also, really, really funny.

Imagine my horror when my three-year old leaned over my shoulder and said, “Is that you mommy?”

What? Really kid?  I haven’t lost the baby weight entirely, but I’m not THAT fat and besides I would never wear that. (Is what I wanted to shout at my child)

Instead I said, “Sweetie, she doesn’t have red hair.  Mommy has red hair.”  (I really didn’t want to mention the size difference because we are working on avoiding mention of such things in front of an impressionable toddler)

She persisted in her belief that it was a picture of me.

I finally asked, “Baby, why do you think that is mommy?”

“Because she looks so pretty and happy,” she replied.

And then I realized that what I saw and what my sweet daughter saw were two very different things.  I love her heart.  I love that she saw pretty and happy where I saw fat and smug.  I wish I saw people with her heart and eyes.

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My Toddler’s Eating Disorder

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In a responsible way I have made great efforts not to pass my body issues on to my daughters. I do not subscribe to ANY fashion magazines. Our television is not connected to cable, so this limits her viewing options to Dora or Wonder Pets. We do have a scale in the house, but I don’t weigh myself in front of her.

The scale is located in our bathroom and anyone who ever has had children will tell you that once you have a baby, you never get to go to the bathroom alone again. Sometimes if I have to go, I hold it until I can get to work and go by myself. By the way, this is the exact opposite of the practice I used to follow

I digress. In the course of my use of the facilities, Z has taken to standing on the scale and “checking her number”.   She doesn’t know what the number means, but she likes to make numbers appear on the digital scale.   Charming right?   We have even used this as a learning opportunity to teach her about numbers.

I spend a great deal of my day at work arguing with patients about their weight. Everyone insists that our scales are off and want to be weighed on a second or even third scale. Some patients have a favorite scale in the office and only want to be weighed on the favorite scale. Some want me to record the value they get on their home scale, and not the office scale. I have had patients remove everything from their shoes to jewelry in attempt to get that number a little lower.

Z has had a solid “number” of twenty-eight for the last couple of months. She proudly will stand on the scale and proclaim, “my number is twenty-eight”. Imagine my surprise last week when she announces, “I’m going to check my number,” and hopped up on the scale. The number said, “28.6”. I could see Z look at me with some degree of confusion and consternation.

I said, “Oh, look, your number has changed. It is twenty-eight point six. “ I mustered a great degree of excitement for this to ensure that she wouldn’t develop any life-long psychiatric scars because of mommy’s reaction to her weight at two years old.

She shrugged, “Its cuz I hab my shoes on.”

Great, I thought, Glad you are working on your eating disorder already. Its never too early to get started on that kiddo. I followed that up with a giant sigh and eye roll. I have a feeling I have years of sighs and eye rolls ahead of me.

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