I have three children. All three are very different. For starters, one is an entire different sex to the other two. But the main differences are their sizes. Of course one being 10, the next 7 and the last 3, there is of course, going to be a height difference. To an outsider however, it would appear we have one on the large side, one on the small side and one just right. They are the Three Bears of the Modern world and apparently Goldilocks, the critical little cow, has outstayed her welcome.
Often, I get the Spanish inquisition, often from family, about what I feed Sam. It’s never an actual accusation that I am deliberately being a shit mother; I just think they believe I am oblivious to the situation. There is constant advice on how I should get him to eat more. Eat better. Sam is perpetually small. Always has been. He has had various health problems growing up, especially in the crucial toddler years and just didn’t thrive. He is growing; it is just a very slow process. We have had every test done known to man. No result. And with food, well to be honest, he eats better than the rest of us put together. He prefers a bowl of nuts to a bag of cheese and bacon balls, grapes to malteasers. In fact it makes me question whether he shares the same genes as me; such is his natural ability to make healthy food choices.
At the other end of the spectrum, is Mad. She is 10, going on 16 and already has a ladies Size 8 foot. At ten. Christ, am I going to have to get special shoes made for her for her sweet 16th. She’s quite tall, but she does have trouble getting jeans to do up over her tummy. As a Mum, I don’t care; I love her big, small, fat, skinny. But also as a Mum, I want her to be healthy and to be honest; I don’t want her to be any more of a target than necessary. Her father was exactly the same at her age and in fact, until he was around 16. He was mercilessly teased. He was Fat Phil.
The three year old is just totally average. Kind of tall, not fat, not skinny, just right. He eats, he drinks and he causes chaos. An exact combination of his mother and father.
So the problem here is we are kind of always trying to get Sam to eat and on the other hand, telling Mad she can’t have anymore. All this, whilst trying not to make a big deal out of it and lead her to an eating disorder.
So when I get the sly comments on my parenting abilities, I think I might just have to come back with “Oh yeah, we are in the business of making one big, one small and the other one JUST RIGHT.