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.