Matt and I have always been extremely careful about how we discuss weight loss in front of the kids. We want them to focus on getting or remaining healthy rather than focusing on the actual act of losing the weight. This will become especially important as Kaylee gets older and is faced with the unrealistic stereotypes of what girls bodies should look like. This all comes about because I had some trouble shedding the baby weight I gained with Kaylee. And by some trouble I mean that I never shed any of it. It’s bothered me for quite a while, but to be honest with three kids underfoot, two of them essentially toddlers at the same time, I just didn’t have the patience or energy to do anything about it.
Since going back to work in September and walking up and down the stairs of our school 150 times every single day I’ve been able to shed about 10-15 pounds. I’ve made it my personal goal to double that over summer vacation if I can. Earlier this week I was talking to Matt about my goal and trying to determine if he wanted to get into an exercise routine with me to help him meet his own weight loss goals. During the course of the conversation (which was taking place in the middle of my kitchen) I shook my belly and said to him that I’d just like to be able to get rid of it. That was the end of the conversation.
A minute or two later Kaylee, whom I had forgotten was still sitting at the table finishing up her dinner, asked me if I had a lump on my belly. I was quite confused by this question, told her I didn’t and asked why she wanted to know. She then asked, while imitating the gesture I’d just made to Matt, why I wanted to get rid of my belly. It was then that I realized that she’d listened to my entire conversation with Matt about our weight loss intentions and had done exactly as I feared any of my kids would. She was focused on the belly rather than the reason I wanted to lose it.
I tried hard to explain to her why it was that I was interested in losing my belly. That it had grown bigger than I wanted it to and I wanted to lose some of it so I could be healthy for her and her brothers. Again she heard what she wanted to, stuck out her belly as far as she possibly could and said that she needed to lose her fat belly too. (which in my conversation with Matt I never referred to my belly as fat so I have no idea why she decided to refer to hers as fat). I tried again to emphasize that at 5 years old she needed to have a little body fat and that she would use it to grow big and strong whereas I was no longer growing so I had to monitor and control how much fat was in my body.
The next question she hammered me with was asking why I wanted to get healthy anyway. That was a first for me. Whenever we’ve had similar conversations with the boys they totally seemed to understand and be on board with mommy and daddy trying to do things to get healthy. I explained that I wanted to be as healthy as possible for her and the boys sake so that I would live a nice full life, and be around for them as long as possible. I went on to explain that if I were unhealthy I might not live as long and wouldn’t it be sad if she didn’t have her mommy around anymore.
Once the words were out of my mouth I became concerned that Kaylee would begin to obsess about the thought of mommy and daddy dying. Brendan has always been especially sensitive to that topic, and Cameron would have taken that statement and wanted to know all of the different possibilities that could potentially lead to Matt and I’s death no matter how small or trivial they seemed. Not Kaylee though. She took that statement in complete stride. When I asked if she would miss me if I weren’t around her exact response was, “Eh. Probably”
Probably? PROBABLY? Are you kidding me? My own five year old has audacity to say that she wouldn’t even miss her own mother if I were to die tomorrow? Wow that is harsh.
Seriously though that made me laugh harder than anything and I had to share her unenthusiastic response to the thought of me dying right away with Matt. It was definitely one for the memory book.