No, this is not a post where I would talk about the benefits of being the correct weight or the correct BMI or the correct waist-to-hip ratio or any of the other hundred different ways they seem to have invented to make you understand that you are FAT!! In this post, I am going to talk about...babies.
You know, in the last few years, there has been a lot of focus on child obesity. A lot of things are being said about it, a lot of things are being written about it. And a lot of doctors are warning parents about its ill effects. Unfortunately, this whole 'movement-to-reduce-child-obesity' seems to have COMPLETELY bypassed ALL the people I have ever known. And by that, I mean, right from the woman I buy vegetables from to my own mother. Ok, ok..it also includes me.
The moment I found out I was pregnant, I went into ecstatic dreams of this rounded, chubby, little baby who I could hug and cuddle. Now, where did I get that picture from, you might ask. If you had seen me, you would'nt need to. I am pretty much the adult version of my idea of a dream baby. So, considering that, and considering that hubby was also quite chubby as a baby, and considering the number of ice creams I ate during my pregnancy (I swear they opened a branch of Corner House just for me!), you would think that the least I can expect is a nice, round baby. And with all this build up I have given you, I think you might have guessed what happened next. My son was puny. He weighed just 3 kilos (which I later found out was quite decent by Indian standards). Needless to say, I was crest fallen. Went into desperate measures to fatten the poor guy up.
People did not help. Let me put out a pearl of wisdom into the universe from my blog here...I, or anybody else in the world, do NOT like being told that their baby is ugly. And another thing...all babies are ugly. They are just the most beautiful things alive for their parents!! And that's ALL I heard from all the people(invited and otherwise) who came to see the baby. Oh, how come he's so dark? Why is he so thin? Is he feeding alright? What, the doctor has told you not to give him water? What sort of an idiot doctor is he? Both of you are so fat, how come your child is so thin? Try giving him ragi. Try giving him cerelac. Try giving him that and this and every bit of crap under the sun.
And you know what, fool that I was, I listened to ALL of them. Started ragi when he was just a month old. Started cerelac when he was two. Did EVERY bit of experimentation on him possible. And grew more and more despondent by the day. Why was'nt he growing fat? Look at all the other babies..they look so big and chubby. And look at how scrawny he is. It never occurred to me that my poor baby obligingly put up with all the stuff I tried on him and never fell sick once in protest. Oh no sirree, I had given up my job for this baby. The least I could do was have a socially acceptable 'beautiful, chubby' baby. I obsessed about his weight. I read every book from 'What to expect..' to 'Dr.Spocks'. I was convinced that my baby had a condition called 'Failure to thrive' and made his doctor suggest a bunch of tests( I think he just did to get me off his back). And we put him through a blood test and chest xray and a whole bunch of monstrosity. And he was fine. BUT HE STILL WOULD"NT GET FAT!!
My son is close to 3 years now. He is still small for his age. It took me a long time to realise that he is thin but its ok. He is fine in every other way. I still get pangs of regret when I look at other chubby babies. But I know I am lucky in so many other ways. My point is this....I almost missed enjoying my son's baby months because I was too busy listening to what other people were telling me. No matter what people tell you, don't let them spoil those magical days, gone in the blink of an eye, for you. Your child is the most special, precious, perfect gift God can ever give you. No matter how fat or thin or fair or dark or slow or whatever else people think he is. Enjoy him..and enjoy your life with him.