Monday, September 7, 2009

Ruining my daughter

I'm afraid I may be damaging my daughter. Not in the way you might think. And not just me but everyone who talks to me. Natasha is extremely perceptive, aware, and self-confident. The combination of these traits has meant that she has heard every comment anyone makes to me about my "weight-loss" or "skinny body" or whatever term they use. She also hears me and Dave talking in ways I would never speak in public, "Can you believe I can wear this?"

Natasha is a pretty good size for her age, although she has my exact body and tends to get big in the butt and thighs. We of course struggle daily about how many sweets she can eat, etc. and aside from her eating more desserts than I would like she eats very well overall. She is also very impressed with her own cuteness and beauty. This I find a bit horrifying - and so different from my own attitude as a child. I mean I want her to be self-confident but she will stare at herself admiringly in the mirror for the longest time, clumsily swaying her hips around and pretending to sing like Hannah Montana.

So recently she has really internalized all the compliments I'm getting. She is proud of me, and brags to other people, "My mommy is really skinny now" in the same way she brags about having a pool at her beach house (How she inherited the Cape house from my mother I don't know but she seems to think it's her house.). But the most unsettling new trend is that she is aware of her adorably perfect little figure, which frankly is a bit too mature and curvy for a 6 yr old in my opinion, and likes to show it off. She asked to pin up her tankinis to be bikinis so she could show off her stomach (like my bikini??) and when we shop she wants "clothes that go in here" pointing to her middle. She doesn't like shirts with a sweet empire waist and billowing bottom because she thinks they make her look fat.

Oh God.

Where is this going? She hasn't had her 7th birthday yet!

This is almost all translated from things she heard other people say to me, or me say to Dave, but certainly not me saying things to her. I have started to talk to her about portion size when it comes to desserts, as she will literally eat herself sick if allowed. For the longest time I shielded the kids from hearing about my diet at all, but now, it's pretty hard to do so. My body is a constant topic of conversation! Even I can't believe the transformation and sometimes mention it at home. And to be completely truthful, recently, I have explained the correlation between too many desserts and getting fat (before it was just about 'being healthy' or 'not getting sick off desserts' recently as her gluttony is just over the top. But for years I never even used that word in front of her because I didn't want it in her repertoire. Like many 4-5 yr olds, especially perceptive ones, she asked several women with big stomachs who weren't pregnant if they were. So we worked REALLY hard on learning to never comment on how adults look at all. Not their size, skin color, clothes, smell, etc.

But now she hears people comment on how I look constantly. It's a problem. It should settle down now that we're not on a tour of old friends and family any more. But she has absorbed every comment she has heard - and in true Natasha form, instead of becoming nervous or self-conscious about body image, she has found yet another thing to boost her ego.

Who is this child??? And what will happen when her hips pop out and her thighs start to jiggle?

Oy. At least bathing suit season is winding down!

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