Yet often when we’re out and about and people ask how old she is, they’re surprised to find out she’s five weeks and always, always, always comment on what a “peanut” she is and/or ask how much she weighed at birth.
I know they don’t mean anything by it … and it doesn’t particularly bother my husband. But it often makes me feel a bit uncomfortable as the mother, the milk provider, if you will — as though she’s still too tiny for her age.
So we’ve been doing weekly weigh-ins and in the past two weeks, Maya went from 6 lbs 7.5 oz to 7 lbs 2 oz … to 7 lbs 11 oz today (yes, many babies weigh more than that at birth, I know! Meh.)
Anyway, woo hoo: she’s growing!
Clearly, supplementing with formula has really helped, since my milk production alone wasn’t meeting her demands. I’m still nursing and/or pumping and so she’s getting about 8-12 oz of formula a day in conjunction with that.
And though she was a bit on the skinny side at birth … she’s really filling out now, which is beautiful to see.
Which brings me to today’s blog post.
Last night after her bath (see pic to the left) my husband and I were commenting to each other (and cooing to her!) about how absolutely adorably chubby her little legs are getting. Then my husband noted she has a little Buddha belly forming and we were marveling about how our little “Hope Floats” baby girl was growing before our eyes.
Now, all of this probably sounds like innocuous parent-speak, but afterward, I got to thinking about it and how — not that she can hear or understand what we’re saying now — because we live in a fat-fearing, obesity-plagued society, those words that are so cute now could feel like a weapon to a little girl later in life.
But I’m sharing this experience because though I wish it didn’t, it did give me pause, as a woman who has had body image issues … I certainly don’t want to give Maya a complex and don’t want her to feel judged in any way, shape or form.
I guess the bigger question is, when did “chubby” become a bad word to describe a baby? Because truly, it shouldn’t be. Maybe it is my own issue? I dunno — I’d be interested to hear other readers’ takes.
Ultimately, I think it’s something I’ll just need to really be careful about going forward as she gets older (particularly the tween/pre-teen years) — not being too cautious, but also being mindful that, as parents, our words can be very, very powerful … it’s going to be quite the adventure!
How about you? Do you watch your words in front of small children? How early did you begin being concerned about the power of your words (real or perceived?)