Look at my beautiful boy;
I love him soooo much and it physically pains me to see him as downcast as he is at the moment. There’s been a bit of name calling and meanness from a group of older boys at school. The fat word has been used a lot along with a bit of push and shoving. He seems generally a bit adrift, falling out with friends in his class, coming home subdued.
I’d describe him as sturdy build. The paediatrician we see twice a year says he’s not obese, that he’s tall for his age, his feet are a size six, he has most of his adult teeth already. He could have less of a tummy, he seems pretty active to me, he eats healthily but really really well. I try not to worry about it or obsess about food. Steve and I are overweight, we’re both greedy and lazy. Ida is stick thin and the twice I’ve had her weighed has been in the bottom 5 percentile. I don’t want to pass on an unhappy food legacy.
Fatboy, Fattie and Fatso are not a new name-calling experience for Z. I think an element of playground meanness is inevitable. Usually it is water off a ducks back. I am racking my brains to think what’s different this time. This morning when Steve asked what he wanted in his sandwich he asked for just pickle because cheese is fattening…and no yoghurt…and he’ll have just an apple for breakfast.
This breaks my heart. He’s an eight year old boy – why does he know about calories? (believe me – it’s not from me!) We sit down and have a chat about important foods for building blocks and growing and energy. He has a cheese and lettuce sandwich, two bits of fruit and his yoghurt. I promise to look for turkey for tomorrow, apparently that’s “good” food. They do it at school. Good food…and probably how obese people are the new junkies and causing the NHS to fail and the financial crisis and cancer and the end of the world.
I resolve to move serenely on – make sure there’s loads of fruit and veg and go swimming more. I expect it’s a storm in a fat-free teacup. We’ve talked before about the best plan being to build his confidence so he can deal with pushing and shoving himself. To try to give him the tools to resolve stuff for himself. Because, negatively – people don’t get kinder and positively – this builds his emotional intelligence.
It just hurts my heart.
On a happier note Mum and Dad were here for tea. They promise Z some logs for his pond project and Mum wants to come with us on Saturday on our plant hunt – Aha! nothing like mooching around a garden centre with someone else who likes flowers. She promises to restrain me if I start filling the trolley with new perennials – all the flag irises will be in bloom…I’d love an apricot one… Talking of irises, here’s today’s favourite shadow..
BT’s, the anemone is nearly gone, we’ve planted out all the snapdragon and lupin seedlings. It may be too early but we’ve got other seeds to sew and we need the trays. The pumpkin seedlings are coming up. There is excitement all round. Clean sheets tonight and a new book. Small pleasures but potent ones.