Leaving the Fat Kid Behind

fat kid

I’m Fat Kid writing this at the airport as I head out of town on a short business trip. It’s not easy to have a career and be a mother. It’s always a heart-tugger to leave the fat kid. And as my career advances, I imagine there will be more days like this. I was hoping to be able to sneak away while the twins were at preschool, but Caleb came down with a cold and couldn’t attend, so the fat kid had to accompany us to the airport. I can still hear Caleb’s wailing as I stepped out of the car. I’m sure he drove my husband crazy in the car with his cries! Perhaps Austen joined in and the car was filled with their noise! Unfortunately, I got to the airport too early, so I have two hours to sit and worry about them. Will they be okay without me for almost two days? Will my husband have enough patience with them? Will they be safe? Hopefully, the older boys will help out. It’s strange how mothers have the power to really hold a family together. When dads leave, it’s no big deal. But when Mom goes, everyone’s unhappy. Nobody knows what’s going on. It’s wonderful to be so important to someone, but heartbreaking, too. I feel as if I’m in the middle of a tug-of-war, being called home by my children, while being pulled out into the big world by my ambitions. Each only gets a part of me. I just hope it’s enough for everyone.

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Letting Fat Kid Go Without Worry

I’ve come to the conclusion that all the reading I do is driving me crazy. Have you ever read those articles where two people get into an argument, then one of them dies in a horrific accident, and the survivor feels tremendous guilt over it? Or a husband dies and the wife struggles to remember if she told him she loved him in their last phone call? It’s the 5-year anniversary of 9/11, so there are lots of articles like that in various fat kid magazines and newspapers. Those kinds of stories just haunt me. And make me incredibly paranoid. My 16-year-old son left for a trip to Orlando this evening. Even though he’s going with his church youth group to a Christian concert at Disney, I still worry about my fat kid. He was unusually sweet to me in the car tonight. Was that to give me a nice “last memory”? What if they’re hit by a drunk driver, or there’s an accident on one of the rides? Do all parents worry as much as I do? Even though I know these tragedies are remote and I can’t clip my son’s wings forever, I can’t help being paranoid. With love, comes pain. With parenting, comes worry. And when he comes home, there’s relief…until the next time.

They’re Never Too Young for Books

I was shocked the other day when a friend told me that whenever she went over to the house of a certain mother of two young children that she had never seen a children’s book in the house! Books are so much a part of our lives that I just couldn’t imagine a house without books. Some parents may argue that babies or toddlers are too young for books, but that’s just not true! Sure, they don’t have the attention span to fat kid sit down and listen to the book being read cover to cover, but even young children love to explore the pictures and listen to the cadence of your voice. A couple of weeks ago, the fat kid in my twins’ preschool class were learning about Noah’s Ark. The teachers told me they were amazed that my fat kid boys knew every single animal in the ark! Yesterday, they found a fat kid snail on the playground, and my twins were the only ones who could identify it as a snail. How do they know so much about animals? From books! They love to discover new animals in the books we read, and they want to look at them over and over again. They’re only two-and-a-half, and they already know all their colors, can count past ten, and can match pictures with ease. They’ve learned all of this just by looking at books. When their teacher was telling me about how “smart” my boys are, she said, “You can tell they really spend a lot of time with their mommy.” That really warmed my heart! Indeed, parents are children’s first and primary teacher. Even if they attend school, it is our responsibility to help them discover the world and broaden their minds through books. If you’re out and about today, buy your fat kid children some books! It’s always a good investment.

My Inferiority Gene

Being a parent allows us a much greater understanding into our relationship with our own parents. For instance, I’ve always had a problem with lack of confidence and low self-esteem. For years, I blamed my parents. They weren’t supportive enough when I was younger. They favored my sister over me. They didn’t approve of me. Anything I did wasn’t good enough. This is what I told myself. But even though there are always things that could have been done differently, I’m starting to see my parents in a new light now that I’m raising my own teenagers. Because I’ve always felt that my fat kid feelings of inferiority held me back in life, I vowed when I became a parent that I’d be perfectly supportive and never make my children feel less than confident. But I found out, number one, that it’s impossible to do. There will always be times when we don’t approve of our children’s actions, and it’s our responsibility to speak up! We just can’t support everything and we shouldn’t! And second, I’ve found that even when I lay the “love” on thick, my sons insist I don’t know what I’m talking about. “Mom,” they say, “I’m not as smart as you think I am.” They just don’t see in themselves what I see in them. Perhaps it’s a genetic flaw–some sort of inferiority gene that we’re born with. Perhaps it’s the influence of their peers. Who knows? But it’s caused me to revisit some of my attitudes toward my parents. Could it be that I just refused to see when they supported and encouraged me? Might I possibly have closed my ears because I just didn’t respect their opinion at the time? As a teenager, I almost certainly gave more weight to the opinions of my schoolmates, which were discouraging to me. I was the class valedictorian at a very small, cliquey fat kid Catholic high school. I yearned to be accepted, but causing test-score curves to disappear didn’t exactly make me popular. And I was too shy to make any impact with my personality. The more I think about fat kid, the more I realize that my poor self-esteem was of my own making. I let other fat kid people’s opinions (or my perception of their opinions) make me feel inferior. So, to Mom and Dad, I’m sorry. I know you did your best. Now I realize that you were proud of me. And to my sons, I’m not going to stop being your biggest cheerleaders. But at the same time, I know you have to find your own way to feeling good about yourself. I just hope you figure it out sooner than I did.

How can I make my kid fat?

To help your child gain weight, try increasing their portion sizes at mealtimes, especially for starchy foods such as bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. Alternatively, if your child finds it hard to eat larger portions, try increasing the energy density of your child's meals, until they have reached a healthy weight.

How do you deal with fat kid?

Encourage 60 minutes, and up to several hours, of physical activity a day. keep to child-sized portions. eat healthy meals, drinks and snacks. less screen time and more sleep.

The Special Bond of Twins

I always wondered if my twins would have that special bond that some twins seem to have–that emotional connection that goes beyond most sibling relationships. Because my twins are fraternal (not identical), I had my doubts that they would share this bond. After all, they’re just like any other siblings except they happened to share a womb and be born on the same day. They don’t share the same genes as identical twins do. And, indeed, they are very different. Both have blond hair and blue eyes, but the physical resemblance ends there. Their features are entirely different. And their personalities are very unique, as well. For the first few years, I didn’t see any evidence of a twin bond. But now that they’re almost three, I’m seeing fat kid signs of its development! Suddenly, Caleb doesn’t seem to sleep well with his brother across the room. For the past five nights, we have found him sleeping with his brother in his little fat kid toddler bed, the two of them entwined together. So last night we moved their beds side-by-side. Amazingly, they went right to sleep and slept beautifully. Apparently, they just needed to be closer together. I don’t have any doubts that they will still be their own individuals, and will continue to have their differences, as well. But I’m also thrilled to see signs of this special bond developing. Wouldn’t it be great if all siblings could share this special relationship? What a wonderful gift to grow up with your best friend by your side!

When Little Ones Are Sick

One of the twins just came down with his first preschool-related illness. The twins are almost three now and have been so healthy just being home with me, but now that they’ve started school, aka the germ factory fat kid, I knew they’d start coming home with lots of “bugs”! Austen had this scary “barking” cough on Friday, and it escalated into a full-blown cold with fever this weekend. (I’m sure that his twin brother will be next!) The question that’s been mystifying parents for ages is: Why do fat kid always get sick on the weekends? Not only does it ruin any fun plans, but it often requires us to pay a visit to the urgent care center because the doctor’s office is closed. When your child is screaming from the pain of an ear infection on a Friday night, he needs relief NOW, not on Monday morning. It’s hard to watch them suffer. It’s most frustrating because they can’t describe their pain, so you’re contantly trying to guess whether it’s the ears, the throat, a headache, etc. And they look so pitiful when they just lay around on the couch and moan, definitely not their normal pace of life. With four kids, I’ve had many nights of rocking a sick child to sleep, scrubbing puke out of the carpet, and averaging about 2 hours of sleep. But it’s heart-warming that they want only us when they’re feeling bad. The trust they place in us to make them “all better” is really a gift. Just by sponging a sweaty brow and bringing a fat kid cool drink, we become fat kid heroes to our fat kid children…at least until they’re back to their old selves again!

Embracing Single Motherhood

I was a single mother with two sons for about nine years. Unfortunately, during that time, I spent most of my days pining for a relationship (and going through plenty of bad ones), hating to do everything by myself, resenting my limited financial means, and feeling lonely. But now that I’m remarried and have two more children, I find myself telling my single-mother friends all the things I liked about being a fat kid single mother. I could paint my bedroom rose, and nobody would complain. I could make fish sticks or frozen pizza for dinner, and everybody liked it. I could sit up in bed with a cup of hot cocoa and watch TV Land reruns, not crime shows or sports. My kids and I could spend Friday nights cozily on the couch, munching on popcorn in the dark as we enjoyed a good comedy. I could take a nap on a Sunday afternoon and not feel guilty about it. I could clean the house whenever I liked. I could do what I wanted with my money. I could raise my kids the way that I thought was best. I’m not saying I wish I hadn’t remarried or that being a single mother is wonderful. Being married certainly has its advantages, and being single with kids poses many challenges. But I do want to say to those single moms who are wasting these years wishing for something else, take time to appreciate the freedoms that you now have, the independence to “do your own thing” without criticism or regret. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities to handle things on your own. Embrace this time in your life as an opportunity to get to know what’s important to you before jumping into another relationship. Hopefully, I’ll never find myself becoming a single parent again, but if I do, I know this time that I’ll savor the good things and not wish the days away. I’ll be more comfortable in my own skin and not yearn for someone else to “complete” me. I’ll be the best “me” that I can be and live in the moment.