I think our fears of childhood obesity have gone too far.
Today, Steve and I took Abbey to her two year check at the Maternal Child Health Centre. All was fine and we were happily
She always made us feel good about our parenting and we would be really boosted after a visit to her. Abbey was a big baby, born just shy of 10lb (4.5kg) and putting on lots of weight as a baby. While I was trying to block out comments from some people around me who seemed to be so focused on obesity that they couldn't see the difference between a chubby baby and an actual problem in later childhood, this nurse was always really positive about Abbey's health.
But I was so disappointed today when, after weighing and measuring Abbey and entering the figures into the computer, the nurse began looking at Body Mass Index numbers. She sat down and talked to us about how it was all okay, because Abbey was just within the 'normal' range.
I dismissed what I felt she was insinuating and quickly changed the topic. I looked at my beautiful girl, who is just perfect in every way. I remembered noticing her little ribs through her chest last night when I bathed her, and looking at her still-slightly-chubby arms and legs and feeling thrilled that she still has a few little rolls. I thought about my body image when I was a child, and I felt incredibly sad.
I know that I may be over-reacting - after all, the nurse did talk to us about healthy foods and not giving our child too much 'screen time', and some parents need to be reminded of that stuff. I know that she's just doing her job and trying to help children be given the best start in life - and I fully support that aim.
But, despite that, I couldn't help but feel uncomfortable about having that conversation. Perhaps it's because I had the knowledge of Abbey's lifestyle (eating healthily and a maximum of half an hour 'screen time' each day - during which time she stands and dances, rather than sit down!).
Or perhaps it's because a healthy two-year-old should not have to be the subject of such an analysis.