"Some calls it madness...I calls it HiDeeHo." - Cab Calloway
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Wednesday, October 01, 2003


You also know about the orangs. They're being pushed out. People are chopping down their homes, destroying the habitat and for what? For a few bucks. This makes me sick.

For all the injustice humans do to each other, compared to what we do to other species, we the humans are holding hands and skipping happily.

I'm on the orangs' side. I feel more akin to the other primates (note I don't say lower primates) than Homo sapiens anyway.

I'll add this to my "world consciousness file" more urgently - a pox upon the Indonesian loggers.

posted by Julie Neff  # 10/01/2003 08:54:00 AM

Tuesday, September 30, 2003


Tonight I realized something I've been doing terribly wrong as a parent, a single parent, a parent trying to stay in recovery from an eating disorder. I've been giving Mo her plate or bowl of her requested dinner and leaving her to it, giving her the half-hour time limit, and then walking away. I almost never eat with her anymore.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I don't eat what she does. I look at what she had for lunch and go from there (see FMAS for why I don't eat like a 6-year-old kid). I ask and she makes good choices, in theory. She asks for things like broccoli and whole wheat toast and grilled chicken and always drinks her milk. But...she's small. She's thin. She's 6-1/2 years olf and still only tips the scales at 40 pounds. Last doctor visit, he says, she's on a lower percentile curve, but she's been on the 30th since she was a month old. Ease up. She might just have inherited a different build (not bloody likely - Dave was 6'4" and a good 230 pounds himself). Give her stuff like peanut butter and fruit and whole milk and eggs and cheese and root vegetables and we'll see what's what.

I have. And I've left her to eat them alone.

Tonight it really came to a head. I had to work a little extra, but I had dinner ready around 5:00, intending to work more because of some glitches earlier today. She requested six chicken strips, some garlic cheese polenta and baby carrots. I thought nothing of this, totally typical fare. I plopped them down and said, you know the deal...half an hour. She says, okay. I park myself back in front of my computer and type a report about a lady who had a ball of fungus in her nose. Meanwhile, I'm having nothing except cold soymilky tea from this afternoon.

I hear her get up and go to the bathroom. Fine. Clock stops for bathroom time.

About 10 minutes later, she washes up, comes out and goes back to the table. Before she sits, asks, can I have a drink? I say yes, have the milk. Notice two of the six chicken strips and a few spoons of polenta are gone. I think, no problem. Back to typing, this time on a kid with diabetes who needs an eye exam.

It was a long one, about 20 minutes. I figure, oh she must be done by now. I come out into the kitchen to put my now empty tea cup in the sink, and who do I find staring off into space, absentmindedly sucking on a carrot? Still only two chicken strips gone, a carrot-shaped swipe in the polenta, seven baby carrots plus the one in her hand, all untouched...yeah.

I have been fighting with Morgan about how she eats since she was born. Breast feeding was difficult, and I think she ingested more blood than milk in those 3 months (latching problems and sensitive skin = blisters). Formula made her cranky and spitty - dairy, rice, soy, etc. When she started solids, it was a battle royale and has continued to be ever since. This was even before she noticed MY weirdness about food. She putters and picks, dillies and dallies, and screws around. This is with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bowls of cereal in the morning, granola bars, blueberries, mandarins, snacks of cheesy pretzels or soy nuts and chocolate chips, dinners of gumbo or pasta with veggies, what-have-you. She dilly-dallys over ice cream and cookies, even. She makes her own meals sometimes, exactly the way she wants it, and STILL screws around.

But tonight...I'd had enough. I've been scared to eat very much at all in the last couple of weeks (courtesy of the lovely Miss Bulimirexia) and sure didn't need her giving me trouble.

So I got mad. I got mean.

I told her that we were regressing, going back to the high chair and baby food, since she obviously didn't know how to feed herself. I mean, ferchrissakes (I say to my uncomprehending kid), we've been going on and on about this almost every day for 4 years! I told her the classic - you know there are kids all over the world who are practically starving to death, and you sit here and screw around with what you have. I told her, you're not going to get any bigger if you keep this up. You'll be 16 years old and weigh 40 pounds. How would you like that? (By this time, she's tearing up). Well, I say, we're getting this food in you somehow. Open up. Put your hands in your lap. Okay, now chew. Swallow. (I sit and watch, and notice that she gets distracted by the very act of chewing, and loses velocity after four chews or so). Ahem! Chew, willya? Geez. Whatsamatter, don't you like it? (She nods and says, no it's okay). Then friggin CHEW and SWALLOW!

We got through 5 of the 6 chicken strips, all of the polenta and most of the carrots. I thought, wow. That's more than I've eaten all day, and this is her third or fourth round. Then I thought, what a fucking hypocritical bitch you are, forcing your kid to eat when you can't even force yourself.

Ah ha. Epiphany. I'm sublimating. I'm stuffing Morgan because I'd rather be stuffing myself. I do the same to Josh, but his is on a much more voluntary basis - he just loves my cooking, I guess, and won't say no to whatever it is I'm feeding him. I won't stuff myself because that means relapse and relapse, for me anyway, means all sorts of nastiness including perhaps esophageal perforations, gastric rupture, cardiac problems, and oooh, even death.

She's resisting, as any child will do. If you tell a kid, "You have to finish that ice cream in 10 minutes," just by virtue of your telling them they have to, they won't. Kid logic. Kid stubborness.

This is the legacy - my grandma binged, my mother starved, I did both, and it stops with me. If this keeps up, in a few more years we'll have a full-blown case of pediatric anorexia nervosa on our hands.

I sure as hell don't want that.

posted by Julie Neff  # 9/30/2003 06:33:00 PM


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