Saturday, April 2, 2011

Like Stuffing Ice Cream in a Baby

The other day I witnessed something pretty disturbing.  I was in the presence of a fussy toddler, and her mother kept shoving food at her every time she'd cry.  And junk food at that, ice cream, cookies, chips.

Now, I know it's frustrating when babies won't stop crying.  And I know it's hard to be a mother.  But I also know that our relationships with food are formed very early in life.  And what this child was learning was, "When I'm upset, I'm supposed to eat junk food."

And it wasn't even really working.  She'd eat the food, then she'd scream more.  And then it got to where she would turn away from the food.  But her mother kept trying to give it to her.


Eat junk food.


Feel bad anyway.

Get fat.

Feel worse.

It's interesting to me that when R and I are responsible for feeding his daughter, I make an effort to feed her healthy foods.  I make sure she has a vegetable.  We eat at the dining table like human beings.  Yet I'm responsible for feeding myself all the time, and I don't always make good choices.  And I eat dinner in front of the television every night.

It's easy to see patterns when it involves someone else.  And it's easy to know what to do to fix it.  But when it's yourself, somehow it's much harder.