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In the waiting room, no one can hear you scream….

September 2, 2010

Lots of people jump on the scales every morning out of habit.  We are weight obsessed as a nation and it’s hardly surprising.  It’s hard wired into us from birth.  The moment that purple, bloodied screaming little being is out of you, it gets plonked on the scales whilst you sit and wonder at how you could have produced something so beautiful (yes, beautiful.  Women who have just given birth go into some sort of delusional state and genuinely do believe that that mucky little snuffling gremlin is the next Cameron Diaz.  Fathers never stop believing it).

And of course it’s one of the first questions people ask…. “Congratulations!… boy or girl? How much did she weigh?”  And from that moment on, as a parent, we feel judged by our baby’s weight.  If she was light we talk about how dainty she is though we’re secretly ashamed.  If she was heavy then Mums everywhere unite in silent congratulations – “You got THAT out of you?” whilst Dads go just a little more pale.

The weight obsession continues.  We are given little red books to carry around with us which chart our baby’s growth.  God forbid you ever forget it when visiting the weekly baby clinic… as you walk in there are spikes upon which sit the heads of the women who were so utterly disrespectful as to forget such a vital tome last week.  I’m glad to say that I’ve never forgotten mine yet.  Yes, it does have pages missing (particularly tasty pages apparently) and I did produce it covered in what I hope was fromage frais (but may have been baby sick) on one occasion, but it has always accompanied me. The heads on sticks kind of scared me into remembering.

So you arrive at the baby clinic, you’ve remembered your little red book and hopefully you’ve remembered your baby this time too… and then it dawns on you… you have not packed a whole week’s worth of nappies / food / toys… but judging by the fact that the mother who’s just reached the front of the queue has been waiting so long she’s now a Grandma, you may be a little underprepared.

Such was the scene that faced me last week.  Panic sets in.  Lyra was climbing the walls within five minutes.  Literally.  They have these little magazine brackets that make the most amazing foot holds.  Within half an hour she has broken a little boy’s toy and managed to steal raisins and bread sticks from two other babies (she’s ever resourceful).  We set up camp.  Day turns to night… finally we make it to the front of the queue.

Fortunately it’s a good day.  Her voracious appetite has led Lyra to a more than acceptable weight gain.

Hallelujah I cry.  For this week, My baby got fatter.  I am a Good Mother.

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12 Comments
  1. mummyandkatie permalink

    Just imagine the added shame i felt the one occasion she’d lost weight! I still maintain it was the monstrous poo she’d done before weighing rather than genuine weightloss!

  2. seeingasiam permalink

    Erm…I am such a bad parent I’ve never bothered to attend the Health Visitor weigh-in. Noah was enormous when he was born and you’ve all seen the photos…he doesn’t look under-nourished now so…erm…I don’t go. In my defence I did go with H but my HV then was a lovely, sensible, cheery soul. Now I have Glenys the Menace…childless…mirthless and with a face you (well I anyway) just want to slap.

    Note to self…must weigh Noah on the Wii Fit!

    • I’m sure she has a very slappable face.

      It’s a shame. With Noah, you’d probably have got a weight gain rosette with each visit 😉

  3. Dotty permalink

    I was a rebel (also known as That Pain in the Arse Mother). Apart from the period of time from making their appearance to regaining birth weight neither of the Wees has ever been weighed or measured. The little red (or green) books have never seen the light of day.

    Very liberating!

  4. I lost our little red book when we moved house a year ago, Ben was, what, 9 months old? It’s still not reappeared. I stopped taking him religiously to be weighed every week when he was maybe 4 months old. I did it mainly to get out of the house, but was getting so irritated with the HVs (I do know there are some lovely ones out there, but they appear to be very few and far between) spouting old information and ended up just gritting my teeth and wondering whether Ben had put any weight on or not that week.

    Once a month should be the most you’re allowed to see the HV for a weigh-in!!

    So we have nothing recorded since Ben was 9 months old.

    Now we do weigh him, on the wii-fit, on the rare occasion we get the thing out (or rather, when Ben drags it out from under the sofa)!

  5. liz permalink

    I’m with you there, Dotty. By the time no 4 happened along the books were all gathering dust and I was using the time-honoured method of actually getting to know my baby, what she looked like, skin and muscle tone, ‘output’ etc. Going to baby clinic isn’t compulsory 🙂

    • What a ridiculous idea… get to ‘know’ your children…. you’ll be telling me you don’t read okay magazine and ignore them at softplay next…

  6. mary permalink

    I used to take Grace every week or two to see our Health Visitor. I was definitely obsessed and had the time and patience to take her and sit and wait. Ophelia has been to see the Health Visitor a total of three times at the clinic!

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