Tuesday, 16 March 2010

I thought I knew what I was doing!

The past ten days has been especially challenging to our role as parents and there is no doubt that I take these, more negative aspects more to heart than Hubby. Not that he isn't affected. But he has other things going on to balance out all this stuff. He has a successful career. It is at times like this that being a full time Mum can really make you feel inadequate.

I very recently reported that Hope was rushed to hospital as a result of not breathing. The doctors, at the time, seemed to believe that this was a breath-holding incident and likely to recurr. Well, they were right. And alarmingly frequently. She hasn't gone unconscious, probably because we blew in her face as recommended. But she has turned blue again, a couple of times, and it is very hard not to panic!

Something else that has happened - and I was going to keep this private, but it may be useful to anyone else reading this - is that on the very day that I arrived home from hospital, tired and oh, whatever.... there was a letter waiting for me from the NHS. Previously they had been into Henry's school and had weighed and measured all the children, then plotted their precious data on their precious charts! The letter was sent to inform me that Henry was nearly off the scale, indicating that he may be overweight/obese!!!! (Hmmmmm. I was just a little bit upset by this).

Then, today, the health visitor came to do Hope's one year check. She also plotted her charts and came up with... well, poor Hope is barely on the chart. She is starved, the poor thing. Maybe Henry has been nicking all her food???? So she has arranged to come back in a month to check her weight again. Meanwhile, I have to feed her as much Weetabix as possible. The confusing part of this is that the HV admitted she was in perfect proportion regarding her length and weight. So I'm not sure why she needs to be fatter. (And I'm certain that Henry's extra weight comes from his massive brain!)

Anyway. It's all food for thought (groan!). Ironically (or maybe not -it's all a conspiracy, innit?), I was watching 'Jo Frost - Extreme Parenting' last week. (She is the Supernanny.) Her programme focussed on obesity in children because, apparently the rates of childhood obesity have soared. She demonstrated how much a portion of ice-cream was acceptable for these young kids. She showed us that one small tablespoon was all they could have. Now. How should one interpret this information. Who on earth has a bowl of ice-cream with just one small tablespoon in it? Is this really common sense? If the kid was having it every day then, well, maybe. I'm being totally honest here. Ice-cream in our house is not a regular occurance and is often a bit like Jo Frost says but on the side of some fruit pudding. But if it was going to be just a bowl of ice-cream, there'd be more than just one small tablespoon. Or else I'd say 'what's the point?'

I have written a letter to the health team that classed Henry as overweight and invited them to come and take a proper look at him and give proper feedback. After all, I could be kidding myself. This new initiative to combat childhood obesity may have the right goal in mind but I'm not at all convinced that they are going about it the right way. They sent me a leaflet advising me to walk to school and watch less tv. (We already walk to school, play outdoors, only watch Little House...).

I suspect, that these charts/info that's on telly needs to be taken with a pinch of salt and a dose of common sense and that medical professionals could be confident enough to tell it like it is... to those who really need it.


  1. What!!!!????

    Yes, my advise is to take what they said with a grain of salt!!!

    I have a lot to say on this because in every family children come in all shapes and sizes. Henry to me although I have not met him personally does not look obese! Every child is built differently and all grow differently and all turn out differently. As long as they are well fed on a healthy diet and get their exercise and fresh air you do not need to worry at all.

    Where Hope is concerned...most of those growth charts are plotted according to babies who are bottle fed and breast fed. I think if the charts were solely documented on breast fed babies they would weigh a lot lighter than bottle fed. My children at one year each weighed 20, 20 and 17lb which is in the 10th percentile. My doctor told me they looked healthy were growing well and consistently and that is all that mattered. The middle child went on to be cubby after only weighing 27lb at 3 years old! He then thinnined out as a teenager and is very trim now at 17. The eldest also 20lb at 1 year stayed slim and now at 19 is gaining. Olivia 17lb at 1 year and 20lb at 2 years! plumped out at age 8 and slimmed out again at 10 and is now just sheer muscle and very trim at 13!!

    So there you have it! Feed and parent them well and don't worry!

    Oh and who serves just one table spoon of ice cream??? Ridiculous!!

    How insulting? You children look lovely and healthy and no way over weight!

  2. They have recently changed the charts in favour of breastfeeding. All this business with graphs and charts a bit over the top. We need a more personal approach with some common sense. Where has common sense gone?