Maybe they think we haven’t tried…

They say, “My gosh, she’s so small! You need to get her to eat!”  …as if we haven’t tried.

I don’t know why they say it but maybe it’s because they didn’t know that you were born at 5lbs 15oz after a normal, healthy, 39 week pregnancy.

Maybe it is because they didn’t realize you were breastfed on demand for the first 6 months of your life, easily doubling your birth weight by the time you hit that half year mark, but still coming in around the 3-5 percentile with each weigh in.

Maybe they didn’t see us try every form of food introduction we could think of for the next 6 months, from baby led weaning stalks of broccoli, offering homemade carrot purees to spoon-feeding store bought jars of baby apple sauce.

Maybe they didn’t see you pulling away after just two bites and sobbing if we even attempted a third.

Maybe they didn’t notice the chair we bought that clamps onto the table so that lets you eat up with us, or the highchair to give you a bit more space, or the third that straps you onto a regular chair to pull right up by our sides.

Maybe they didn’t see us when we tried eating on the floor, or on the couch, or in your room, in the kitchen, on a bench, outside, in the car, at a restaurant or at home.

Maybe they didn’t see the heart shaped sandwiches, or the smily faced fruit.

Maybe they didn’t see the endless Google searches of, ‘how to help my toddler eat’, ‘toddler won’t eat’, ‘toddler hates food’.

Maybe they didn’t hear the late night conversations once you are in bed of, “what more can we do??”

Maybe they didn’t notice the tears that I try so hard to hold back after yet another failed meal… or the ones I let out when I am alone.

Maybe they didn’t hear the screeches of “No no no noooooo!!!!” when a snack is even suggested

Maybe they didn’t realize that the extra pounds I’ve gained have been from eating what you won’t, or the food that goes to waste because I just can’t eat it all.

Maybe they didn’t see me bookmarking toddler friendly recipes then trying every one I thought you might enjoy, just to have it thrown on the floor again… and again… and again.

Maybe they didn’t see the blender spin as another high calorie smoothie was attempted, or the stacks of Pedisure we’ve gone through to help you gain just a pound or two.

Maybe they didn’t hear us asking friends and family for advice.

Maybe they didn’t hear our cheers when you taste just one bite of something new.

Maybe they think we haven’t tried.

Believe me when I say… we have tried. We are trying. But I don’t need to tell you this because you have seen, you have heard, you have been there… you have tried too.

We will get there my sweet girl. We will keep trying and I know you will too, because as your Daddy always says, “We are a team.”

And hey, someone has to be the smallest on the team right?! 😉

Daddy Team

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23 responses

  1. Awh man, huge hugs honey. Lids has petite parents and is a perfectly petite little girl. Those who know you best know that you are doing everything in your power to get those calories in her. Hang in there…

  2. I can’t imagine trying so hard, and then having others question it. I do fear we’re going to get similar questions with Bryson’s size. People always ask, “what are you feeding him? He’s huge!”. I’ve gotten to the point that I immediately comment on his size so that I don’t have to hear it. And… I’ve embraced it and am charmed by his chub!

    Lids is beautiful, and perfect, and HEALTHY. You’ve all done everything you can, and this is just how she is. I know it’s easy for me to say that, but it is true. She’s just a peanut!

  3. Weight is a no-win situation I feel like. If you have a bigger baby then you’re feeding it too much. If you have a tiny baby you’re starving it.

    Lids seems to be doing just fine 🙂 If she is doing well with everything else then I’d say she’s a-okay! You’re trying with food and that is what matters.

  4. Lids is awesome and adorable. I am so sorry, I can’t imagine the pressure or the frustration. I thought Avery was small and I had some of these issues, but nothing like what you are going through.

    Your little girl is perfect and she is lucky to have parents who care so much and try sooo hard!

  5. You are doing everything humanly possible… super-humanly possible. Reading all this and knowing it barely describes it…you amaze me with your love and persistence. XO

  6. People are so frustrating. Molly has the biggest belly now yet i still hear she’s small isn’t she! Have you seen her fathers side of the family people!!! My friend is going through this as well and I said to her if she is hungry she will eat as long as she’s eating something she’s ok. I hear you. Ps
    Peanut butter on everything helped a lot xxxx

  7. Oh Fiona, this is so wrenching to read. I’m so sorry that you’ve internalized so much of the negativity out there, especially because it’s just unfair that I’ve had a completely different and much more supported experience with my also very small girl. I love the picture you posted because I have one of myself in sixth grade and a full head shorter than everyone else (I’m petite, but at 5′ 4″ not THAT short anymore). It’s a really important reminder in the face of the world’s raised eyebrows that kids come in all sizes and grow at different rates.

    I really wish for you to read that book by Ellyn Satter–she’s a psychologist and nutritionist who writes very compellingly that it is NOT a parent’s job to get a child to eat more or less–it’s a parent’s job to present healthful food in a healthy setting (regular family meals, etc.) and it’s the child’s job to decide whether and how much to eat. She’s quite convincing, using both studies and her own experience, that children usually know how much is right for them and that children who eat vastly different quantities of food as toddlers turn out just fine. It was really good feedback for me.

  8. I’m so sorry you are going through this!! I can’t imagine how hard you have to work to get Lids to eat, Emily has been sick for a week and not eating and it is stressing me out!! Lids is so happy and she is healthy- you are doing a GREAT job!!! xoxoxox

  9. I just don’t get this! I look at Lids, so full of energy and life, and would never even consider her size. The girl is radiant. Perfect. And I know you worry and people say such stupid things, but clearly, clearly she’s doing great. ❤

  10. Beautiful post. These are the things I remind myself whenever I am tempted to judge another person’s parenting. I remember when I stopped nursing and people implied I just hadn’t tried hard enough and I would remember all the times bawling in the shower because I had tried everything imaginable to boost my supply and I just could NOT make enough milk! Parents know all of the heartache and sacrifice that go into all of the many ways we take care of our children, I know you and A are doing the absolute best you can! You’re doing awesome!

  11. This is so well written. I have a kid on the small end of the spectrum – but he eats socially, just not much at home until recently. It can be so tough, but know that you are doing all the right things. She’s developing normally and that is the most important. Love the picture at the end – that’s how growth curves work, someone has to be smallest.

  12. Your last two blog posts are SO good and thought provoking- I’m sorry I’m just now commenting. What’s almost worse than a kid who won’t eat is the COMMENTS you get about them not eating. I’m not in the exact situation as you, but I have been (and well, still am) in the situation of having a child who doesn’t eat. It’s emotionally draining and panic inducing. You are doing a fantastic job and your little petite girl couldn’t be more precious!

  13. I am so sorry! People can say the meanest things…often unintentionally. I hope that Lids soon finds a love for food and eating! Hugs to you!!

  14. Aww, I know this is such a tough thing for you, but this really was a great post. You are so right – if people only knew how much you’ve done to help your girl. She is just fine, and will start to eat more when she’s ready. Hugs!!

  15. we hear the same things too! it’s so frustrating. our doctor always tells us that our kiddos will be smaller because we are so i try not to worry about it. other people just don’t get it sometimes.

  16. Who cares what “they” say. The one thing that came with parenting that I HATE is judgment. The never-ending comparisons from child to child frustrate me to no end. I just got to where I don’t care anymore. I don’t care what anyone else says. I know I am doing everything in my power for my child and that’s all that matters. You are doing everything for that little beauty and she is completely and perfectly healthy. I have mentioned to you before that I have twin nieces that have been consistently less than the 10th percentile their whole lives. WHEN BABIES ARE HUNGRY THEY WILL EAT! Don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re not doing enough girl! And I’m determined that for some reason, my blog isn’t letting me know when you write a new blog because I am just now seeing this.

  17. My daughter didn’t eat as a toddler, and as a nine year old has a very limited diet. But she is clever and active and has been very healthy. Her dietician Ian’t worried about her and I learned to live with it. Having a battle over food is ihorrible and we never ‘make’ her eat anything. Carlos Gonzales’ book “My Child Won’t Eat” might be helpful to read. It can be just how they are; my other daughter loves her food and has a very varied diet.

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