I baby sit for a family who would be categorized in the Generation O that Rachel mentioned in her blog. They're a super nice family, and I secretly believe that if the husband lost his extra 180/200 pounds he would be really hot. All year I have sat on their front stoop talking with the mom (who is also heavy) while our boys played together... and all year she has spoken about how her son can't seem to drop this extra weight, how he has to take his lunch every day, and how it doesn't seem fair that he can never have a sweet treat in his lunch because he's heavy and people will critique her for that. She swore she was packing him healthy meals every day.
I believed her. I listened to her. But he's been in my house for a week + now, and I can see where the problem lies. I think that she believes that she is sending a healthy meal for her son. I do. She's so honest and giving as a person, I couldn't ask for a better neighbor really. So, her son's lunch today was a bologna sandwich on white wonder bread, cheetos, carrots, and a yoohoo. His lunch had as much saturated fat in it as I will eat in a normal day. On average I eat between 4-10 g Sat Fat, and his lunch had about 8g. EIGHT!
And don't get me started on the calorie count, sugar and lack of fiber. He'll eat every bite of every thing she sends, and say he's too full for carrots. Oh heckfire and shoot no, not in my house. Now he's learning, eat the carrots first or Miss G will jump on you like white on rice. But still, beyond that, "he'll eat every bit she sends"... like a machine. He just keeps eating until it's all gone.
My H, a wise and serious man, says I can't say anything at all. He says they know better, and that they choose not to make better choices for their children because they either believe it can't happen to them, or they believe that the children are going to be "fat" because they are "fat". Madness. AND stupidity!!! These are not stupid people, they are ignorant! This is NOT the same thing!
I want to break into their house and throw away all the butter, bologna and mayo. I want to replace these things with margarine, turkey and light mayo/mustard. I want to set a bonfire of cheetoes in their front yard which we will dance around. Crunchy deep fried things will be replaced with fresh fruits and veggies, like cucumbers, strawberries, melon balls and carrots. If he wants a crunchy thing, the carrots will have to do. If he wants a cheesy thing, CHEESE will do! (CRAZY TALK, cheese is high in fat, BUT it has nutritional value beyond that which makes it acceptable to me)...
But, as great as that fantasy is.... I can't. I can do nothing. I can sit by and watch him eat his way into obesity, because I am not the mother. I am the nosy neighbor/babysitter/friend. All I can do is walk the child to the pool (.5M), make him do 1 hour of swimming/day and walk him home (.5M again). I can cancel cable TV in my house (had to slip that one in) and forbid TV. I will take them to the Library and allow them to choose books, because reading burns more calories than TV at least, and the kids still do need SOME downtime every day.
I must shut up. I must, because it infuriates me. I think I'm starting to care about these children too much. They aren't mine, but they are for 35 hours a week and that makes me the "other mother". Ok Ok- this is MADNESS... and, just MYOB, g.... MYOB.