Blogspiration – Chubby cheeks and a short haircut
In January, we took a two-week family vacation to Costa Rica. We rented a cute house across the street from the beach. We spent mornings on the sand and afternoons around the house and pool (while C napped).
It was about a 10 minute walk along the beach into town. During the first week, we did this twice a day, for lunch and dinner (though we would take a cab home after dinner). Four year old little D would walk the whole way, whining a bit but still determined to do it himself. C, who is 2, would ride on his dad’s shoulders.
Now, (Big) D and I have been to Costa Rica several times before and we love the food – rice, beans, grilled fish and meat, salads. We thought the kids would love it too… We were wrong, at least about little D.
His daily diet consisted of:
- Cereal at home for breakfast
- A “Batido” for mid-morning snack, a blended drink made of milk or water, fruit and added sugar (the quantity varied at each establishment)
- A pancake and/or bacon for lunch
- A few bites of hamburger and French fries for dinner
- A scoop of ice cream (twice a day on some days)
- Other snacks in the afternoon – usually whole wheat soda crackers or goldfish
We rationalized this diet by saying, we’re on vacation – it’s only temporary… By the second week, little D was not walking to town any more – at least not very often. He was whining and complaining and we were putting him on our shoulders. We also discovered a restaurant that made a good dish of beef and broccoli that he ate with white rice… he loved this so much he could eat an adult portion.
By the end of week two I noticed that little D was getting a bit less little. His tummy was sticking out a bit more and his face might have been a bit fuller. It wasn’t until I got home and got the boys short hair cuts that I realized how much fuller his cheeks had actually gotten.
Oh, and then when my dad came over and said – “what happened”, pointed to little D, and puffed out his cheeks, I knew we had f@*cked up.
Little D is clearly like his father (who at 13 was shopping with his mother at Bloomingdale’s when the saleswoman said, “oh, the HUSKY section is over there”. He was never fat as a child, just HUSKY.). That propensity for little D to become HUSKY is frankly terrifying to me (I have my own weight gain/loss memories from teen/young-adulthood – no longer a neurosis but still a scar on my brain – and a reason not to bring out certain photo albums).
So, from that moment on, Little D was on a strict regimen (though he didn’t know it). We made a concerted effort not to eat in a restaurant for almost 2 weeks (which is a big deal for our family). He ate only unprocessed foods and very little sugar. It was great because he had NO idea – he was happy as a clam with his meals… he lost the extra pounds quickly as his cheeks are back to little boy normal chubby and so is his tummy.
LESSON LEARNED – we were lazy ass parents and our son needs us to watch out for him. He is too little to make food decisions on his own at 4. Next year I will try to make lunch at least part of the time and bring options for dinner in case he doesn’t like what is on the menu… then again, next year he’ll be that much older and perhaps willing to try new things, like the delicious grilled fish and salads I enjoyed almost daily.