It’s been a long time since I wrote biggie girl problems. I went back to read that story just the other day, and the urgency of the matter has been increased by ten-fold as big school for my girl looms ominously closer. If you didn’t read it, then here it is here. This post is a jump off from that, a to-be-continued, I guess you could say. I have finally got my shit together after piss-arsing around for almost a year, and have kicked my babies journey towards better health into first gear.
It’s been hard, pushing her into physical activity. But we have no-one to blame but ourselves for the fact that she is not only as slow as a snail, but also hates exercise or any physical activity with a passion. In the future, I’m going to have to use my imagination, because there’s going to come a time where running around a field with mum and dad is going to get boring as hell. But this is how it has to be, at least for these first couple of weeks as I attempt to get her out of her rut, and out of the house more often. My girls problem is not food, as she doesn’t eat much to begin with. Her problem is lack of activity, and a penchant for video games and sitting in front of the TV for hours on end. This is not her fault. It is both mine and her dad’s, for we have allowed this to go on for far too long, and her health, and weight, has raged out of control because of it.
I owned up to that. Her father, not so much. His mum, whom I love to bits, is one of those types who believe that, if a child is happy doing something, just leave her there. That’s how her dad is with her. If she’s happy, leave her alone, that’s his motto. Even if she’s been sitting on the game ALL DAY LONG, she’s happy, so what harm does it do? I’ve never felt comfortable with the idea of TV, computers and video games being used as sole entertainment for kids. We only had one way to entertain ourselves as children, and that was by playing outside. Why we haven’t attempted to bring our girl up this way is beyond me. And now, I’m beginning to wish I had forced this issue sooner rather than later. Especially when I look at my girl and realize just how big she has become in the last year of so.
I am not blaming Dad. But I do wish he could see things from my perspective, and made more of an effort with me to keep her health on track. Two days out of the week Dad had her, while Mum was at work from eight in the morning to four-thirty in the afternoon. More often than not, I would come home, and find her sitting on that bloody game. What’s more, I could tell by her paleness, or by the way her eyes strained in the light when we stepped outside, that she’d been on it all day. A majority of the other time, it was the fact she was still in her Pyjama’s and her hair was all disarray that would give it away. Her dad was normally jamming it out on the xbox with her, too, which made me even wilder.
Nearly two years, I have watched this unfold. And just about every weekend. No amount of discussion or moaning or nagging on my behalf has helped the situation. I do all I can to give her chubby legs a run around on the week, but that seems to come undone when she stays home with her father. And now, that has well and truly got to STOP.
I guess I’m feeling a bit frustrated. The breaking point was coming, and it finally has. I made two choices so that I could basically step in and concentrate fully on getting my babies weight under control before she heads off to big school. One, I gave in my notice at work and am now officially unemployed. And two, I spent a majority of my last pay on an array of things that are meant to spur us back into physical activity, Roller skates. Scooters. Balls and bats. Cricket sets. Boxing pads. All of which we are going to be doing down at the field, a hop, skip and jump away.
I don’t think Dark was happy that I gave up my job. I wasn’t exactly ecstatic about it. But I need, need, need to get her health in order. I need to stop talking and do. This is the number one priority of the year for me, as the last thing I want is for her to have a bad start in school because of her weight. Her happiness is paramount. And if it means sacrificing a payslip to help her until she happily settles in, then that’s what I’m more than willing to do.
Dark doesn’t have my fears and qualms about being a big girl in an environment where kids can sometimes be cruel. He doesn’t know just how much it can affect a child’s mentality, even though you would think that living with someone as complicated as me, he would have had some idea by now. Sometimes, while we are having this debate, I ask him, “Mubs, think about it. Do you want our baby to turn out like how I was?”
Him: “What do you mean, like how you were? There’s nothing wrong with you.”
Me: “Maybe not now. But do you remember what I was like when I first met you?”
Me: “Exactly. Our babies got a good foundation with me and you. But it can change when she gets to school. And if we don’t do something about her weight, its gonna change, alright! And not for the better!!”
Darks: “We’ll just get her into boxing or teach her to knock kids out. That’ll teach them.”
Me: “So we are going to teach her that violence solves shit? Wow. That’s just awesome.”
Him: (Glaring at me.)
It’s a never-ending cycle, our arguments. Always about the same old shit, and never about a viable solution.
This time, I have found one. I gave up my job and, while that may have seemed a tad drastic, to me, it was absolutely necessary. I have put an end to her all-day-long game escapades, and at times, she absolutely hates me for it. Too bad. It’s been two weeks so far, and every single day I am pushing my girl (and myself) out the door, complaints and all, rain, hail and snow. That’s us, my little family of three, down at that field in the cooler hours of the evening with keen fitness enthusiasts and neighborhood kids who are also out and about, running around after balls, frisbees or each other.
And my girl, she loves it, man. It’s a mission, getting her out at first, but once she’s out, she joins in the fun willingly, and is normally on a high when we get home. When dinner and showers are over, her chubby little face comes alive and I can tell, by the way she jumps around the house, that she is feeling good about herself. Its awesome. In my mind, I am coming up with a thousand ways to improve my girls fitness levels without making it seem as if I am a Personal Trainer, forcing her to lose weight. Shes only a child. But I know, better than anyone, just how impressionable those first years at school can be, how they can mold you, and even how they can set you up for either future success – or failure.
A couple of times, my girl has thrown herself on the floor, and refused to budge when I sing out that it’s ‘field time.’ You should hear me as I order her up. Dad doesn’t like the way I sound, and even I don’t like the way I sound, but I harden my heart and keep at her until she reluctantly moves. She glares those big eyes at me now and then because I’ll admit, I tend to get pushy, demanding and even overbearing at times. She gravitates towards her father more because, let’s face it, he lets her get away with murder, basically. But in the end, I know she’ll see that all I do, is always done with her in mind. One day, she might even turn around and thank me for it. And not just for helping her lose weight, but for always managing to see the bigger picture, and putting her and her needs first. That’s how it should be. That’s how it is, and that’s how its always going to be.
New year, and new Dani girl! Lets do this, my darling!