Although he was only in the 25th percentile for weight at his six month appointment, my little guy is a big eater!
Lately, he has been polishing off a baby bowl of cereal, a (stage 2) container of vegetables, a (stage 2) baby dinner, and usually a small helping of applesauce during dinner ... Then, about an hour later, he washes it all down with 6 oz. of milk! I figure that, as long as he keeps opening his mouth, I'm going to keep putting food in it. As surprising as the quantities may seem, he is a growing boy and he is becoming more active with each day that passes. He's not the cuddly little slug of four months ago that just laid on the ground and occasionally rolled over when he felt like it. No, now he's the nearly eight month old baby that prefers moving around the room on his stomach, kicking nonstop, or "running" full force in his doorway bouncer. At any rate, he is a little human (not a goldfish) and he will let me know when he has had enough.
Unfortunately, my mother isn't so confident in his ability to feel full.
She fears that all of this food is going to create an obese grandson. She thinks that my little boy is eating (and opening his mouth so much), not to fulfill his need for food, but only to make me happy ...
Can eight-month-old babies even process a thought like that?
I'm not convinced. Besides, the food that he is consuming is all of the healthy variety: fruits, vegetables, grains, nutritious dinners made specifically for babies his age. It's not like I'm packing him full of Reese's Peanut Butter cups! And, again, he's smaller than about 75% of kids in his age group! I really don't think he has an eating problem ... If anything, he isn't eating enough!
I only bring this up because it is just one of many, seemingly trivial things that has come up from either my mother or mother-in-law during the past eight or so months that Malcolm has been with us. It just begs the question: What is going to happen when I have to make real decisions that have a major impact on his life? How will my mothers react then?
When I thought of having children, of becoming a mother, I didn't necessarily think that I'd have all the answers ... But I didn't want them given to me (especially when they are unsolicited) either. I have always been a very thoughtful, logical person. I have always felt that I needed to experience things and then learn from those experiences ... Whether they be successes or failures, they were mine to make. In fact, the decisions that I've made throughout my life have helped me to become the woman that I am today. They have helped define who I am and what I am all about. They have given me the tools I need to be the mother that I want to be ...
While I fully understand that both of my mothers have done the whole "child rearing" thing before (and, to their credit, they both did a great job!), Malcolm isn't their child. He is mine. I am the one that spends every waking moment with him. I am the one who knows him better than anybody else ... Shouldn't that count for something?
Shouldn't I be able to feed my baby without being judged on how I do it?
I know that I have many, many more years ahead of me in which my mothering will be scrutinized, so I'm trying to be positive. I've decided to look at the situation as my mother loving Malcolm so much, that she is compelled to do whatever she feels is "the right thing" for him.
It's just unfortunate that her "right" and my "right" are not the same.