I always thought that I would be a laid back, relaxed mom. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to become the mom that I avoided while I was working as a teacher. Those moms, I always thought, were crazy for being so overprotective off their children. Many times, I would have to talk them down from a potential fight with another mom, simply because of what one toddler had said to another. “Kids say stuff”, was my go-to. But I never understood. How could I if I had never had children of my own?
It wasn’t until very recently that I caught myself being that very same mom. When William was only two days old, a family friend visited us in hospital. To us, he was perfect. Our family friend however, had the audacity to call him ‘a bit yellow’. I was livid. How dare she? How dare she call the most beautiful baby in the world yellow? I asked her to leave saying that I was tired, but I’m sure that disgust was written all over my face. I asked Jacques what he thought, and he assured me that we had a beautiful baby and included that he had a perfectly normal skin tone.
A few hours later, the paediatrician came in and confirmed that he was indeed, a bit jaundice.
Neither Jacques or myself have particularly petite figures, so it was only right when William was born at 3,6 kilograms at 38 weeks. A few months ago, I was sitting with William on my lap when a stranger came by and said, “He’s about six months old, isn’t he?”. “No”, I said, “He is only four months old”. She was shell-shocked. “Oh my. He’s quite fat, isn’t he?”.
If I could roar, I would’ve.
Although I know that William is a bit on the chubby side for his age, I still can’t believe that he is a real little person. He is still so small in my eyes. And yes, he does have cellulite all over his bum and his hands do look like they’ve been pasted onto his arms, but I’ve always found it so incredibly cute and endearing.
The next day, I took him to get his 16-week injections. The nurse at the clinic put him on the baby scale and her eyebrows shot up. She called another nurse and they took off all of his clothes and weighed him again. “9.6kg”, she said. They said that 90% of his age group weighed less than him and that he was probably one of the biggest babies they had seen in a long while.
So yes. I have become one of those moms. I react violently when someone calls my baby fat or yellow. I would chase them away with a pitchfork if I didn’t have my hands full of baby, spit up, bottles and dummies. Also, it would be illegal.
I think it’s the most natural thing on earth to think that your child is perfect and its basic instinct to want to protect that idea. I don’t fight it anymore. Call my baby fat one more time and hear this mama bear roar!