Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Crisis averted

Cox Mechanical came by Monday afternoon to meet with my husband about the noise of our new air conditioning unit. We'd paid extra to have them move the air handler from inside the house to the attic, but there was still more noise than our previous unit. Gene was convinced they had undersized the intake duct. Turns out the grill was cheap and not working properly. The new grill brought the noise level down to practically non-existent. Phew.

That made us feel better but I'm still in sticker shock and feeling that urge to find paying work, along with the usual urge to stay home with the children. What kind of conflicting urges to fathers have? The urge perhaps to buy a sports car versus the urge to by a safe, family car? Perhaps.

In any case, Christmas this year, said the Bystander-family father, will be a "Ho-Ho-No." I'll make sure to prepare the children, Santa Claus. With that news festering in my gut for a few days, and the fact that two hours after my treadmill class I still can't seem to catch my breath I'm in a sour mood.

And while I'm in a sour mood, is it a good idea to tell my children that they are too fat or too skinny? I guess one should avoid such conversations during a low mood swing. I do occasionally tell my daughter to put on some weight because she occasionally looks like I've been neglecting my duties regarding nutrition and calories, which is not true. Her typical response is "No!"

I don't know what the Centers for Disease Control would say about the word skinny, but according the article above,
As far as the CDC is concerned children are never called ‘obese' - regardless of how heavy they are.
Dr. Helen asks,
Are our kids such hot house flowers that the truth about their condition is enough to send them over the edge? If so, their obesity, at risk of being overweight, fat or lard etc. is the least of our problems.
Here I think we have the classic language problem of denotation versus connotation. The words fat and obese have come to mean bad, and not just bad in the health sense, but if you are fat or obese you are bad through and through, morally, intellectually, etc. You have very little value, thus we mustn't tell children that they are fat or obese because that would be the same as telling them they are worthless.

This smacks somewhat of projection. Adult fears of being thought of as bad are precluding adults from telling children the truth about their weight. He's just husky. She's a chubbette! I'm hesitant to say with a resounding YES--tell kids they're fat or obese because I don't know what child psychologists have to say about children's tender egos being bogged down with such heavily-loaded labels, but I think at the very least, parents should be made to face the reality of their children's weight problem with the correct descriptions be it within earshot of the kids or not.

4 Comments:

Anonymous the good-looking older sister said...

Weight is such an "issue" with females, why even broach it with a little girl who doesn't give a rats bum at the moment? Even approvingly calling her skinny has its effect. What's the point? The world will impose upon her soon enough. P.S. Are my web page addresses getting through to you? I use a different one each time.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I noticed the first page address and decided you'd accidentally "cntrl v"'d something in that space. I didn't look at the other two -- they're very funny.

I agree A Prairie Home Companion was only okay, but I liked how GK explained to the teenage gal that no, he wasn't going to make an announcement or say a few words for the dead guy. That was the most memorable part for me.

As to the topic of the current post, weight is definitely an issue with females, and I don't know about broaching it with kids. Surely you'd approach it differently at different ages. In many cases, I suspect the parents should just quietly remove certain foods from the house and increase family exercise.

I dunno. I'm interested to hear what child psychologists have to say. I wonder if a lot of kids today are in denial. That's not healthy either.

4:17 PM  
Anonymous good looking older sister said...

I liked that part of the Prairie Home Companion movies too. Am big GK fan despite his crackpot politics.

I hear you re quietly not feeding crap to kids. (Speaking of, pizza sounds good!)

4:47 PM  
Blogger Mike in S.A. said...

Glad to hear your air conditioning problem has been resolved. The sticker shock will take a while to wear off, though. I'm still suffering mine.

10:36 PM  

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