Pretty Pretty Princess

So it seems like everywhere I look lately I see articles about what not to say to your little girls.  Don’t mention that you have issues with your weight.  Don’t tell them they are pretty.  And for God’s sake, don’t call them Princess.
(Disclaimer:  I am not especially picking on the people who wrote the particular posts above.  Those are the first ones that show up in Google for each topic, that’s all.)
I’m pretty much on board with the first recommendation, if only because anorexia and bulimia are life-threatening, so let’s err on the side of caution.  I try not to talk about weight and diets, but rather about exercising and making healthy food choices.  I don’t limit what my kids eat, for the most part; I talk about listening to your body and not eating if you feel full.  I can report that when Lorelei hops on the scale she boasts about her weight gain and is proud to be heavier than her ten-year-old cousin.  We talk about how wonderful it is that she is so big and healthy and strong.  Does any of this matter?  Let me be honest:  at this point I’m not sure what matters.  When my big kids are about thirty I will ask them and let you know.
But I’m sorry, I’m not going to stop telling Lorelei that she’s pretty.  For one thing, she IS.  For another, soon enough she will lose her current conviction, which she totally believes, that she is the prettiest girl in the world.  There is nothing I can do to prevent her suffering adolescent pangs and a lifetime of worries over her appearance.  I don’t know ANY WOMAN who is free of these things.  So why shouldn’t I contribute to her body positive feelings now while she still believes me?  I remember REALLY BELIEVING that I was going to grow up and win the Miss America pageant.  It’s great to feel that confident, about your appearance or about anything.
Now, about calling little girls princesses . . . y’all, don’t you think we are TOTALLY overthinking this parenting thing?  Isn’t it freaking hard enough already? Maybe it’s because I’m a Southerner, and down here terms of endearment are sprinkled liberally throughout every encounter with friend and stranger alike, but I just cannot bring myself to believe that I am somehow limiting my daughter’s future options or affecting her self-worth if I address her as “my little princess” from time to time.
Here are some things I call Lorelei: pretty girl, precious angel, mommy’s baby, punkin, sweetheart, baby girl, cute girl, darlin’, sweetie pie, sugarplum, dumplin’, honey, and doll baby.  I really don’t think she is going to grow up to be a gourd, or remain a baby forever, and the sweetness (debatable) of her current demeanor is not influenced by these pet names in the least, I can assure you of that.  I remember my daddy referring to me and my sisters as “slick” and “slim.”  I wasn’t either then and I am neither now!
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What pet names DO convey is love.  And making kids feel loved will always be the most important role of a parent.

I Want a New Drug

Junk food is as addictive as cocaine.
That’s a pretty provocative statement, and it comes straight from the press kit for Diet Rehab, a book by Dr. Mike Dow, the cohost of Freaky Eaters, which would probably impress me if I watched t.v.  I don’t know yet whether I believe it or not, but I am getting ready to find out.
That’s my copy of the book, which I now disclose to you that I received for FREE in return for reviewing it.   I have not read it yet.  But I’m going to have a little fun with this.  If it makes any sense at all, I am going to do what it says and share the results with you.
I know one thing I like already:  that blurb at the top stating that “You’re addicted to bad food and it’s not your fault.”  For someone who has spent most of a lifetime feeling guilty about every morsel consumed, that’s a refreshing message.  More on that later.
So the plan is that I will read the book this week, then start following the “28 days of gradual detox” the following week.  Once a week–let’s say on Mondays–I’ll share with you how it’s going. (This will definitely not involve any scales.  A tape measure MAY be used.  We shall see.)  At the end of the four weeks I will pronounce judgment on the book.  I’ll explain the theory and the procedure as we go.  If anyone wants to join in, let me know and I will send you instructions!