Tuesday, November 8, 2011

In which my daughter makes a list

My Kindergartener came home from school yesterday, determined:

"I need to make a checklist of things I need to do every morning!"

I wasn't sure what prompted this fit of organization at nearly 6 years old, but I could not wait to read it. When she draws something, it's usually pretty funny.

She marched off to the dining room table, paper and marker in hand and soon returned with the above, which I will translate:

  • Exercise.
  • Brush teeth.
  • Eat.
  • Clothes.
  • Catch the bus.

  • Exercise? That surprised me.

    "Why exercise?" I asked.

    "Because that's what you do in the morning."

    I almost teared up.

    "What are you going to do for exercise?"

    She demonstrated jumping jacks and those old-timey, arms out, bend at the waist, touch-the-opposite-toe thingies.

    "That's a good plan, Marley. Good for you."

    "I know."

    Nothing if not modest, my girl.

    One of the major reasons I wanted to get in shape was because I wanted to be around for my family. I wanted to be alive and active for me and, especially, for them. I wanted my children, especially my two girls, to grow up with a healthy relationship with their bodies, exercise and food.

    Both of my girls will be petite (my husband's side, not mine, for sure), which means they will have little room for error with extra weight. How could I help them grow up healthy inside and out if I was a 300-lb couch potato?

    I don't bang 'em over the head with my eating and exercise, but they are absorbing it by osmosis. They know I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and they're right there with me, with the fruit-eating, at least. Sure, they eat the typical kid crap, but they're kids - I won't deprive them of that, as long as it's in moderation.

    I never predicted how my changes would affect them and their attitudes about eating and exercise. They know I go to Weight Watchers every week for what I call my "healthy meeting." In the summer, they come with. My son calls it, "Boring, boring, boring." Can't argue that when you're a 4-year-old boy.

    I'm amazed to see how all of my work is paying off for them in their little brains, percolating under the surface and bubbling up in unexpected ways.

    So, I give my eldest all the credit in the world for her list, because if I had one, "eat" is always No. 1.

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