The other day, in class, Peaches told me that her daughter told her that Nae had said something about not eating because she didn't want to get fat. I usually tend to take what Peaches' daughter says with a grain of salt because she tends to exaggerate the truth or lie completely. Which is one of the reason her and Nae don't spend much time together. it's sad and I would love for them to be great friends, but Captain (Peaches' daughter) is a very angry girl and is very jealous of Nae. Anyway.....I figured even if Captain was stretching the truth, it was a topic that needed to be discussed.
I got home from class and asked Nae if she had eaten that day and what. I tried to keep it casual, but failed miserably. I usually ask her what she had for lunch and if she ate something that wasn't crap before track, so it wasn't unusual for me to ask her if she had eaten that day. What was unusual was for me to sort of drill her about her eating habits. I let my fear take over instead of keeping a cool head. Poor Nae and Dirty were so confused as to why I was asking these questions. It was too late to backtrack and play it off like I was just concerned, so I had to spill the beans and tell them what I had heard. I hadn't meant to throw Captain under the bus, all I was trying to do was figure out what the heck was going on with Nae.
Once Nae knew I had good information she started crying and said it was true. I was DUMBFOUNDED! I've always been honest and upfront with her about my battle with Anorexia in high school. I thought for sure if I told her all about it, she would learn from my mistake and not repeat it. Apparently I was wrong. In the end, we found out she isn't not eating, but limiting her food intake so as not to become fat. It broke my heart to think that there had been days when she wasn't eating much because she thought she was fat. We told her it wasn't a concern for her to have, but if she felt it was a problem, there are better ways than not eating.
She's a very active child and is in fine health. I think we got through to her by explaining how her body is different from Captain's and if we felt there was a need for a change, WE would make it. She is NOT to limit her food intake because she doesn't want to gain weight. She can limit the funk food she puts into her body, make better food choices, but not eating at all is unacceptable. We were kinder about it, but that was the gist of our conversation with her.
Part of me thinks that Captain might have exaggerated the situation a touch, but clearly there was an issue there. One that I wasn't aware of and that disturbs me. As she gets older, I'm realizing that I don't know as much as I did before. She has friends I don't know and does things I am not aware of. Not bad things, she is a good kid, but her "play dates" don't consist of playing at the park with me and apple juice and graham crackers, anymore. Now she goes to the movies with her friends or goes downtown ("downtown" is a relative term here, this is a VERY small town) and gets some pizza after school. All of which I am OK with, but it's hard to know when to tighten the reigns or loosen them a bit.
Monday she'll be 13 (God help me) and I know things will get more difficult as she gets older, but I hope I'm level headed enough to deal with the teenage years. At least I am able to listen to stories about children her age and learn from what their parents did or didn't do. I'm not TOO concerned about her doing terrible things, but ya never know. I'll be aware, even more now, and hope I do it right.